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You Probably Didn’t Watch The Vice Presidential Debate So Here’s A Quick Rundown

BuzzFeed News reporters Tarini Parti, Adrian Carrasquillo, Darren Sands, Rosie Gray, and McKay Coppins are reporting from the vice presidential debate in Virginia. Tamerra Griffin and Mike Hayes are reporting from New York City.

Last updated on October 5, 2016, at 8:06 a.m. ET

Posted on October 4, 2016, at 7:13 a.m. ET

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Well, that's over. Here's what you need to know:

  • First thing's first: Before we get into the ~analysis~, before we talk about Vlad Putin, before we talk about Pence's gaffe right out of the gate, this video sums up the debate quite nicely. Give it a 👀
  • OK so, Mike Pence and Tim Kaine faced off in 2016's one and only vice presidential debate on Tuesday. This is the most attention Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's running mates will get this entire campaign.
  • They pretty much argued over whether Trump or Clinton is worse and unleashed a barrage of extremely dad-like canned lines on one another. Like this one. Ugh.
  • Here was a weird moment: Pence split with Trump over Russia. Vladimir Putin is "small" and "bullying," he said, while Trump has pretty much shown only ♥️ for Vlad. More about that right here. Oh also Pence may have made up an ancient Russian proverb because why not.
  • People did not fail to notice that the moderator, CBS News's Elaine Quijano, got interrupted a lot. But many others said she interrupted them too much and should have let the candidates duke it out. So that's a wash.
  • Here are some relevant clips about the other topics they hit: immigration, Muslims, terrorism, Syrian refugees, community relations and policing, abortion, and Trump's taxes.
  • BuzzFeed News streamed the debate live and gauged your emoji reactions over on our Facebook page, while reporter Adrian Carrasquillo took you behind the scenes on Instagram Stories.

Updates

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29 hilarious tweets you’ll only get if you watched the VP debate

Check them all out here.

–Hannah Jewell and Tom Phillips

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Both campaigns agree: the VP debate was painful to watch

Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images

FARMVILLE, Virginia — Advisers and surrogates for both vice presidential candidates came to a rare bipartisan consensus in the spin room here Tuesday night: The debate that just took place was incredibly unpleasant to watch.

Widely expected to be a snoozy and forgettable affair, the face-off between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence took on a surprisingly peevish tone almost immediately, and stayed that way for 90 grueling minutes.

Kaine interrupted his opponent constantly, letting loose a rat-a-tat of real-time fact-checks, pre-fab zingers, and outraged recitations of Donald Trump's sins. Pence spent much of the evening shaking his head, rolling his eyes, and mocking Kaine for his scripted one-liners. Frequently, the two men ended up talking over each other for extended periods of time while moderator Elaine Quijano pleaded, "Gentlemen, please." According to a post-debate transcript, the debate devolved into indecipherable "crosstalk" 32 times.

The overall effect for viewers was more grating than inspiring.

Read the full story here.

–McKay Coppins

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Where were the women in the vice presidential debate?

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

It was the first explicit reference to women in the entire vice presidential debate, held at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, on Tuesday night. It came up not because moderator Elaine Quijano asked specifically about reproductive rights, but because Republican VP candidate and Indiana Governor Mike Pence brought up abortion, and his opposition to it. Back in July, Pence was very clear about where he stood: "We'll see Roe v. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs," he told a town hall audience. On Tuesday night, seated at a table next to Gov. Pence, Democratic VP candidate and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine was just as clear in his own political position. "We support Roe v. Wade," he said. "We support the constitutional right of American women to consult their own conscience and make their own decision about pregnancy. That is something we trust American women to do."

On Oct. 3, women across Poland took action to protest the proposed total ban on abortion in their country: They went on strike, and, wearing black, "mourned" their reproductive rights as they marched across Polish cities. A day later, here in the US, Tim Kaine asked a question that needs answering, not just here, at home, but across the world: "Why don't you trust women to make this choice for themselves?"

The vice presidential debate is not designed to set the world on fire. The last time we had one was in 2012, when Joe Biden sparred with — and bruised — his rival, Paul Ryan. It was Biden's second go-around; back in 2008 he debated then-Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin. "It's so obvious that I'm a Washington outsider," Palin had said at one point, "and not used to the way you guys operate." On Tuesday night, it was clear that both Kaine and Pence had been in the ring a long time. And it seemed apparent that both men knew they were the sideshows, wheeled into the big tent for one night only. Understudies who feel the all-too-brief warmth of the spotlight sometimes forget their lines. You might have thought the pair would come out and redirect the public's gaze to their respective bosses. But no: Kaine, in full irritating attack dog mode, sort of "forgot" to center Hillary Clinton in his attacks against Trump. Pence, whose condescending chuckle appeared more than once, seemingly conveniently "forgot" many of the things Donald Trump has definitely said in the past. The men talked over each other. They talked over Elaine Quijano. Quijano talked over the men. And yet it was all so very boring. Maybe they should've talked more about women.

Read the full story here.

