By now, you have probably seen every gif set, infographic, “Saturday Night Live” skit, and nightly news special about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. You know their policies, their scandals and their famous quips. You’ve seen the debates and their TV ads, or at least read about them on your never-ending Twitter feed. You’ve got a good understanding of everything you need to know and probably some things you didn’t want to know.
Story by Olivia Arredondo
Illustrations by Sonia Margolin
But what about the other guys on the ballot? How well do we know the Democratic and Republican vice presidential candidates? Remember that if something detrimental happens to the next president, their running-mate-turned-VP will take over the Oval Office. Trump wants to “build the wall,” but is his VP nom okay with that? Clinton wants to tighten gun control, but would her ballot partner carry on that policy?
Here, we’re breaking down some of the political stances of Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine.
THE ISSUE: LGBTQ rights
Pence does not support gay marriage. Like, at all. In the last decade, he has voted “no” to prohibiting the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, and federally-funded treatment for sufferers of HIV and AIDS. He also said “yes” to defining marriage as an act between a man and a woman. (www.ontheissues.org, The New York Times)
Kaine is a fighter for the LGBT community. Like Hillary, Kaine wants to close the wage gap. He also said “no” to defining marriage as only between a man and a woman (whereas his running mate has historically vacillated on the issue). In 2006, as a senator from Virginia, he fought against a state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in the state. (www.ontheissues.org, The New York Times)
THE ISSUE: Women’s rights
Unlike Trump, Pence has always been against abortion. He also maintains a strong stance against embryonic stem cell research. As governor of Indiana, Pence has helped advance several legislative initiatives to limit access to abortions and to legally punish doctors that perform unauthorized abortions. These laws include nixing federal funding of Planned Parenthood and stopping funding for abortions for beneficiaries of Obamacare. (Politico)
As a devout Catholic, Kaine is personally against abortions. This upset a lot of liberals, but Kaine has historically been a supporter of public funding for the procedure, is an advocate for women’s privacy protections and is a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade. However, he carries torches for promoting abstinence, mandating parental consent for minors receiving abortions, and voted to ban “partial birth” abortions. (CNN, www.ontheissues.org)
THE ISSUE: Education
In 2001, Pence voted against “No Child Left Behind” because of his belief that the federal government should not interfere with local governments’ decisions on education. He also said it was okay for students to express their religious beliefs by openly praying during school and has fought to keep “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. Pence has long been an advocate for letting parents choose their child’s school (and not limited by location), allowing parents to homeschool, and not requiring state exams for students. Recently, he has become a supporter of federally-funded preschool programs for poor families. (Indystar, www.ontheissues.org, The New York Times)
Actually, he’s pretty similar to Pence on these issues. As former governor of Virginia, Kaine advocated to increase funding for state preschools to serve poor families. He also said, “um, standardized testing totally stinks” and has pushed to allow states to have stronger local control over their educational policies. Kaine also wants to lower college tuition rates, a policy that Hillary has recently adopted. But one time when Kaine was governor, he cut funding for colleges and actually ending up raising tuition. Oops. (The New York Times)
THE ISSUE: Environment
He’s not exactly friends with the EPA. He said “yes” to the Bush administration’s Energy Task Force that called for the maintaining of our reliance on petroleum as our main source of energy. Pence is all for investments in private energy companies and not for supporting research and projects for energy conservation and renewable resources. (www.ontheissues.org, The New York Times)
Both Hillz and Kaine know the dangers of rising sea levels, and they’re putting their heads together to find a solution to the ever-disappearing coastline. But Kaine had environmentalists scratching their heads when he vocalized his support for offshore oil drilling, which has inadvertently forced Clinton to clarify her stance on fossil fuels. However, as governor of Virginia, Kaine got the state’s rivers and bays cleaned up to protect the fishies (and tourism). (The New York Times, Mother Jones)
THE ISSUE: International affairs
He’s A-okay with increasing border security, including the building of a preventative structure on the U.S.-Mexico border, to keep unauthorized persons from living and working in the U.S. However, Pence did not defend Trump when the presidential candidate wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. Pence also said “no” to granting citizenship at birth and said “yes” to the Iraq war and U.S. intervention in Libya. One of his main goals is to protect the American people from terrorism--and to increase their trust in law enforcement--by means that include conducting electronic surveillance and wiretaps without warrants. (www.ontheissues.org, The New York Times, IVN)
“May I please remind you that it does not say ‘R.S.V.P.’ on the Statue of Liberty?” said Tim Kaine one time, probably. He’s good with protecting undocumented workers from deportation and granting them citizenship so long as they give back to America’s piggy bank. He and Clinton are also giving Congress more power to direct military action against ISIS. They support establishing safe zones in Syria to protect civilians as well as the moderate groups opposing Syrian President Assad that the U.S. is currently supporting. Kaine also currently serves on the Foreign Relations committee and Armed Services committee in the U.S. Senate. (Foreign Policy, The New York Times)
THE ISSUE: Health care
As the governor of Indiana, Pence approved of Obamacare’s expanded healthcare coverage. He’s happy to let the people have their health benefits...so long as beneficiaries are paying for their piece of the pie. The state of Indiana can take low-income users’ plates away after six months if they don’t pay their premiums and use health savings accounts. (Politico)
In 2007 while Kaine was governor of Virginia, the tragic mass shooting at Virginia Tech occurred. Shortly afterwards, Kaine signed in legislation that granted over $40 million to improve the state’s mental health care practices, including giving inmates with mental health needs the care that they require. In his time in the Senate, Kaine has also supported Obamacare and advocated for expanded Medicaid coverage in Virginia. But Kaine made a lot of people mad when, as governor, he gave the go-ahead for the state of Virginia to require all girls to receive the controversial HPV vaccine before they started high school. (NPR)
Was in FIJI (or Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity)
Passionate Indianapolis Colts fan
Enjoys playing Madden NFL
Loves John Mellencamp
Pretty good at horseback riding and bike riding
Fluent in Spanish
Can play the harmonica
Taught carpentry and welding in Honduras
Likes Alabama Shakes
Remember: Election Day is November 8!