For the first time ever, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine appeared on stage together for the vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. The vice presidential candidates got their chance to be in the spotlight. The debate got off to a pretty great start which was made clear by the transcript of Mike Pence's opening statement, which proved that he had come to the debate to win.
Pence's Republican Party running mate, Donald Trump, reportedly did not spend too much time preparing for his first debate against Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — to some viewers, that showed on the debate stage, too. But Pence was was taking his preparation a little more seriously. According to ABC News, Pence told talk show host Hugh Hewitt he was doing a "little preparation" for the debate and prepare in a "little bit more traditional" aspect than Trump. According to CNN, Pence had been preparing for the vice presidential debate since he joined the Republican ticket in July (woah) and has been “studying binders of material.” Pence’s preparation also included practice debates, using Florida Gov. Scott Walker as a stand in for Kaine.
His preparation showed, as Pence came out with a strong and solid opening statement when Pence was asked about presidential leadership in a time of tragedy and what qualified him to step into the role of President of the United States. However, Pence's opening statement did not come without a gaffe — Pence accidentally thanked Norwood University instead of Longwood University, where the debate was hosted, during his opening statement, according to NPR.
A full transcript of Pence's statements can be read below:
In the end, though public reviews and political analysts were mixed on who actually came out the victor following Tuesday's vice presidential debate, one thing was clear — Mike Pence knew exactly what he was doing, and he pulled it off without a hitch.