Get to Know The VP Candidates

Let’s talk about these two luminous beacons of untamed charisma.

Tim Kaine is a skim-milk centrist who once declared on CNN, “I am boring.

Mike Pence is a spirit-guided, traditional right-hander who calls himself “a b-list Republican celebrity.”

In stances, they are yin and yang.  In personalities, they are vanilla and vanilla bean.

So with no further ado, Let’s get into it!

 

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Age: 58

Height: 5′ 10″

Religion: Roman Catholic

Record: 8-0

Experience:

Richmond, VA City Council 1994-2001

Mayor of Richmond, VA 1998-2001

Lieutenant Governor of VA 2002-2006

Governor of VA 2006-2010

Chairman of DNC 2009-2011

U.S. Senator (VA) 2013- current

Instrument of choice: Harmonica

On the Issues:

Gay Rights

Kaine, much like his running mate has evolved on this issue.  As a congressman and a lieutenant governor, he was far from a champion of gay rights.  In 2003, in response to Massachusetts legalization of same-sex marriage, he stated “Marriage between a man and a woman is the building block of the family and a keystone of our civil society. It has been so for centuries in societies around the world. I cannot agree with a court decision suddenly declaring that marriage must now be redefined to include unions between people of the same gender.”  But during his time as governor and senator, he supported same-sex marriage, campaigned against an amendment to the Virginia constitution that would’ve banned same-sex marriage and co-sponsored a bill to end LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace.  The Human Rights Campaign, a large, non-profit, civil rights organization focused on LGBTQ issues, gave Kaine a score of 90 out of a possible 100.

Immigration

Kaine’s view on immigration is very much in line with Hillary Clinton’s.  He’s continually supported the DREAM Act which is centered around a path to legalization for undocumented minors, as well as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.)  He supported the 2013 bipartisan immigration reform bill and pushed for President Obama to resettle more Syrian immigrants in the United States.

Abortion

Kaine considers himself a “traditional Catholic”  and has stated that he personally opposes abortion, but is a “strong supporter of Roe v. Wade.”  In recent years, his voting has supported this declaration as he’s voted along pro-choice lines 100% of the time since being elected senator.  His time as Governor of Virginia paints a bit of a different picture.  Kaine promised to reduce the number of abortions in Virginia, he pushed abstinence education and supported a number of restrictions, waiting periods and general red tape around the procedure.  He claims he has evolved professionally on the issue while maintaining his personal opposition to abortion. Based on his voting record, it’s hard to refute his claim.

Gun Control

As a gun owner himself, Kaine stated in the past that he strongly supports the Second Amendment, but in recent years he’s voted for stricter gun laws and increased gun control on a consistent basis.  He voted to ban gun magazines that hold more than 10 bullets, he supported two bills: the CDC Research on Firearms Safety or Gun Violence Prevention Act, which would’ve lifted the CDC ban on firearm research in the U.S., and the Fix Gun Checks Act which was designed to close private and online gun sale loopholes.  Kaine was governor during the 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre and has since been an advocate for stricter gun laws across the board.

The Environment

His record on the environment is a bit of an inconsistent hodge-podge. He and Senator Mark Warner drafted a bill that proposed an early halt to the off-shore drilling moratorium put in place by the Obama administration and he supported natural gas terminals—two moves that no environmentalist would support.  And yet he also strongly opposed the Keystone XL Pipeline, has voted in favor of curbing our carbon footprint and has roundly dismissed climate deniers.  He currently has a 91% from the League of Conservation Voters.

Military

Like Mike Pence, Kaine’s son is currently serving in the military as an active-duty marine.  Kaine supported President Obama’s decision to remove troops from Iraq, and in general, he’s definitely less hawkish than Clinton.  He has stated that congress should play a larger role in authorizing military intervention in the Middle East.  While campaigning, Kaine denounced Trump’s comments on the current state of our military saying “Anybody who says ‘the American military is a disaster’ is unfit to be commander in chief. Unfit. He’s unfit.” Last year, he introduced the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, a piece of bipartisan legislation aimed at standardizing opioid prescription guidelines in order to curtail abuse.

Trade

This may be the only issue that Kaine and Pence agree on, and they have both shifted from their original positions. Kaine has supported free trade agreements including the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP,) although his support for the TPP has conveniently morphed along with public opinion.  However,  Kaine claims he did not flip-flop: “I was a strong supporter a year ago of giving President Obama the ability to negotiate a trade deal. But I said at the time, when that deal was done and on the table, I was going to look at it very carefully. And I even expressed a very serious concern I had with how it was developed, which is that companies were given rights to enforce provisions, but the labor and environmental provisions could not be effectively enforced.”

