Washington, Oct 3 (EFE).- The two main U.S. vice presidential candidates – Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Indiana’s Republican governor, Mike Pence – will face off this week in their only televised debate amid the controversy that has arisen after the debate clash between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The first debate between the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees last week appears to have resulted in a victory for former Secretary of State Clinton, not so much at the time of the debate but because she was able to question and sow doubts about the billionaire.
Having so far refused to release his past tax returns, as has been the custom for all U.S. presidential candidates for decades, Trump claims that he is being audited by the Internal Revenue Service and, therefore, he “cannot” release the documents.
However, Clinton managed to turn that refusal into her winning blow in the debate and, a week later, the magnate’s taxes – along with his verbal attacks on former Miss Universe Alicia Machado – are still making headlines nationwide.
“Maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is. … Maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be. … Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people … to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes,” said Clinton in the debate, casting doubt on Trump’s business performance.
Therefore, it’s entirely likely that the two running mates will also make reference to the issue in their debate on Tuesday evening from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, one of the key states in the Nov. 8 election.
“Don’t screw up – that’s the goal of a V.P. debate,” Republican Party communications specialist Brett O’Donnell, who has served as an adviser to former President George W. Bush, along with Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney when they were presidential candidiates, told The New York Times.
For Pence, the main challenge will be to defend Trump in the controversy that now envelops him, along with justifying his other controversial comments, while he must present himself as a reasonable, conservative candidate who represents classic Republican values.
Kaine, meanwhile, will presumably have to be prepared to field any accusation about Clinton’s e-mail scandal, something that he has not had to spend much time on during the campaign so far, where he has focused on emphasizing and explaining the former first lady’s political agenda.