–Bim Adewunmi

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Mike Pence won the debate for his imaginary running mate, Mitt Romney

Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images

FARMVILLE, Virginia — Mike Pence is running for vice president on Donald Trump's ticket. But his debate performance on Tuesday seemed to occur in a bizarre alternate universe where some normal establishment Republican is the nominee.

Pence gave a solid, smooth performance that heartened some wary conservatives. But there was a sense of cognitive dissonance as he delivered line after line that could have been applied to a hypothetical Mitt Romney candidacy, instead of his own running mate's.

Pence broke with Trump on Russia, characterizing Vladimir Putin — whom Trump has repeatedly praised as a strong leader — as a "small and bullying leader." He avoided directly defending some of Trump's most controversial statements, instead focusing on Hillary Clinton and at times shaking his head when Tim Kaine recited things Trump has said, indicating that Trump hasn't really said them. He talked at length about his belief in the anti-abortion cause. He spoke of cutting spending, reducing deficits, and preserving a soluble Social Security, causes that have defined small-government Republicans in recent years, but hardly animate Trump's campaign.

In the spin room after the debate, surrogates for Trump and Pence defended or downplayed the obvious distance between the candidates.

Read the full story here.

–Rosie Gray

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At the debate, Trump supporters won’t say if he’s a good role model

Jason Connolly / AFP / Getty Images

FARMVILLE, Va. — Two House Republicans backing the Trump-Pence ticket declined to say if they thought Donald Trump would be a good role model for their children, as they spoke to reporters following the vice presidential debate Tuesday night.

"Oh, he'll be a great president," responded Kansas GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo when asked by BuzzFeed News if Trump would be a good role model.

Reminded the question was whether the GOP presidential nominee would be a good role model, not president, Pompeo responded: "My son I ask to have people as a role model people like me — his father and his mother. We're Christian and so we want his pastor and the people who help teach him his faith to be the role model. What's important to the American people is how the president is going to behave — how he's going to get the economy going again so Kansans can have jobs, how he will protect America from radical Islamic terrorists — those are the things that real people care about.

Read more here.

—Tarini Parti

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The real winner of the VP debate was Joe Biden

Biden's about 5 minutes from rushing the stage, ripping off his aviators & telling them both "Let me show you how i… https://t.co/xPWsw0W3Sq

When it comes to debates, Joe Biden has a history of putting the VP in MVP.

So, yeah, no pressure, Tim Kaine.

Biden at the back of the room making sure Tim Kaine doesn't drop the ball #VPDebate

Read more about how Twitter was all about Biden here.

—Ellie Hall

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Pence said “You whipped out that Mexican thing” and Twitter was all over it

"@politico:"Senator, you whipped out that Mexican thing again" https://t.co/LDqrcLI80J " #thatmexicanthing?

During Tuesday's vice presidential debate Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's running mate, repeatedly brought up Donald Trump's statements about Mexicans being rapists and brining crime to the US. Mike Pence had had enough.

"Senator, you whipped out that Mexican thing again," Pence said to Kaine.

The comment prompted the creation of #ThatMexicanThing and a website, thatmexicanthing.com, which reroutes to Clinton's website.

People also used the hashtag to highlight the contributions and sacrifices of Latinos.

See them here.

—Adolfo Flores

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Eric Trump says his father “absolutely” paid federal income taxes

John Moore / Getty Images

Eric Trump on Tuesday did what his father so far hasn't: Stated emphatically that Donald Trump has "absolutely" paid federal income tax.

Speaking after the vice presidential debate, Eric Trump eventually responded directly to CNN's Dana Bash after being asked specifically if his father had paid federal income tax over the last 18 years.

"Of course, yes, absolutely. My father pays a tremendous amount of tax," he said. "We as a company, pay a tremendous amount of tax."

Eric Trump tells @DanaBashCNN that Donald Trump "absolutely" pays federal income taxes https://t.co/6OZtrfIwim https://t.co/gm29AedxT4

Read more about the exchange here.

—Talal Ansari

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The VP candidates had the immigration debate that Clinton And Trump should have

David Goldman / AP

FARMVILLE, Va. — At the first presidential debate, Trump's signature wall along the U.S.-Mexican border did not come up.

On Tuesday, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence dove deep into immigration, retreating to their respective sides, debating both the merits of Clinton and Trump's plans — the most expansively liberal and restrictive immigration plans, respectively, in recent decades — but also accusing each other of being the extreme ticket on the issue.

Pence began by saying Trump laid out a plan to end illegal immigration once and for all, leaning on Trump's fiery Phoenix speech, in which he said his great wall would rise in the south, "criminal aliens" had to be deported, and visa overstays and sanctuary cities had to come to an end, all because the wages of American workers were being driven down.

But the conversation on immigration from the two vice presidential nominees also heavily reflected the charged way the issue has been used during the 2016 race, with Pence claiming that Clinton advocates "open borders."

Read more here.

—Adrian Carrasquillo

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Here’s why Kaine talked about the death penalty at the debate

Chris Keane / Reuters

At Tuesday night's vice presidential debate, Sen. Tim Kaine was asked about a time when he had to struggle to balance his faith and a public policy decision.

He chose to detail his personal opposition to the death penalty and his decision to allow executions to proceed as governor.

While the move might have seemed surprising to some, it was, in fact, almost a precise replay of the route he took in his campaign for governor more than a decade ago.

Read more here.

—Chris Geidner

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Pence may have made up an ancient proverb about Russia

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The first and only vice presidential debate was on Tuesday night and it certainly was two men sitting at a table yelling over each other, that's for sure.

In the course of the whole…thing, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence quoted what he said was an old proverb about Russia.

"There's an old proverb," Pence said, "that says the Russian bear never dies, it just hibernates." But there's basically no examples of that phrase popping up anywhere on the Internet in a search for the term.

Read more about the confused reaction here.

—Hayes Brown

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People were so over Elaine Quijano getting constantly interrupted during the debate

Pretty accurate summary of the #VPDebate:

At Tuesday's vice presidential debate, there was one sentiment that seemed to transcend party lines: Mike Pence and Tim Kaine needed to calm down and listen to moderator Elaine Quijano.

Witness the social media reaction here.

—Julia Reinstein

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Pence splits with Trump on Putin and Russia

Andrew Gombert / AP

Mike Pence was clear on Tuesday night: Russia is a geopolitical aggressor led by a "small and bullying leader," Vladimir Putin.

That posture isn't unusual in politics — Mitt Romney in 2012 argued Russia was a core threat to the United States. But it is a stark contrast with Pence's own presidential nominee, whose friendly overtures toward Russia and comfort with its growing influence in the Middle East have dominated the foreign policy discussion this year.

Donald Trump has argued that Putin is a stronger leader than Obama, praised his polling numbers in the restrictive political environment of Russia, expressed openness to working with Russia (which supports the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and is often allied with Iran) to combat ISIS, and often explained his rationale on personal terms.

"Well, I think when he calls me brilliant, I'll take the compliment, OK?" Trump recently replied as to why he would accept Putin's support.

Despite all this, Pence was undeterred in his portrait of Russia and some of the key policy confrontations between the US and Russia. On Tuesday night, he affirmed support for missile defense programs in eastern Europe that the Russians have opposed.

Read more here.

—Katherine Miller

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Pence insists Trump administration wouldn't actually punish women who get an abortion

Patrick Semansky / AP

Gov. Mike Pence insisted that under a Trump administration, women would not be punished for having an abortion, contradicting comments the Republican nominee made in March, when he said "some form of punishment" should be doled out.

Trump later walked back that comment, saying that women were "victims" of abortion.

Pence said that he and Trump "would never support legislation that would punish women who made that heartbreaking choice." When pressed by Tim Kaine on Trump's previous remarks, Pence said Trump "was not a polished politician."

Abortion rights advocates, however, point to the case of Purvi Patel, who sentenced to 20 years in prison in Pence's home state of Indiana after she took drugs at home to end her pregnancy. A judge overturned the conviction this year.

"The case raises real questions about whether woman and doctors would be punished if Pence and Trump were in charge," Andrea Miller, the National Institute for Reproductive Health president, told BuzzFeed News.

Indiana has passed at least six laws tightening abortion requirements or restricting procedures since he was inaugurated in 2013, including measures banning abortion because of Down's syndrome, providing abortion by medication prescribed remotely by a doctor, and mandating the burial or cremation of remains by funeral home personnel.

Pence also suggested that Clinton supported partial birth abortions, which fall late in pregnancy, during the debate. In fact, Clinton has actually said, "I have been on record in favor of a late pregnancy regulation that would have exceptions for the life and health of the mother," in March, after similar claims were made by Carly Fiorina.

The Washington Post gave "Four Pinocchios" to claims that Clinton did not accept any restrictions on abortion.

—Dan Vergano

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Death penalty, abortion come up as candidates address their religious faith

Steve Helber / AP

Addressing their faith, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence spoke about how religious values have factored into their approach to public service.

Kaine, who is Catholic, cited his complicated relationship with the death penalty; during his time as governor of Virginia, he oversaw 11 executions, and has said several times that he is morally opposed to the practice.

He was attacked politically pretty strongly because of his position, he said. But, he added, "I looked the voters of Virginia in the eye, and said, 'I am not going to change my religious practice to get one vote, but I will uphold the law.' And I was elected and I did."

BuzzFeed News

Pence said that his "Christian faith is at the very heart of who I am," and discussed his sense of conflict with the matter of reproductive rights.

"I would tell you, for the sanctity of life proceeds out of that ancient principle of God," he said. "I tried to stand for the ancient principle of the sanctity of life."

Pence went on to say he found it difficult to understand Clinton's support of "partial-birth abortion."

The "very idea that a child almost born into the world could still have their life taken from them, I cannot conscience a party that supports that," Pence said.

Kaine countered by asking, "Why don't you trust women to make this choice for themselves? Why doesn't Donald Trump trust women to make this choice for themselves?"

BuzzFeed News

"A society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable: The aged, the infirm, the disabled, and the unborn," Pence responded.

He added, "I cannot say how happy I am to be standing with a pro-life candidate, Donald Trump."

