Following last night’s vice-presidential debate, Democratic VP nominee Tim Kaine got rave reviews from fact checkers, earning a “true” rating on 15 out of his 19 rated statements (79%). Meanwhile, Trump’s VP nominee only rated 4 factual statements out of 13 reviewed claims by Politifact which debunked nine big “false” statements from the Indiana Governor (31%).
Even the neutral fact-checkers observed how carefully the Republican Pence avoided defending any of his running mate Trump’s nightmarish racism that generated so many true claims from Kaine about why Donald Trump “scares the hell out of all of us:”
Kaine repeatedly pointed out that Pence didn’t go out of the way to defend “the insult-driven, selfish ‘me first’ style of Donald Trump.”
So let’s take a moment to examine some of the many claims that Democratic nominee Tim Kaine raised, which are rated as true, because Pence never directly engaged him on any of these issues or if he did, he countered with only with smoke screens, deflections and obvious falsehoods:
Kaine: “Richard Nixon released tax returns when he was under audit.”
Kaine: “The Clinton Foundation “provides AIDS drugs to about 11.5 million people.”
Kaine: “These guys have praised Vladimir Putin as a great leader.”
Kaine: “Fifteen million new jobs” have been created during the Obama years.
Kaine: Trump “trash talks the military. The military is a disaster, John McCain’s no hero, the generals need all to be fired, and I know more than them.”
Kaine: “Donald Trump, on the other hand, didn’t know that Russia had invaded the Crimea.”
To be fair, this Republican VP nominee managed to tell the truth more often than the top of the ticket, but it wasn’t enough to win any debate on the facts or substance of the issues America is facing today. In fact, on the most sensitive topic, how to fix police brutality, the civil rights lawyer Kaine was so on the money, all Mike Pence could do was sheepishly agree with him.
Pence would’ve been on better ground simply agreeing with Kaine more often, rather than contentiously misrepresenting the influence of Hillary Clinton, who should’ve apparently “renegotiated” George W. Bush’s exit plan from Iraq (which we were contractually bound to uphold) and was unable to deny that the Trump’s dangerously ignorant foreign policy would lead to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, which Trump has said. To be fair, Trump has also said he opposes more countries getting nuclear weapons, sometimes in the same interview.
Shamefully, Mike Pence saved his most sinister misrepresentations for his most reprehensible position – preventing the resettlement of Syrian refugees on the suspicions of terrorism. Not only did Politifact debunk Mike Pence’s bullshit defense of “extreme vetting,” but just yesterday a federal judge ruled that the Republican VP candidate’s beliefs – which he attempted to make into law – are entirely “without evidence” and merely represented “nightmare speculation” on the part of the chicken-hearted GOP politician.
Pence: “Elaine, the director of the FBI, our homeland security, said we can’t know for certain who these people are coming from Syria.”
Actually, refugees entering the United States are subjected to a grueling two-year background check and vetting before being accepted for resettlement. Trump, Pence and the rest of the Republican Party apparently stand for “family values” but will close our doors to women and children fleeing a holocaust of bombs and chlorine gas in their home nation. These Politifact ratings make it clear that the Trump camp is still very solidly residing outside of the bounds of reality.
Democratic VP nominee Tim Kaine was credible, accurate and raised the Republican presidential candidate’s glaring flaws repeatedly without his opponent responding. Mike Pence gave a conservative Republican lesson in deploying so many different kinds of falsehood, misrepresentation and lies that fact checkers had to whip out their thesaurus just to properly describe 90 televised minutes of Trump’s VP candidate misleading the American public.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition