US vice-presidential debate: 10 colourful quotes from Tim Kaine and Mike Pence

Mr Tim Kaine (left) and Mr Mike Pence pass each other on stage after their televised debate.
Mr Tim Kaine (left) and Mr Mike Pence pass each other on stage after their televised debate.PHOTO: REUTERS

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Indiana Governor Mike Pence briefly took the spotlight off their more illustrious presidential nominees as they crossed swords in a battle of the vice-presidential candidates.

The 90-minute-long debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, on Tuesday (Wednesday Oct 5, Singapore time) saw Mr Kaine and Mr Pence launch spirited attacks against Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton respectively.

Both also talked over each other so much that debate moderator Elaine Quijano was forced to intervene and call for calm.

Here are some of their best quotes:

Tim Kaine

Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine gestures during the debate. PHOTO: AFP

1. Summing up Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump's respective approaches

"Do you want a you're hired president in Hillary Clinton or a you're fired president in Donald Trump?"

2. On the trust he places in Mrs Clinton versus Mr Trump

"I'll just say this: We trust Hillary Clinton, my wife and I, and we trust her with the most important thing in our life. We have a son deployed overseas in the Marine Corps right now. We trust Hillary Clinton as president and commander-in-chief, but the thought of Donald Trump as commander-in-chief scares us to death."


3. Channelling his inner Ronald Reagan in an attack on Mr Trump

"Ronald Reagan said something really interesting about nuclear proliferation back in the 1980s - he said the problem with nuclear proliferation is that some fool or maniac could trigger a catastrophic event.

"And I think that's who Governor Pence's running mate is. Exactly who Ronald Reagan warned us of."

4. On Mr Trump's lack of a (or any) coherent plan

"Donald Trump can't start a Twitter war with Miss Universe without shooting himself in the foot."

5. Criticising Mr Trump's nuclear policy

"Donald Trump believes that the world will be safer if more nations have nuclear weapons. He's said Saudi Arabia should get them, Japan should get them, Korea should get them. And when he was confronted with this and told, wait a minute, terrorists could get those, proliferation could lead to nuclear war, here's what Donald Trump said, and I quote: 'Go ahead, folks, enjoy yourselves'.

"I would love to hear Governor Pence tell me what's so enjoyable or comical about nuclear war."

Mike Pence

Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence discusses an issue during the debate. PHOTO: REUTERS

6. Harping on how Mrs Clinton had once lumped half of Mr Trump's supporters 'a basket of deplorables'

"Senator, you and Hillary Clinton would know a lot about an insult-driven campaign."

7. Responding to Mr Kaine's attack on Mr Trump's controversial immigration stance

"Senator, you whipped out that Mexican thing again."

8. Summing up Mr Kaine's lengthy critique of Mr Trump

"Did you work on that one a long time? Because that had a lot of creative lines in it."

9. Defending Mr Trump's possible non-payment of income taxes for 18 years

"Senator, do you take all the deductions that you're entitled to? I do!"

10. On why he's the best candidate to advise Mr Trump on economic policy

"I mean, I'm very proud of the fact that I come from a state that works, the state of Indiana has balanced budgets. We cut taxes, we've made record investments in education and in infrastructure, and I still finish my term with US$2 billion (S$2.74 billion) in the bank."