29° Good Morning
29° Good Morning

Vice-presidential debate fact check

Vice-presidential candidates Mike Pence, left, and Tim Kaine

Vice-presidential candidates Mike Pence, left, and Tim Kaine debate as moderator Elaine Quijano listens at Longwood University on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, in Farmville, Virginia. Credit: Getty Images / Joe Raedle

Fact-checkers along with millions of other Americans were watching the vice-presidential debate between Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana. Here’s what they found:


In his opening statement, Pence expressed a thank you to Norwood University for hosting the debate.

The debate was held at Longwood University. (CNN).


Pence said President Barack Obama had been raising taxes.

It is true that under Obama income taxes went up on people earning more than $400,000 a year. Obama’s health care reforms come with a series of new taxes that do affect lower earners.

But Obama also has extended permanently tax cuts that were set to expire and enacted a series of temporary tax cuts aimed at jump-starting the economy. (PolitiFact)


Kaine said the Iran deal eliminated its nuclear program.

Most independent experts say the deal is both effective on paper and close to the best outcome the United States could have achieved through diplomatic means to put the brakes on the program.

It’s not certain how well the accord will hold up over time, especially once some of its provisions expire. (PolitiFact)


Kaine claims that Trump said “wages are too high.”

Trump said in a GOP debate last year that with “taxes too high, wages too high, we’re not going to be able to compete against the world.”

Two days later, he said was talking about a proposed $15 minimum wage being too high, not all U.S. wages in general. (


Pence said Clinton supports “open borders.”

Trump and Clinton differ on what to do about noncriminals who are illegally living in the United States.

But as far as prioritizing whom to deport, both have said they’d focus on criminals and dangerous individuals. She has also said, “We need to secure our borders” — not to eliminate border controls. ( and PolitiFact)


Pence said the foundation “accepted foreign contributions from foreign governments and foreign donors while she was secretary of state.”

There were rules in place then were designed to put curbs on foreign donations to the foundation, which funds health care and education programs. But those rules didn’t eliminate dollars from overseas and, in one case, the foundation has acknowledged they were not followed. (Washington Post)

Pence said only 10 percent of the foundation’s money goes to charitable work. It’s closer to 90 percent. (


Kaine said Trump has called the U.S. military “a disaster.”

He did. In a January debate, listing reasons “the country is being run horribly,” he included “our military is a disaster.” (PolitiFact)


Pence said Clinton and Kaine want to increase the number of Syrian refugees by 550 percent.

It is true that in September 2015, Clinton had called the 10,000 figure for the United States a good start, but had urged an increase up to 65,000.

A caveat: Those numbers applied to fiscal year 2016, which ended by Oct. 1, 2016. Clinton has not discussed numbers for the current year. (PolitiFact)


Kaine said Trump broke a promise to release his tax returns. Pence said he has not.

In 2014, Trump said in an Irish TV interview that if he ran for president, he would “absolutely” release his tax returns. (Politico)


Pence said he was proud that Indiana under his leadership “has balanced budgets.”

That’s true, but it’s required by law no matter who is governor. (AP)

— Compiled by William Goldschlag

News Photos and Videos