—Tamerra Griffin

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Pence said that only 10 cents on every dollar the Clinton Foundation raised went to charity — that’s false

CharityWatch found that 89% of the Foundation's overall spending went to program work — otherwise known as charity — while 11% went to what can be called overhead. That's essentially the exact inverse of Pence's claim.

—Paul McLeod

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Pence claimed he never called Putin a better leader than Obama — that's false

Mike Pence said that it was "absolutely inaccurate" that he called Vladimir Putin a "better" leader than President Obama, saying instead that Putin's "been stronger on the world stage."

That's false. On Thursday, September 8, Pence told CNN that, "I think it's inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country."

—Azeen Ghorayshi

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Russia and Putin battle over US response to Russia and Putin

Patrick Semansky / AP

Asked about the crisis in Syria and Russia's role in the bombing of civilians in Aleppo, Mike Pence said Russian "provocations" must "be met by American strength."

"If Russia continues to be involved in this barbaric attack on civilians in Aleppo, the US needs to be prepared to strike military targets of the Assad regime, to prevent them from this humanitarian crisis taking place in Aleppo," Pence said.

The US should also create safe zones for civilians in Syria and "deploy a missile defense shield to the Czech Republic and Poland," something he says Hillary Clinton and President Obama "pulled back on."

Pence also criticized Clinton for the "Russian reset," which he said was followed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Crimea, and called for the US to exert "strong, broad shouldered American leadership that begins by rebuilding [the] military."

"When Donald Trump becomes president," Pence said, "the Russians and other countries in the world will know they are dealing with a strong American president."

Kaine responded by saying that he and Clinton agree that the US should establish safe zones in Syria, but then accused Trump of getting cozy with Vladimir Putin and of having business interests in Russia.

Kaine then took aim at Pence, saying he praised Putin for being a better leader than Obama.

"If you don't know the difference between dictatorship and leadership, then you got to go back to a fifth-grade civics class," Kaine said. "I'll tell you what offends me…"

Pence interrupted, "That offended me."

BuzzFeed News

—Emma Loop

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Pence says Kaine boycotted Netanyahu speech — It's true

David Goldman / AP

Tim Kaine did, as Mike Pence claimed, boycott a speech given by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before Congress in 2015.

Netanyahu was there to rally members of Congress to invalidate the recently signed deal to halt Iran's nuclear program. Kaine, who skipped the address along with several other Democrats, said that he was worried that the timing of Netanyahu's speech would affect the Israeli elections several weeks later.

—Hayes Brown

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Kaine and Pence spar over Syrian refugees

BuzzFeed News

On the issue of allowing Syrian refugees to enter the US, Mike Pence said that he and Donald Trump are committed to suspending entry and pressed for "extreme vetting for people coming in."

Kaine responded by saying that him and Clinton had "different views."

"These guys say 'All Mexicans are bad,'" Kaine said. "With regard to refugees, we want to keep people out of they are dangerous. Donald Trump said 'Keep them out if they are Muslim.'"

Kaine also pointed out that Pence's decision to suspend refugee resettlements in Indiana after the Paris attacks

"After two Syrian refugees were involved in the attack in Paris that is called Paris' 9/11, you bet I suspended that program. I stand by that decision," Pence responded.

Pence added that he believed that on the issue of refugees he believed it was important to "err on the side of the safety of the American people."

"By trashing all muslims?," Kaine responded.

—Mike Hayes

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Kaine and Pence agree on community policing but disagree on everything else

The vice presidential candidates were asked by moderator Quijano about law enforcement and race relations, and more specifically, whether "we ask too much of police officers in this country?"

Kaine focused on the notion of community policing as a solution while also touting his political experience as a mayor and governor.

"Here is what I learned as a mayor and governor," Kaine said. "The way you make communities safer and the way you make police safer is through community policing. You build the bonds between the community and the police force, bonds of understanding," he continued. "When that gap narrows, it is safer for communities, and for the police."

Kaine also used the moment to attack Trump on his recent comments to increase Stop-and-Frisk as a method of effective policing.

"Donald Trump recently said we need to do more stop and frisk around the country. That would be a big mistake because it polarizes the relationship between the police and the community," Kaine said.

Pence — who began by noting that his uncle was a career cop — said that "at the risk of agreeing with" Kaine, he thought that "community policing is a great idea."

But Pence also took Quijano's question as a opportunity to point out that the Fraternal Order of Police has supported his running mate, Donald Trump.

Pence said that police's support comes from the fact that they "hear the bad mouthing that comes from people that seize upon tragedy as a reason to use a broad brush to accuse law enforcement of implicit bias or institutional racism." He added, "That really has got to stop," later saying that "we ought to stop seizing on these moments of tragedy."

Kaine responded, saying, "People should not be afraid to bring up issues of bias in law enforcement," with Pence immediately retorting that "I am not afraid to bring that up."

Kaine continued and brought up the example of the police shooting death of Philando Castile in Minnesota, saying that Castile "had been stopped by police 40 or 50 times before that fatal incident," in an effort to defend his running mates' belief in implicit bias in the police department.

