Tim Kaine’s best quotes from the vice presidential debate show his sassy side

Tuesday night saw the first and, unfortunately, only vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, neither of whom have stricken Americans as the most charismatic politicians out there. Thus, the heated nature of their arguments throughout the evening was pretty surprising. In many ways, the night belonged to the Democratic vice presidential candidate, as Kaine’s best quotes from the vice presidential debate helped rebrand him.

Known to most voters as everyone’s favorite suburban white dad, Kaine proved that not only does he know what he’s talking about (I mean, obviously, he’s a Harvard-education lawyer for crying out loud), but that he’s prepared to defend and fight for his stances, which would be to the benefit of poor, female, and minority Americans around the nation compared to the other guy. Knowledge of the issues, as well as passion and drive, are important characteristics for a position that will hugely influence the nation’s policy-making decisions for the next four years.

But that being said, it doesn’t hurt to be able to throw in some savage shade and know how to hit the enemy with sharp retorts and clap backs every now and then. I think a good amount of millennials would agree they’d like a leader who could slay in a rap battle, and after Tuesday night, it’s pretty clear Kaine satisfies that requirement.

Here were some of Kaine’s best statements:

On measuring the success of an administration

“The success of an administration is the difference we make in people’s lives.”

On passion, trustworthiness, and Donald Trump

“Here’s what people should look at as they look at a public servant. Do they have a passion in their life that showed up before they were in public life and have they held onto that passion throughout their life regardless of whether they were in office or not, succeeding or failing? … That’s a sharp contrast with Donald Trump. Donald Trump always puts himself first.”

On how Pence could possibly defend Trump

“He built a business career, in the words of one of his campaign workers, ‘off the backs of the little guy,’ as a candidate he started his campaign with a speech where he called Mexicans criminals and rapists, he has pursued the discredited and really outrageous lie that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. It is so painful to suggest that we go back to those days where an African-American couldn’t be a citizen of the United States. I can’t imagine how Governor Pence can defend the selfish, me-first style of Donald Trump.”

A TLDR of the differences between Trump and Clinton’s tax plans

“Hillary and I have a plan on the table where it’s a ‘you’re hired plan’ … The Trump plan is a different plan; it’s a ‘you’re fired’ plan.”

On Nixon and Trump 

“Richard Nixon released tax returns when he was under audit. If you can’t beat Nixon standards…”

It’s worth noting both Nixon and Trump consistently bring up the “silent majority” of embittered, insecure and disillusioned racists.

On community policing and trust

“The way we make the community safer, and police safer, is through community policing. You build the bonds between the community and police force… and when people feel comfortable in their communities, that gap between police and the community they serve narrows, and when that gap narrows, it’s safer for the communities, and it’s safer for police … Stop-and-frisk… would be a big mistake, because it polarizes the relationship between the police and communities.”

In response to Pence dismissing accusations of bias in policing

“People shouldn’t be afraid to bring up issues of bias in law enforcement. If you’re afraid to have the discussion you’ll never solve it.”

Who’s really running the insult-driven campaign?

“Look for Donald Trump apologizing to John McCain for saying he’s wasn’t a hero. Did Donald Trump apologize for calling women slobs, pigs, dogs, disgusting? Did Donald Trump apologize for taking after somebody in a Twitter war and making fun of her weight? Did Donald Trump apologize for saying African-Americans are living in hell? Did Donald Trump apologize for saying President Obama was not even a citizen of the United States? You will look in vain to see Donald Trump ever taking responsibility for anybody and apologizing.”

So, Clinton and Trump’s immigration plans are just a little different…

“There’s two plans on the table. Hillary and I believe in comprehensive immigration reform. Donald Trump wants deportation nation. You got to pick your choice. Hillary and I want a bipartisan reform, keeping families together is the top priority … Donald Trump wants to deport 16 million Americans.”

On the discriminatory nature of Trump and Pence’s Syrian refugee plan

KAINE: “You’re violating the Constitution by blocking people based on their national origin rather than whether they’re dangerous.”

PENCE: “That’s not… that’s absolutely false.”

KAINE: “That’s what the Seventh Circuit decided … Hillary and I want to do enforcement based on if people are dangerous. These guys say all Mexicans are bad … Donald Trump says keep them out if they’re Muslim. Mike Pence put a program in place to keep them out if they’re from Syria, and yesterday, an appellate court with three Republican judges struck down the Pence plan and said it was discriminatory.”

Someone did his research.

On Trump’s global role models, Mount Rushmore, and Trump’s approach to foreign policy

“He trash talks the military: John McCain is no hero, the generals need to be fired, I know more than them. He wants to end alliances: NATO is obsolete and third. He loves dictators. He has a personal Mount Rushmore of Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and Saddam Hussein. He believes — Donald Trump believes that the world will be safer if more nations have nuclear weapons. He said Saudi Arabia should get them, Japan should get them, and corporate jet should get them. When he was confronted with this, and told — and Korea should get them.”

Sure, unlike a certain Libertarian presidential candidate, Trump is capable of naming foreign leaders. The problem just lies in whom he’s naming. Defend that, Pence.

A fundamental difference between Trump and Clinton on 9/11

“On 9/11, Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s hometown was attacked. Young men and women signed up to fight terrorism. Hillary Clinton went to Washington to get funds to rebuild her city and protect first responders, but Donald Trump was fighting a different fight — a fight to avoid paying taxes so he would not support the fight against terror, he would not support troops.”

On Trump’s priorities

“When Donald Trump sits down with Vladimir Putin, is it going to be America’s bottom line or Donald Trump’s bottom line with his business dealings. This could be solved if Donald Trump was willing to release his tax returns. And I know he is laughing at this.”

On the ability to be religious and support choice

“Hillary and I are both from religious backgrounds. Her Methodist church experience was very informative for her as a public servant. But we both feel you should live fully and with enthusiasm for your faith. But, let’s talk about abortion and choice. We support Roe v. Wade. We support the constitutional right of American women to consult their own conscience and make their own decision about pregnancy. That is something we trust American women to do.

And we don’t think that women should be punished, as Donald Trump showed, for making the decision to have an abortion. Governor Pence wants to repeal Roe v. Wade. He says he wants to put it on the trash heap of history. Before Roe v. Wade, states could punish women if they made the choice to abort a pregnancy.

I think you should live your moral values, but the last thing governments should do is to have laws that would punish women who make reproductive choices. That is the fundamental difference between the Clinton-Kaine ticket and the Trump-Pence ticket.”

As Kaine put it, himself, on reproductive rights and respecting women as human beings with bodily autonomy, these tickets share nothing.

That unforgettable Christianity/immigration clap back

“There is a great line from the gospel. When Donald Trump says women should be punished, that Mexicans are rapists and criminals, he is showing you who he is.”

Safe to say Pence didn’t see that one coming. His response: “Senator, with that Mexican thing again.” Oh, that damned “Mexican thing.”

Although the debate was overall terribly boring, these quotes helped keep things a tiny bit interesting.