VP Debate Spoiled by Constant Interruptions as Tim Kaine, Mike Pence Face Off
The contentious vice presidential debate was one of interruptions, as more than 100 marred the 90-minute faceoff between Democrat Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia and Republican Governor Mike Pence of Indiana.
Pence cut off Kaine 40 times, but Hillary Clinton’s running mate interrupted Pence 70 times, according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight.
Moderator Elaine Quijano repeatedly scolded the politicians for their constant bickering, saying: “Gentlemen, the people at home can't understand either one of you when you talk over each other like this.”
Critics panned Quijano’s performance as moderator, saying she seemed committed to sticking to a script when a meaningful back-and-forth between the running mates was occurring.
"Elaine Quijano seems intent on running through her questions, even when significant exchanges are happening," CNN senior political commentator and former adviser to President Barack Obama, David Axelrod, tweeted.
The Atlantic’s national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg echoed Axelrod’s sentiments, tweeting: "Elaine Quijano should occasionally go where the debate is going, and not stop these interesting arguments.”
But others sympathized with Quijano’s plight.
“It was like two cats in a bag. I really felt for Elaine Quinan trying to say, ‘Gentleman please, gentleman please,’ to no avail,” Gayle King said after the debate.
Many polls show the majority of voters believe Pence won the debate, displaying a polished performance that contrasted with Kaine’s constant interruptions.
Both presidential candidates praised their running mates for their performances.
“Lucky to have a partner like @TimKaine who stood up for our shared vision tonight—instead of trying to deny it,” Clinton tweeted.
Donald Trump felt differently, writing on Twitter, “Mike Pence won big. We should all be proud of Mike!”
Though Tuesday’s debate marks the only time the vice presidential candidates will come head-to-head, Clinton and Trump will face off for the second time on Sunday.