Kaine pressures Pence on Trump controversies in Vice-presidential debate
Democrat Tim Kaine aggressively questioned Mike Pence on several controversial policy standpoints advocated by Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. Pence put up an effective defence; however, he was unable to retort to questions on Trump's sexist rants and Obama's nationality, leaving them unchallenged. Pence outlined the Republican tax policy and fiscal strategy, and was considerably more articulate than Donald Trump.
What are Presidential debates?
Presidential debates are an unofficial part of the US election system where the candidates of the two largest parties meet to publicly debate policy options. Though the custom is not mandated by the constitution, it is a de facto part of the presidential election process. The debates are mainly targeted toward undecided voters, who have no particular bias toward either candidate.
1960: The first televised Presidential debate
The first televised Presidential debate was held in 1960 between John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon. It drew an audience of 66 million viewers out of a population of 179 million. This was the most viewed Presidential debate in US history.
The CPD and the 2016 debate
The Commission on Presidential debates is a bipartisan non-profit organization, controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties.; it organizes and funds presidential debates. 2016 will feature a total of 4 debates - 3 Presidential and 1 Vice-Presidential debate. While Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will participate in the Presidential debates, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence will participate in the Vice-Presidential debate.
Schedule of the debates
The three Presidential debates are scheduled for 26 September (Hofstra University, New York), 9 October (Washington University, St Louis) and 19 October (University of Nevada, Las Vegas); the Vice-Presidential debate is scheduled for 4 October (Longwood University, Virginia).
Trump, Hillary face-off in first Presidential debate
The first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was divided into 6 segments (15 minutes each). Both candidates were given equal time and the questions were solely the moderator's (NBC's Lester Holt) discretion and saw no audience participation, except for applause. The debate largely focused on foreign policy, the war on terror, racism in US, economy, unemployment, the federal deficit, and trade.
What did Trump have to say?
Donald Trump brought up Clinton's health issues saying she "lacked the stamina" to be president. Trump also said Clinton did not "have the right temperament" to be president. He criticized Clinton's alleged "changing stance" on the Trans-Pacific partnership; an allegation she found hard to defend. Trump also demanded that Clinton make public 33,000 emails which were classified during the FBI investigation.
Clinton asks for Trump's tax returns
Hillary Clinton went on the offensive demanding that Trump make his tax returns public; he retorted saying he was under a "regular audit" and would do so after that. Clinton also reiterated instances of Trump's "rampant racist and sexist" behaviour. She also attacked him for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin and suggesting that Russia uncover Clinton's hidden emails; calling him "unfit to be commander-in-chief."
Stats after the debate
BBC reported that there were over 5 million tweets about the debate, over 62% of which was about Donald Trump. A CNN poll found that approximately 60% of viewers felt Clinton fared better while only 30% felt Trump fared better.