Off the top of their heads, everyone can name the two presidential candidates: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Less people, however, can name their vice presidential picks. Yet they’re just as important to know about: one of them will be second in line to run the United States. Here are the facts about the VP picks.
Republican VP: Mike Pence
Mike Pence has been a member of Congress since 2000. Before becoming governor of Indiana, he served six years as a representative until 2012.
Pence also served as House Republican chairman. As an early proponent of the Tea Party, his conservatism is reflected in many of his policies.
Pence has, on multiple occasions, pushed for tax cuts for businesses and corporations in his home state, and he also pushed for repealing the inheritance tax. Indiana saw a 9.1 percent increase in private sector jobs throughout 2016, just under the 9.3 percent national average.
In the past, Pence tried to bar Syrian refugees from entering Indiana. He has also expressed support for the building of a wall along the border of Mexico and has pushed to repeal birthright citizenship.
- Human Rights
Pence has faced controversy surrounding his stance on LGBT laws. He supported laws that would allow businesses the right to deny services to gay couples. However, he has shied away from the issue before, leading to controversy within the party.
Pence is pro-life, and he made it illegal this year in Indiana to abort a fetus with a disability.
He was amongst those who protested heavily against President Barack Obama’s regulation on the amount of carbon emission, claiming it would hike the price of electricity. He has also gone against the Clean Power Plan, taking it to court.
- Foreign Policy
Pence has called for an increase of military spending and developing a tighter relationship with Israel. Similar to Trump, he has pushed for tougher punishments for those in Guantanamo Bay. Contrary to Trump, however, he authorized the mobilization of troops to Iraq and was agaisnt setting a date to bring them back.
Stance with Trump
Along with being pro-Iraq War, Pence has also been a proponent with trading with China, an issue that Trump has railed against multiple times.
In December 2015, when Trump proposed a ban on Muslim immigrants on Twitter, Pence responded, claiming it to be “offensive and unconstitutional.” He has since retracted the statement.
All in all, Pence gives Trump an edge amongst conservatives, being very well known and liked as “a Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican. In that order.”
Democratic VP: Tim Kaine
Before entering the world of politics, Tim Kaine served as an attorney, eventually becoming mayor of Richmond, Virginia. Kaine has served as both Lieutenant Governor and Governor of Virginia and has been a chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Kaine is a big proponent for Commonwealth, opposing the Republican “Cut, Cap, and Balance” legislation, which would have led to cuts for Social Security and Medicare. In general, Kaine is highly against cuts made by Congress.
His state of Virginia has strived in the service sector while suffering in the private sector. It is also a state with some of the highest taxes.
Kaine endorses the DREAM Act, a bill supported by Obama that grants illegal immigrants studying in the United States a chance at citizenship. Kaine supports immigration reforms and allowing foreign students access to green cards.
- Human Rights
As one of the original writers of the Equality Act, Kaine supports non-discrimination, including that based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Similarly, he has also pushed for equal pay for women.
While he does not believe in banning abortion, he personally disagrees with it and is a supporter of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal dollars from going into funding abortion.
Kaine is a self-proclaimed “avid outdoorsman” and has voted against certain environmentally detrimental projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline.
He has, however, supported offshore drilling.
- Foreign Policy
Kaine is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services, and Budget committees and has adamantly criticized the war on the Islamic State. He has criticized Obama’s strategies and has condemned both the administration and Congress for lack of action.
Like Clinton, he supports the creation of humanitarian safe zones, which are demilitarized areas that facilitate the safe transport of humanitarian aid. He is also pushing for a more modern approach to nuclear weapons policies.
Stance with Clinton
For the most part, the Democratic candidates share identical ideologies and stances on most issues, except for abortion. While Kaine supports the Hyde Amendment, the Clinton campaign is against it.
Both Clinton and Kaine have heavy backgrounds in foreign policy. Kaine helps to bring in the moderate Christian vote Clinton needs. Along with that, his fairly non-controversial record gives Clinton a barrier against criticism, especially for a man described as “cleaner than the board of health” by Democratic political consultant Dave Saunders.
By Nathalie Mairena