—Talal Ansari

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Of course, Kaine went after Trump after the New York Times report that he may not have paid federal taxes for 18 years

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Here are the candidates discussing police shootings:

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THIS IS IMPORTANT, ELAINE

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Little evidence to support Pence’s claim that undocumented immigrants drive down wages

Patrick Semansky / AP

During Tuesday night's vice presidential debate Mike Pence said illegal immigration was driving down wages.

"Hillary Clinton wants to continue the policy of open borders, amnesty, catch and release, sanctuary cities, all of the things driving down wages in this country," Pence said.

There is "little evidence" to show that immigrants are taking jobs from US residents, according to a recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Researchers also said the impact of immigration on wages is minimal.

Read more here.

—Adolfo Flores

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Pence says Trump will “end illegal immigration once and for all in this country"

David Goldman / AP

On the question of how their running mates would handle illegal immigration, Pence praised Trump for his plan to "end illegal immigration once and for all in this country."

Pence also pointed out that the union representing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) workers endorsed his running mate, the first time the union had ever formally supported a presidential candidate.

The Republican said that Clinton, by contrast, "wants to continue the policy of open borders, amnesty, catch and release, and sanctuary cities," all of which Pence said weaken the economy.

When he claimed to have listened to the "avalanche of insults" coming out of the Clinton camp, Kaine interjected again bringing up Trump's comments about Mexicans being rapists and criminals.

Quijano quickly gave the floor back to Pence, who then highlighted a previous Clinton comment referring to Trump supporters as a "basket of deplorables."

Kaine responded, saying Trump "believes in deportation nation," and asserted that he and Clinton "want a bipartisan reform that will keep families together; second that will help focus enforcement efforts on those who are violent; third, write a path to citizenship for those who play by the rules and take criminal background checks."

Quijano asked Pence if he and Trump planned to forcibly remove millions of undocumented immigrants. He said their plan begins with border security, and will end with immigration reform.

"That is the order you should do it," Pence said.

—Tamerra Griffin

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Pence repeats Trump claim that the Obama administration allowed ISIS's rise by leaving Iraq

Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

Mike Pence suggested that ISIS's rise can be blamed on the Obama administration, saying "this administration left a vacuum" by withdrawing US forces from Iraq. That claim, which echoes one by Donald Trump last week, is not actually the case.

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At one point these two were talking over each other so much the moderator said "the people at home" don't understand what they're saying

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Here's a spat over Clinton's tenure as secretary of state

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Here's Kaine saying a Trump presidency "scares him to death"

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Trump's huge loss in 1995 tax return shows his business acumen, Pence says

Patrick Semansky / AP

Asked to respond to details released by the New York Times this week showing that Donald Trump claimed a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns that could have allowed him to not pay any taxes for nearly 20 years, Mike Pence said it showed how a businessman persevered through a rough time.

"His tax returns showed he went through a very difficult time," Pence said.

On using the tax code to his advantage — something Trump has touted on the campaign trail — Pence added, "He did it brilliantly."

Kaine responded by pointing out that during last week's presidential debate, when Hillary Clinton suggested that Trump may not have paid any taxes for many years, Trump's responded by saying "that makes me smart."

Kaine also noted that when Trump announced that he was running for president, hehe pledged to release his taxes returns.

"He's broken his promise," Kaine said.

To which Pence responded that, as Trump has said, he intends to release his current tax returns after an audit concludes.

"Richard Nixon released his tax returns when he was under audit," Kaine retorted. "If you can't meet the Nixon standard?"

—Mike Hayes

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Mike Pence began the debate by calling the host school by the wrong name

Norwood University? Someone should tell him. Not me. #VPDebate

The vice presidential debate didn't get off to a great start for Gov. Mike Pence. The debate is being held at Virginia's Longwood University. However, it sure sounded like Trump's running mate called it "Norwood University."

People on Twitter were quick to point out the mistake. Read what else they had to say here.

—Stephanie McNeal

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Pence and Kaine spar over their running mates' records

David Goldman / AP

When asked why 60% of people polled said they distrust Clinton, Kaine said that she "has been focused on serving others, with special focus on empowering families and kids.

"It's always been about putting others first, and that's a sharp contrast to Donald Trump," he added.

Trump, Kaine said, "built a career, in the words of his own campaign staffers, 'off the backs of the little guy.'"

The Republican presidential nominee "started his career calling Mexicans rapists and criminals, and he has pursued and discredited the outrageous lie that President Obama was not born in the United States," Kaine said.

Quijano then asked why Pence thought so many Americans found Trump too erratic; in a poll, 65% of people said they believe he does not have the right temperament to be president.

Pence said that Clinton "would know a lot about an insult-driven campaign."

He said the US has "seen entire portions of the world, particularly in the Middle East, spiraling out of control in a situation we are watching hour-by-hour in Syria today," which he said was evidence of a failed foreign policy.

His statement prompted Kaine to step in point out that Kaine once lauded Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Pence tried to redirect the conversation back to Trump's trustworthiness, highlighting that he "has brought extraordinary business acumen, employed tens of thousands of people in this country."

