Watch parties for vice presidential debate pop up

Watch parties for vice presidential debate pop up
October 06
07:30 2016



The candidates for vice president Tim Kaine and Mike Pence took center stage Tuesday night when they debated at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. The Winston-Salem Urban League (WSUL) held a watch party for the only debate between Virginia Senator Kaine, and Indiana Governor Pence.

Although the Urban League is a non-partisan organization, president and CEO James Perry said, they decided to host the watch party to bring people together to talk about the debate openly.

Patricia Sadler, WSUL workforce development and community director, said they started having watch parties earlier this year when President Barack Obama gave his final State of the Union Address. She said the parties are becoming a tradition.

“We have seen crowds of over 50 people,” she said. “It feels good to know that the people in this community are aware, and want to know what these candidates are all about.”

During the two hour debate the two locked horns on a number of issues, including the national debt, policing, Social Security, immigration and Syria. The two also discussed Trump’s tax return. Kaine criticized Trump for going back on his word, claiming that he said in 2014 he would release his tax returns if he decided to run for office.

“Donald Trump must give the American public his tax returns to show that he’s qualified to be president, and he is breaking his promise.”

Pence stood by his running mate. He mentioned Trump’s tax returns only show that he went through a very difficult time, but hasn’t done anything wrong.

Throughout the night, Kaine challenged Pence to defend the demeaning statements that Trump has made throughout his campaign while Pence chose to charge the Clinton-Kaine ticket with running a campaign driven off insults.

While watching the debate Valerie Page-Flemming, said Kaine seemed to be more  prepared. She said, “he did his homework.”

Although she would not reveal who she was voting for, Page-Flemming said she thought the debate was interesting. Another partygoer said he didn’t  have much faith in either of the candidates.

Students on the campus of Wake Forest held a watch party for the event as well. Before the debate, professor Melissa Harris-Perry gave a brief lecture about the importance of vice presidential debates.

MTV News was also at the watch party to cover Wake the Vote, a program that gives students the opportunity to examine the presidential election and experience American democracy through course work, program planning and travel.

Harris-Perry took to Twitter to voice her frustrations when Pence said he didn’t understand why Hillary Clinton talked about implicit bias when discussing the Keith Scott shooting during the first debate.

“Implicit attitude tests reveal that African-Americans tend to experience implicit racial bias as well.” she said.

Following the event, Chad Wilcox said, much like the first presidential debate the candidates didn’t let the other speak. He said it makes it hard to really get the facts.

“Both Kaine and Pence continued to talk over the moderator, which was pretty annoying,” he said. “Although the debate was over two hours long, about an hour was spent calming the candidates.”

When asked if he thought if either party got a leg up following the debate, Wilcox said most people already have their minds made up.

“Most people already know who they’re going to vote for. I don’t think debates are going to change that.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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