ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – This Sunday, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will square off at Washington University. But last night, vice presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence stepped into the spotlight.
A handful of students gathered to watch the vice presidential debate last night. While most had an overall positive take on Kaine and Pence’s performance, many seemed unswayed.
“They don’t respond to the question,” one foreign student says. Another foreign student notes the debate was “a good chance for us to learn about English in American politics,” but remains unsure about both candidates.
Other students were pleasantly surprised by the debate.
“I think both actually did very well. I didn’t really expect them to do that well. I thought it was much better than the presidential debate,” Washington University student Anne Charles says.
She also notes debate moderator Elaine Quijano did well in keeping the candidates on topic. “Sometimes [Kaine and Pence] tried to circumvent the questions, which can be frustrating, but I think the moderator did really well at making sure they would get to it.”
Viewers said they were happy to see a respectful, fact-based debate compared to the presidential debate at Hofstra University.
“Pence did get more likable, that’s because he was more mature in terms of not interrupting nearly as much. Tim Kaine let me down in that regards,” debate viewer Matt Heskamp says. He adds his friends on social media referred to Kaine as “the Donald Trump of this debate.”
David Certner of AARP, a co-sponsor of last night’s watch party, says he was pleased with the debate but still wants specific issues, such as Social Security, thoroughly addressed in future debates.
“For the first time in a debate, we got a quick question about Social Security, which was great,” Certner says. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get too much of an answer as they basically just kind of repeated some things that have already been on the websites of their candidates, who haven’t said much about it anyway.”
He adds Social Security is a critical issues that impacts millions of Americans, so both presidential and vice presidential candidates need to discuss the program’s future. AARP has launched a social media campagin to get the discussion rolling at 2016TakeAStand.org.
Ultimately, the debate viewers say they were unswayed by Kaine and Pence, although a few undecided voters leaned towards Hillary Clinton by the end of the night.
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