 

 


Political Affiliation: Republican

Age: 57

Height: 6′ 0″

Religion: Evangelical Catholic

Record: 7-2

Experience:

U.S. House of Representatives (2nd and 6th districts) 2001-2013

House Republican Conference Chairman   2009-2011

Governor of Indiana 2013- Present

Instrument of choice: Guitar

On the Issues:

Gay Rights

As a congressman and as a governor, Pence has strictly opposed any and all gay rights initiatives.  He co-sponsored an amendment to ban same-sex marriage, he voted against bills that aimed to protect gays, lesbians and transgender individuals from discrimination, he voted against the repeal of , “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and he passed the now rather infamous Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA.)  RFRA made it legal for businesses in Indiana to refuse customers based on their sexual orientation. The bill, from nearly all angles, was seen for what it was, legalized discrimination under the guise of religion.  He later amended the bill after a massive, nationwide outcry led to Apple, Angie’s List, Eli Lilly, Salesforce, the NBA, NCAA and WNBA all denouncing the law.  A study by Visit Indy found that RFRA cost Indiana more than $60 million in convention business. The Human Rights Campaign, a large, non-profit, civil rights organization which focuses on LGBTQ issues, gave Pence a score of 0 out of a possible 100.

Immigration

While his views on immigration were not previously quite as extreme as his running mate’s -he initially denounced Trump’s plan to ban Muslims, only to recently fall in line– he is still very much a hard-line conservative in this realm. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) an organization known to be overwhelmingly anti-immigration awarded Mike Pence a perfect score of 100 back in 2003, and recently released this glowing statement about the governor. The U.S. Border Control (USBC,) another non-profit known for supporting closed borders and being strictly anti-amnesty, gave Pence a 92 out of 100.  Pence voted for H.R.3722, which served to prohibit hospitals from receiving federal reimbursement for treating illegal immigrants in emergency situations unless they supplied the federal government with detailed information including: “immigration status, financial data, and employer.” In 2009, he voted for the Birthright Citizens Act, a bill which aimed to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act, which awards citizenship to every person born in the U.S. Furthermore, Pence, as Governor of Indiana, was one of a collection of Republican governors who refused to resettle any Syrian immigrants, going against a federal mandate, which prompted the ACLU to sue Pence.

Abortion

Pence has been a steadfast anti-abortion crusader from day one.  He has continually sponsored and co-sponsored legislation that served to defund Planned Parenthood and all similar organizations, in addition to sponsoring the Right to Life Act, which aimed to declare a fetus a “human being” at all stages of life, thereby abolishing abortion entirely.  Every bill introduced to the house with the goal of limiting abortion access was supported or sponsored by then-Representative Pence.

Gun Control

Pence is about as pro-gun as any other figure in United States politics.  He has an A rating from the NRA and has continually voted to loosen restrictions on gun purchases.  He opposes a ban on semi-automatic weapons, he voted to expand concealed carry laws across state lines, and, in 2014, he signed into law, a bill that made it legal for adults to bring firearms onto school grounds, as long as they remained locked in their vehicles and did not enter the school building.

The Environment

According to data from the League of Conservation Voters (LICV,) on environmental issues, during his in in the House, Pence cast 201 anti-environment votes and only 9 pro-environment votes.  Pence opposed curbing toxic emissions in cement plants and placing limits on carbon emissions.  He also voted to eliminate funding for climate change education and opposed an array of clean water and air safeguardsand that’s just scratching the surface.  His lifetime score from the LICV is 4%.  He’s refused to state whether or not he believes in evolution and he wrote an op-ed in 2001 (found by Buzzfeed) in which he assertively stated that “climate change is a myth.”

Military

Pence supports a strong, massive, interventionist approach to the U.S. military. He voted for the war in Iraq and has opposed bills calling for a reduction of troops in the region.  Pence is no Libertarian, he’s a bit of an old school right-winger when it comes to our armed forces

Trade

This is where Trump and Pence differ most dramatically.  As the Washington Post and VoteSmart.org point out, Pence voted in favor of every free trade bill that hit the floor during his 11 years in the House.  He was a steadfast supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) something his running mate called “just a continuing rape of our country” and a, “deathblow” to American industry.  As we mentioned earlier, Pence’s stance on the TPP has since shape-shifted to merge with Trump’s rabid anti-trade platform, he now questions the merit of all multi-nation trade agreements.

 

 

 

 

 

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