In Focus: Vice Presidential Debate Highlights Candidates’ Differences

By Allen Smith, J.D. Oct 5, 2016
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Kaine: Raise the Minimum Wage

At the vice presidential debate on Oct. 4, Democratic nominee Sen. Tim Kaine, D- Va., noted that Hillary Clinton and he have a "You're hired" plan that would, among other things, raise the minimum wage. He criticized Republican nominee Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., for voting against raising the minimum wage above $5.15 when Pence was in Congress, and opposing minimum wage increases as governor in Indiana. And Kaine said, "Both Donald Trump and Mike Pence think we ought to eliminate the federal minimum wage." The federal minimum wage currently is $7.25. Voters in some states will vote on minimum wage this November.

(ABC News)

Pence: Repeal the Affordable Care Act, Executive Orders

Pence called for "repealing Obamacare lock, stock and barrel," as well as "repealing all of the executive orders that [President] Barack Obama has signed that are stifling growth in this economy." Obama has signed executive orders raising the minimum wage for federal contractors' employees, banning sexual orientation bias among federal contractors, requiring federal contractors to report violations of 14 different federal labor and employment laws to compete for federal contracts, and requiring paid sick leave for federal contractors' employees, among others.

(The New York Times)

Kaine: Social Security Won't Be Privatized

Kaine was asked what he would do to shore up the Social Security Trust Fund, which is projected to run out of money in 18 years. "We have to keep it solvent. And we will keep it solvent," Kaine responded. "We'll look for strategies like adjusting the payroll tax cap upward in order to do that." He criticized Donald Trump and Pence for favoring privatization of Social Security and asserted that Clinton and he "will never, ever engage in a risky scheme to privatize Social Security." Fact-checkers doubt that the Pence/Trump plan does indeed favor Social Security privatization.


Pence: Defend Law Enforcement

Pence said that the "bad mouthing" that comes from people that "seize upon tragedy in the wake of police action shootings as a reason to use a broad brush to accuse law enforcement of implicit bias or institutional racism" has to stop. And he criticized Clinton for saying, when asked whether there was implicit bias in law enforcement, that there's implicit bias in everyone in the United States.

(The Chicago Tribune)

Pence and Kaine on Immigration

Pence said that a Donald Trump administration would end illegal immigration. He stated that Clinton and Kaine want to "continue the policies of open borders, amnesty, catch and release, sanctuary cities, all the things that are driving wages down in this country." Kaine countered that Clinton and he support bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform "that will put keeping families together as the top goal." He also said their plan would "help focus enforcement efforts on those who are violent," as well as do more border control and provide a path to citizenship "for those who work hard, pay taxes, play by the rules and take criminal background record checks." And he criticized Trump's plan as one that would turn the United States into a "deportation nation."

 (The Washington Post)

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