World Bulletin / News Desk
The two candidates for US vice president launched bitter attacks on the reputations and policies of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Tuesday during a fiery debate five weeks from Election Day.
Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence sought to highlight their capabilities as the men who could be a heartbeat away from the presidency, but essentially they were on stage fighting a proxy war for their running mates scrapping for every vote on November 8.
Kaine, a senator from Virginia, took aim at Trump from the beginning, saying the idea of the brash Republican as commander-in-chief "scares us to death."
"I can't imagine how Governor Pence can defend the insult-driven, selfish, me-first style of Donald Trump," Kaine said.
Kaine sought to portray himself as a deeply experienced local, state and national politician who would be the "right-hand person" for Clinton, whom he described as trustworthy and more than capable in the role of commander in chief.
An imperturbable Pence, governor of Indiana and a Christian conservative, calmly shot back.
"You would know a lot about an insult-driven campaign," he said, highlighting Clinton's relentless criticism of Trump and how she painted half of her Republican rival's supporters as "deplorables."
"We see entire portions of the world, particularly the wider Middle East, spinning out of control. The situation we're watching hour-by-hour in Syria today is the result of the weak foreign policy that Hillary Clinton helped lead in this administration and create."
For many Americans, the debate was their first prolonged exposure to the men who would be next in line for the presidency if their side wins in November.
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