The first and only Vice Presidential debate for the 2016 race to the White House took place on Tuesday evening at Longwood University, in Virginia. Although Tim Kaine is a Senator from the ‘state for lovers’, the debate wasn’t showing him much love as he was ridiculed for interrupting the GOP nominee, and his over-rehearsed answers. On the other side of the debate table sat Mike Pence, the Governor of Indiana and the VP pick for the Republican nominee Donald Trump. Pence was nailed on Twitter for dodging questions and smirking – at one point, laughing at Clinton’s right-hand man.
The evening was full of non-answers and smear tactics. It left Americans on social media wanting more thoughtful debates on hot-button domestic issues like abortion, cannabis, and LGBTQ rights. Marijuana, for example, is prime for discussion on the main stage. With nine states voting on either medical or recreational cannabis, and more than half the U.S. with some form of medical marijuana program – it’s no longer a fringe movement.
Voters will choose their candidate for President this November, and in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, and North Dakota – they are also voting on cannabis.
The debate is almost over, and not one question about global warming, Indiana's anti-LGBT laws, abortion, marijuana legalization… #VPDebate
— (((daniel modell))) (@dMnyc) October 5, 2016
Soooo where's the legalization of marijuana in this discussion? No lip service to that anymore? #VPDebate
— Trudy Redzich (@ToasterTruuudel) October 5, 2016
Activists, business people, and patients are going to be disappointed with this Vice Presidential debate as there was no mention of the hot topic that’s been steadily gaining momentum across the nation. Instead, the media focused on the bloopers, like Pence’s welcoming statement.
The GOP VP pick didn’t have a great start as he butchered the name of the hosting university. Not to miss a beat, the media was all over it with their fact-checking. On Twitter, it was even trending at one point – and of course, it wasn’t long before someone created a fake ‘Norwood University’ Twitter account.
#VPDebate fact-check: https://t.co/TB9YV1cHnj pic.twitter.com/USo1s1YnJr
— WNYC (@WNYC) October 5, 2016
I'm preeeeetttttyyy sure it's Norwood University Seth. #VPDebate pic.twitter.com/17oOY0cxT6
— #WAM™ (@adammull) October 5, 2016
Tracey, sorry you haven't heard back from Kim in Admissions. We'll get you enrolled ASAP. Kim… you're fired. #NorwoodGradsWorkHere https://t.co/aR6ihiOiP9
— Norwood University (@norwoodcollege) October 5, 2016
The word of the evening: TRUST.
Trust that the VPs were defending their respective presidential candidates and trust that they poorly played offense; often talking over one another and attacking each other’s candidate’s trustworthiness.
“We trust her with the most important thing in our life: We have a son deployed overseas” —Tim on Hillary #VPDebate https://t.co/gOebYeetCE
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) October 5, 2016
.@timkaine asks @mike_pence “Why don’t you trust women to make this choice for themselves?” when talking about abortion. #vpdebate
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) October 5, 2016
Anyone with a pulse and any sense at all doesn't trust #Hillary. She is a manipulative, evil woman with no conscience. #PenceWon #Vpdebate pic.twitter.com/rQb2wnRLyI
— Steve Hirsch (@Stevenwhirsch99) October 5, 2016
To be fair, it’s recently surfaced that Trump may not have paid years’ worth of income taxes due to his nearly one billion dollar loss years ago.
Most of the evening consisted of Kaine’s interruptions, the moderator was constantly telling them to allow one another to finish their answers before chiming in. Trump fans took to Twitter about it:
Kaine is killing himself by constantly interrupting. #VPDebate
— Ron Nehring (@RonNehring) October 5, 2016
Summary of the #VPDebate so far. Kaine just finds it impossible to not interrupt, Pence staying calm and polite. #MAGA @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/NJwXJ7tiEa
— Choob (@PresidentChoob) October 5, 2016
If ya'll could stop talking over each other & answer a question directly that would be great. #VPDebate pic.twitter.com/h8NXCEUpiL
— Kat (@k8tekat) October 5, 2016
Except there was that one time…
#Pence: #Kaine left his state $2 billion dollars in the hole. I see #Kaine didn't interrupt that time#VPdebate #VPdebate2016 #Debates2016
— Wayne Dupree (@WayneDupreeShow) October 5, 2016
On the other hand, Clinton fans on Twitter complained that Pence wasn’t answering any of the moderator’s’ questions.
Why do I feel like @mike_pence isn't answering any of the questions directly? #VPDebate pic.twitter.com/3HwSGM8CVw
— Joe Amorim Oliveira (@MrOlivetree25) October 5, 2016
I think my new drinking game will be drinking whenever Pence says "Trump has a plan" while NOT answering the question. #VPDebate
— Nicole Wolverton (@nicolewolverton) October 5, 2016
Pence matches Trump in not answering actual questions, Kaine matches Trump in frequency of interruptions. #VPDebate
— Julie Barnofski (@jbarnofski) October 5, 2016
Some of the biggest burns of the debate were mostly one-liners directed at the presidential nominees.