Kaine again countered, interrupting Pence, "And cost $1 billion per year."

The Democratic vice presidential candidate praised Clinton for her foreign policy record, as well as her work with Russians to strike a deal to reduce their chemical weapons stockpile, as well as championing a negotiation with several other nations to eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program "without firing a shot."

Pence said that Iraq, as a result, was now "overrun by ISIS" because Clinton "failed to negotiate."

—Tamerra Griffin

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Kaine and Pence tout their own records in debate kick off

Tim Kaine and Mike Pence kicked off their highly anticipated debate by espousing what qualified them to be one heartbeat from the presidency should their ticket win the White House.

Kaine touted his own history as a "missionary and civil rights lawyer," a governor, and US senator.

"My primary role is to be Hillary Clinton's right-hand person and strong support I she put together the most historic administration possible. I relish that role," Kaine said.

Referring to him and his wife, Kaine also said "the thought of Donald Trump as commander-in-chief scares us to death."

Pence highlighted his small town roots, adding that he had "dreamt someday of representing my hometown" and "have the opportunity to be governor of the state I love."

But he never imagined that he would "have the opportunity to be governor of the state I love, let alone be sitting at a table like this in this kind of position."

"I would hope that if the responsibility ever fell to me in this role, that I would meet the responsibility should I be elected vice president," Pence said, adding that "I would hope, and pray, to be able to meet that moment with a lifetime of experience."

—Talal Ansari

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Donald Trump is live tweeting the VP debate and his staff is 👀

Evan Vucci / AP

Donald Trump is live tweeting the vice presidential debate — complete with his invitation to "Enjoy!" — but he wasn't alone for the event.

Our @JohnKingCNN reports the Trump campaign plans to have his team around him as Trump live tweets tonight's debate

The Republican presidential nominee's recent overnight Twitter rant regarding former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, which urged his followers to "check out [her] sex tape and past," kicked off a series of political missteps that have opened his campaign to a barrage of criticism from rival Hillary Clinton.

As the debate kicked off, Trump started his live coverage with a compliment to both candidates.

For more of his rolling commentary as it happens, go here.

—Mike Hayes

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Here are a bunch of things people think Tim Kaine And Mike Pence look like

Mike Pence looks like The Annoying Orange, which is a good match for Trump.

People have a lot of thoughts about the appearances of vice presidential candidates Mike Pence and Tim Kaine.

We did a round up so you don't have to, and it's here.

—Ellie Hall

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No, Tim Kaine didn't tweet about being in an open marriage.

A lot of people think Tim Kaine is in an open marriage, due to a screenshot of a tweet that’s been circulating since August. Spoiler alert: it's fake.
@GigiTracyXO / Via Twitter: @GigiTracyXO

A lot of people think Tim Kaine is in an open marriage, due to a screenshot of a tweet that’s been circulating since August. Spoiler alert: it's fake.

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The GOP just published all it's post-debate coverage early

GOP

The GOP just published a story ahead of the debate titled "Who Won the Vice Presidential Debate," naming Mike Pence as the victor.

"The consensus was clear after the dust settled," the article stated, "Mike Pence was the clear winner of the debate."

The short piece went on to say that Pence "made the most of his opportunity to debate Hillary's VP pick Tim Kaine," and added that the other clear winner from night's event was Donald Trump.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to the GOP for comment.

There were the "5 Questions Tim Kaine was NOT asked"

And they already knew Hillary lost the debate!

And here are 10 things voters said about the debate...before it began

Tamerra Griffin

The GOP soon pulled the pages down.

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Clinton is "very confident and excited" about Tim Kaine at the debate

Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

Hillary Clinton said during a press conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Tuesday that she was both confident and excited about the vice presidential debate, and said that she expects her running mate to win.

"He is ready to go toe to toe with Mike Pence," she said, adding that Kaine "understands what's at stake in the election, and knows what our policies are."

Clinton said that she and Kaine have been emailing back and forth as he prepares for tonight, acknowledged "how intense it is to prepare for a debate," and said she was really proud of how seriously he's taken the task.

Tamerra Griffin

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Our reporters are serving up some pre-debate analysis on the BuzzFeed News Instagram Stories account. Get on over there, and here's a little preview.

Watch @Carrasquillo and @darrensands serve 🔥 pre-debate commentary on our Instagram story 🤓 #VPdebate

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Clinton says Trump's comments about PTSD show insensitivity and ignorance

At a Tuesday campaign rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton said that Donald Trump's comments about military veterans, PTSD, and suicide highlighted the Republican presidential candidate's lack of understanding about those subjects.

Trump was blasted Monday for suggesting in a room full of veterans that those diagnosed with PTSD were not strong.

"When people come back from war and combat and they see maybe what the people in this room have seen many times over, and you're strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can't handle it," Trump said.

"Just yesterday, he said some very troubling things about posttraumatic stress," Clinton said at her Tuesday rally, according to CNN reporter Dan Merica.

"Again showing his insensitivity and ignorance about a condition that affects a lot of very brave men and women who have served America," she added.

