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Fact check VP debate: Iraq, ‘deplorables’ and taxes

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine are on the biggest stage of their careers Tuesday night, but their well-established records are taking a bac...
Vice Presidential Debate 2016

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine are on the biggest stage of their careers Tuesday night, but their well-established records are taking a back seat to those of their running mates: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

The VP nominees are debating Trump’s taxes, Clinton’s emails, and their plans for the next four years. They are also emphasizing their own records in the state houses and Washington, explaining what they bring to the ticket.

We’ll be keeping the candidates honest throughout the debate — fact by fact.

Kaine: Pence said that Putin is a better leader than Obama


Kaine said that Pence called Putin stronger than Obama and Pence denied that claim. But he told CNN’s Dana Bash last month that it was “inarguable” that Putin is a stronger leader.

“I think it’s inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country,” Pence said.

Pence on Clinton Foundation receiving donations from foreign governments


Pence charged that the Clinton Foundation accepted donations from foreign governments while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

The Clinton Foundation did indeed accept millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state according to foundation officials.

This included a $500,000 donation from the Algerian government.

Kaine says Clinton admitted she should not have said “deplorables”


Tim Kaine defended Hillary Clinton on her “basket of deplorables” blast by saying that she quickly admitted that she shouldn’t have said that. But Clinton, who has made an issue out of Trump’s “alt-right” support only apologized for saying that half of his supporters were “deplorables.”

Quick Take: Pence says Clinton failed to negotiate plan to leave troops in Iraq


Pence accused Hillary Clinton of failing to negotiate an agreement with the Iraqi government allowing US forces to remain in the country past 2011.

When President Barack Obama entered office in 2009, he inherited a “Status of Forces” agreement signed in 2008 by his predecessor, President George W. Bush. That agreement stipulated American troops would leave Iraq by 2011.

Pence’s claim that Clinton failed to renegotiate a plan to leave US troops in Iraq is accurate, but he failed to provide the context that the original plan to remove all troops from the country was signed by Obama’s Republican predecessor. He also didn’t note that the agreement failed because of the Iraqi parliament’s unwillingness to provide immunity to US troops.

Kaine says federal appeals court struck down Pence ban on Syrian refugees because it was discriminatory


The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Pence’s ban on Syrian refugees was discriminatory. Judge Richard Posner wrote in his opinion, “(Pence) argues that his policy of excluding Syrian refugees is based not on nationality and thus is not discriminatory, but is based solely on the threat he thinks they pose to the safety of residents of Indiana. … But that’s the equivalent of his saying (not that he does say) that he wants to forbid black people to settle in Indiana not because they’re black but because he’s afraid of them, and since race is therefore not his motive he isn’t discriminating. But that of course would be racial discrimination, just as his targeting Syrian refugees is discrimination on the basis of nationality.”

Kaine says Trump wants to undercut minimum wage workers


Kaine said that Trump and Pence want to eliminate the minimum wage. Trump said in a Republican debate last year November that the minimum wage is too high, but he said this May that the minimum wage “needs to go up.”

Kaine said Mike Pence wanted to privatize Social Security


As a congressman, Mike Pence pushed conservative efforts to make Social Security and federal entitlement programs voucher-based programs — curbing spending and also, effectively, cutting future benefits. Critics have argued that would lead to the privatization of Social Security. But Pence never explicitly called for privatizing Social Security and Medicare — instead he supported giving individuals vouchers to purchase their own benefits.

Mike Pence says Kaine proposed raising taxes $4 billion while in office


Kaine did propose raising $4 billion in new revenue in his first budget, as part of a four-year plan to pay for road improvements. But the plan included some spending cuts and, more importantly, was never approved.

Mike Pence says “we cut unemployment in half”


Indiana’s unemployment dropped from a high point of 10.9% in February 2010, before Mike Pence took office, to 5.4% this summer. But most economists state that politicians and policies have very little effect on the economy and jobless rates. It would be hard to assign credit or blame to any politician on the unemployment rate.

Mike Pence calls Longwood University “Norwood University”


It’s Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. Not “Norwood.”

This story is breaking and will be updated.