VP Debate: Kaine, Pence Both Quote the Bible on Abortion Positions

Tim Kaine, Mike Pence
Tim Kaine and Mike Pence discuss an issue during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. |

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine and Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence both referred to the Bible when discussing their views on abortion.

At the vice presidential debate Tuesday evening at Longwood University, the two vice presidential hopefuls were asked about their faith and how it connects to their public policy positions, including the abortion debate.

For his answer, Pence talked about the pro-life legislation advanced during his time as governor of Indiana.

Tim Kaine, Mike Pence
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence pass each other on stage at the conclusion of their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. |

"The state of Indiana has also sought to make sure that we expand alternatives in health care counseling for women, non-abortion alternatives," said Pence.

"I'm also very pleased at the fact we're well on our way in Indiana to becoming the most pro-adoption state in America. I think if you're going to be pro-life, you should — you should be pro- adoption."

Pence went on to critique the Clinton campaign for their pro-choice positions, noting that Kaine has stated that he is personally pro-life and paraphrased an Old Testament verse.

"I would tell you that for me the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief that -- that ancient principle that -- where God says before you were formed in the womb, I knew you, and so for my first time in public life, I sought to stand with great compassion for the sanctity of life," added Pence, referencing Jeremiah 1:5.

"But what I can't understand is with Hillary Clinton and now Senator Kaine at her side is to support a practice like partial-birth abortion. I mean, to hold to the view — and I know Senator Kaine, you hold pro-life views personally — but the very idea that a child that is almost born into the world could still have their life taken from them is just anathema to me."

For his part, Kaine responded that he supported Roe v. Wade and that he opposed comments made by Donald Trump months ago wherein the Republican presidential nominee said he believed the woman should be punished for having an abortion.

"But the last thing, the very last thing that government should do is have laws that would punish women who make reproductive choices," stated Kaine.

"And that is the fundamental difference between a Clinton-Kaine ticket and a Trump-Pence ticket that wants to punish women who make that choice."

When Pence defended Trump and claimed that his words were simply "not as polished," Kaine responded by paraphrasing a verse from Matthew.

"Great line from the — great line from the gospel of Matthew. From the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks," said Kaine.

This could've been a reference to Matthew 12:34, "You brood of vipers! how can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks," or Matthew 15:18, "But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man."

Kaine continued, "We can encourage people to support life. Of course we can. But why don't you trust women? Why doesn't Donald Trump trust women to make this choice for themselves?"

Kaine and Pence's comments on faith and abortion come as part of their ninety-minute debate held at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

Moderated by Elaine Quijano of CBS News, polls and analyses released over the past 12 hours largely agree that Pence won the debate.

"Democrats and many journalists argue that Pence succeeded only by throwing Trump under the bus, refusing to defend his boss from repeated attacks," stated one CNN commentator.

"But they miss the point: voters rarely scrutinize debates line-by-line, instead making their judgments on the overall tone and performance of a candidate. Pence will not fare well with fact checkers, but his poise and polish played well with voters. For better or worse, style counts a lot in these debates."

Follow Michael Gryboski on Facebook: michael.gryboski Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter: MichaelGryboskiCP

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