Tamerra Griffin

In her first comment on the topic, Clinton says Trump's PTS comments from Monday show "his insensitivity and his ig… https://t.co/x43Hvl9P1j

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People are so excited, super stoked about the vice presidential debate tonight

Check out 25 tweets about tonight's vice presidential debate that will make you meh, then meh some more.

— Tanya Chen

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Joe Biden has some advice for tonight's two candidates

The White House / Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden was asked by reporter if he had advice for the candidates at the debate tonight. He did.

"Think about whether you made the right decision. Because it could be a long day in that office over there if you don't agree with the president," Biden was quoted as saying while pointing to the White House from behind a window.

Debate advice from @VP Joe Biden, via pool

—Talal Ansari

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Clinton responded to a teen girl's question about Trump's sexist comments

A 15-year-old asked Hillary Clinton about Trump's comments on women https://t.co/5CpjcWTC6e https://t.co/uL7VrhlyIz

At a town hall in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called on women to stand up against online bullies who shame and mistreat them.

During the town hall, a 15-year-old girl told Clinton, "At my school, body image s a really big issue for girls my age. I see with my own eyes what Donald Trump does when he talks about women and how they look. As the first female president, how would you undo some of that damage and help girls understand they are so much more than what they look?"

The girl's question drew cheers from the crowd, as Clinton herself shouted, "Thank you! Wow. I am so proud of you for asking that question."

"My opponent has just taken this concern to a new level," she continued. "Think about it, my opponent insulted Miss Universe. How do you get more acclaimed than that?"

Clinton said that women cannot take Trump's comments seriously anymore.

Read more here. —Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

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ICYMI: Joe Biden attacked Donald Trump for comments about soldiers with PTSD

Fox 10 Phoenix / Via youtube.com

In a passionate and angry speech in Sarasota, Florida, Monday, Vice President Joe Biden attacked Donald Trump for his comments about veterans.

Earlier on Monday, the Republican presidential candidate suggested to a room full of veterans that soldiers who return from war suffering from PTSD are not "strong" and "can't handle it."

Biden, on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton, said Trump was "thoroughly, completely uninformed."

"Where in the hell is he?" Biden said. "In Iraq I was asked to pin a silver medal on a young captain who had pulled someone out of a burning Humvee, risking his life.

Check out his speech here.

— Alicia Melville-Smith

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Are you more of a president or a vice president?

Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

Take the quiz here.

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Every American vice president ranked by hotness

Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

The ultimate ranking. No man left behind. EVERY US vice president in order of hotness.

Check it out here.

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Eric Trump: “At least my father is up at three in the morning"

Molly Riley / AFP / Getty Images

Eric Trump defended his father's early-morning tweetstorm telling Fox's America's Newsroom, "at least my father is up at three in the morning."

In a Twitter rant which began at 3:20 a.m. last Friday, Donald Trump went on a tirade against former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.

In response to host Bill Hemmer's question on whether the Republican nominee should stop tweeting in the early hours of the morning, Eric Trump said it shows "he will be there to answer the call when things go bad."

Read his full comments here. Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

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Here is the hardest political question you'll answer today

Take the quiz here.

Take the other quiz here.

—Tanya Chen

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Trump supporters are pissed they got trolled by WikiLeaks

Steffi Loos / AFP / Getty Images/Twitter

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, people around the world tuned into a WikiLeaks press conference to mark the group's 10th anniversary.

Trump supporters, including advisor Roger Stone, had been stoking anticipation for the event, hoping WikiLeaks would release more documents that might harm the Clinton campaign in the final few weeks of the presidential election.

Many excited Trump fans stayed up for the livestream, which took place in the middle of the night for those in the US, hoping for a so-called "October surprise."

But what they watched instead was basically just an hours-long infomercial for WikiLeaks.

Feeling tired and disappointed, Trump supporters vented online about the WikiLeaks let-down.

Check out all the drama here. —David Mack

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Trump says he “brilliantly” used tax laws after documents suggest he avoided income tax

Jason Connolly / AFP / Getty Images

Donald Trump on Monday attributed his personal success to successfully navigating the tax system, days after the New York Times revealed he may not have paid federal income taxes for 18 years.

"My understanding of the tax code gave me a tremendous advantage over those who didn't have a clue about it, including many of my competitors who lost everything they had, never to be heard from again," he said.

The leaked tax documents from 1995 reveal that Trump declared a loss of $916 million, which would have legally allowed him to avoid paying income taxes for almost two decades. Trump has not released any of his tax returns, prompting attacks from opponent Hillary Clinton that he has failed to pay his fair share of taxes.

At a rally in Pueblo, Colorado, on Monday, Trump did not say how much he did or did not pay in taxes, but he attributed his knowledge of the tax system to getting him out of the financial straits in the 1990s that took down many other real estate developers.

"I have legally used the tax laws to my benefit and the benefit of my company, my investors, and my employees," Trump said. "I have brilliantly used those laws."

Read the full story here.

—Claudia Koerner

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Tim Kaine’s long, conflicted history with the death penalty

Alex Wong / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — In 2005, Tim Kaine faced a tight race for governor. He was running against Jerry Kilgore, then the state's attorney general, and Kilgore was hitting him hard on the death penalty.