.@mike_pence calls #Trump's various insults "small potatoes" compared with #Clinton's "basket of deplorables" insult. @NBCDFW #VPDebate pic.twitter.com/jEiXkXtGMO
— Brian Curtis (@BrianCurtisNBC5) October 5, 2016
When Pence drops the "even Bill Clinton said Obamacare is broken" line #VPDebate pic.twitter.com/Ggizx2pbcq
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) October 5, 2016
Kaine: Do American people want a "you're hired" economy under @HillaryClinton or a "you're fired" economy under @realDonaldTrump #VPDebate
— Ben Swann (@BenSwann_) October 5, 2016
The problem with this VP debate is that it just came off very rehearsed, on all accounts.
If @timkaine smirks during a question, that means he has a rehearsed one-liner tucked away under his arm. #VPDebate
— Noel Dávila (@NoelDavila) October 5, 2016
Sorry, folks. I hate these written moderator questions. LISTEN to the discussion and let your questions flow from there. #VPDebate
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) October 5, 2016
Mike Pence is using the same number of pre-rehearsed answers as Tim Kaine – but he's delivering them in a more authentic manner. #VPDebate
— Mr Media Training (@MrMediaTraining) October 5, 2016
Despite their political affiliations, everyone put down their arms when they mentioned their sons were honorably fighting for America.
I do appreciate that these men both have sons serving our country. Much respect for that. #VPDebate
— Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) October 5, 2016
Some viewers didn’t even stay tuned-in after a question on North Korea took an extremely unbecoming turn. The question was about the dangers of their possible development of a nuclear missile, alas, they went on tangents slamming their opponent’s foundations.
"This is a question about North Korea."
— Eric Wolfson (@EricWolfson) October 5, 2016
Congrats, gentlemen, by not answering the N Korea question and cont'd mudslinging, I have changed the channel. #VPDebate #Children 💤💤💤💤💤💤
— iJason Blog (@iJasonblog) October 5, 2016
Apparently, the actor from Modern Family was more forgiving.
Elaine. Give everyone an Adderall and ask your question about North Korea one last time. #VPDebate
— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (@jessetyler) October 5, 2016
There were criticisms for both the GOP and Democratic side, but c’mon, could they BE more narrow-minded? They spent over half of the debate attacking emails and tax returns.
Too bad Pence's dreadful record on LGBT issues and other social issues didn't come up in the #VPDebate. Pence is 15 years behind the times.
— Rafal Hill (@rafalhill) October 5, 2016
Really. How were social issues glossed over in that #VPDebate? Women's rights? LGBTQ rights? Climate change? Poverty? Where were they? pic.twitter.com/Lp8IuiCULZ
— Vishaal Reddy (@ReddySetGo1) October 5, 2016
Finally, some domestic issues were discussed, and it didn’t go very well for Trump when Kaine drudged up what he has said on women’s rights.
Kaine: "We support Roe v. Wade….we don't think that women should be punished, as Donald Trump said, for getting an abortion." #VPDebate
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) October 5, 2016
Pence seriously saying that Trump said women should be punished for abortion "because he's not a polished politician." #VPdebate
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) October 5, 2016
Pence did take the religious road and stood up for his anti-abortion political views. Then the actress from the hit series Orange is the New Black really nailed it when she pointed out Kaine’s rebuttal against Pence’s religious political views.
"Why don't you trust women?" -a gentle but passionate Tim Kaine's finest moment and quote of the night. #VPDebate
— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) October 5, 2016
Let’s face it, they are still two white men debating a female reproductive rights issue.
Men debating abortion is like listening to… men debating abortion. #VPdebate
— Janet Reitman (@janetreitman) October 5, 2016
Which brings us back to the word of the evening, TRUST. And you can trust that I’ll be ready to bring you the highlights of the second presidential debate which takes place on Sunday, October 9 at 8 PM CT at Washington University in St. Louis and will be moderated by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.
There are two remaining presidential debates that could finally see candidates address the burning question that Americans really want to know – what about marijuana legalization?
It’s more than a question of legalizing medicine and adult-use. The country is $19.3 trillion dollars in debt and, with the potential to make billions of dollars from one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S., the budding marijuana market could hold some answers to America’s money woes. It’s hard to imagine a better topic to discuss at a political debate, especially when it’s been proven that 420-legal states are collecting millions in taxes from their state-run medical and recreational marijuana programs.
The VP debate touched upon the debt and failing entitlement programs in flippant, talking-point-generated answers. Americans deserve to hear how the next president plans to fix America’s crippling debt. They also deserve to hear the candidates address cannabis, which can be life-saving medicine to patients and veterans.