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Vice presidential candidates square off in debate

Posted at 10:25 PM, Oct 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-05 00:42:14-04

The vice presidential candidates faced off in a fiery but substantive debate Tuesday night in Virginia.

The most important role for a vice president is to step in and become president if that's necessary.

For many Americans, Tuesday’s debate was the first time they heard candidates Senator Tim Kaine and Governor Mike Pence explained why they're ready to be vice president.

“The test of a Clinton Administration will not be the signing of a bill or the passage of the bill, it will be whether we can make someone’s life better. Whether we can make a classroom a better learning environment for school kids or teachers,” said Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, in his opening exchange.

“The potential is there to really change the direction of this country, but it takes the leadership to do it. The American people what to see the nation standing tall on the world stage again,” explained Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence.

They have some things in common.

They both have sons who have served in the Marines, both were governors, and both spent most of the night defending their running mates and going after one another.

“Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine want more of the same. It really is remarkable that they are actively promoting a trillion dollars in tax increases,” said Governor Pence.

"You are Donald Trump's apprentice," quipped Senator Kaine.

Kaine spent a lot of the night hammering Trump’s decision to not release his tax records.

“Governor Pence had to give Donald Trump his tax returns to show he was qualified to be vice president. Donald Trump must give the American public his tax returns to show he's qualified to be president, and he's breaking his promise,” said Senator Kaine.

Pence zeroed in on Clinton’s foreign policy decisions.

“This a very challenging time in the life of our nation. Weakened America’s place in the world after the leadership of Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama on the world stage has been followed by an economy that is truly struggling. Stifled by an avalanche of more taxes,” said Governor Pence.

Before Tuesday night, more than 40 percent of Americans didn’t even know who the two were.

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