Two decades earlier, Kaine had arrived in Virginia a new lawyer who immediately called up the ACLU and asked how he could help. When he was asked to take over a death penalty appeal, he initially turned it down — but then changed his mind, believing that he had to put his principles to work.

"The essence of human life is probably suffering and pain," he would tell the Richmond Times-Dispatch, discussing the death penalty and his Catholicism. "The thing that redeems that is the presence of God in every person."

Kaine took on representation of Richard Whitley — sentenced to death for a brutal murder in 1980 — and spent more than two years trying, ultimately unsuccessfully, to stop his execution. For Kaine, it wasn't just about making sure an adversarial system worked properly — he called the death penalty in America "outrageous" in the extensive interview with the Times-Dispatch.

Whitley was just the first of a handful of death row inmates that Kaine would try to keep from execution over the course of 15 years, working on behalf of the kind of convicted murderers whose stories do not make for sympathetic coverage.

Read the full story here.

—Chris Geidner

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Federal Appeals Court slams Mike Pence for Syrian refugee opposition

Afp / AFP / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Monday harshly criticized Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's attempt to stop payments to a nonprofit organization that assists with resettlement of Syrian refugees.

A unanimous — and conservative — three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a preliminary injunction entered against the Indiana governor forbidding him from banning payments to the nonprofit.

"Fearing that Syrian immigrants may be potential terrorists, the governor wants to minimize their number in Indiana," 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner wrote for the court about Pence. Because Pence lacks the power to "close Indiana's borders to them," Posner continued, the governor "has shifted his focus" to Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc., a nonprofit organization that contracts with the state to provide social services to resettled refugees.

Despite Pence's fear, however, "the brief provides no evidence that Syrian terrorists are posing as refugees or that Syrian refugees have ever committed acts of terrorism in the United States. Indeed, as far as can be determined from public sources, no Syrian refugees have been arrested or prosecuted for terrorist acts or attempts in the United States."

Read the full story here.

—Chris Geidner

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Mike Pence tells wrongfully convicted man he won’t act on pardon request

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

After serving 10 years of a 40-year prison sentence for an Indiana armed robbery and attempted murder, Keith Cooper was freed when eyewitnesses recanted their testimony against him, new DNA evidence showed he wasn't at the scene of the crime, and a jailhouse informant admitted that he lied to investigators.

Five years later, Cooper filed a pardon petition that, if it were granted, would make him the first person in the state's history granted clemency based on a finding of innocence. When his request was presented to the parole board, they found unanimously that he should be pardoned and have the two serious felony charges wiped from his record.

Now, after waiting for more than two years for Governor Mike Pence to act on the board's decision, Cooper has learned that the GOP vice presidential candidate won't — unless Cooper can prove to the governor's administration that all other judicial remedies have been exhausted.

"To our knowledge, Mr. Cooper has not filed a petition with the courts in Elkhart County to determine whether post-conviction relief is available," Gov. Pence's general counsel Mark Ahearn wrote in a letter to Cooper this month. Though Cooper is now out of jail, his felony conviction remains on his record, limiting his job opportunities.

Read the full story here.

—Mike Hayes

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Transgender man sues Gov. Mike Pence and other Indiana officials

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

A transgender immigrant from Mexico who's been granted asylum in the United States sued three Indiana officials Tuesday, including Donald Trump's running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, for enforcing a state law that denies him the right to change his female birth name to his current male name.

At issue is a state policy, passed in 2010, that bans people who are not US citizens from changing their legal name, thereby blocking them from updating names on identification cards and other records.

The law applies to noncitizens who are not transgender, as well — though the lawsuit filed in US District Court in the Southern District of Indiana alleges that the policy causes transgender people particular hardship because it involuntarily outs them and subjects them to public humiliation.

The plaintiff identifies himself in court filings as "John Doe, formerly Jane Doe" in order to remain anonymous, because he fears he will be targeted if people know he is transgender. He is 31 years old, married to a woman, and has a child. In August 2015, the United States granted Doe, who has lived in the country since the 1990s, asylum from Mexico.

Read the full story here.

—Dominic Holden

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Mike Pence argued in an op-ed that Disney’s Mulan was liberal propaganda

Jen Lewis/BuzFeed

When Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence was a talk radio show host in Indiana, he wrote an op-ed declaring that the film Mulan was an attempt by some "mischievous liberal" at Disney to influence the debate over women in the military. The 1999 op-ed ran on a website for Pence's radio program that was uncovered by BuzzFeed News.

"Despite her delicate features and voice, Disney expects us to believe that Mulan's ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis with her cloddish cohorts," wrote Pence. "Obviously, this is Walt Disney's attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military."

"I suspect that some mischievous liberal at Disney assumes that Mulan's story will cause a quiet change in the next generation's attitude about women in combat and they just might be right," Pence continued. "(Just think about how often we think of Bambi every time the subject of deer hunting comes into the mainstream media debate.)"

Read the full story here.

—Andrew Kaczynski

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