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Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Kaine faced off in their one and only Vice Presidential debate on Tuesday night.

Oftentimes contentious, their meeting produced heated exchanges between the two vice presidential candidates on a number of issues. But one issue both candidates failed to properly address deals with the existence of racism, implicit bias, and policing.

Dr. Jason Johnson, Political Analyst and Political Editor for The Root, said on NewsOne Now, “What was most interesting about the night is the lack of specificity that both of them had for this question.

“For all the criticism we can have of Hillary Clinton, she actually said in the first debate, ‘We have to do something about racial discrimination, we have to do something about these issues when it comes to law enforcement,’” said Johnson.

Johnson cited Kaine for not being able to say anything other than “implicit bias.” The NewsOne Now panelist implored Kaine to “Say racism. Say we have to do something about systematic injustice. Be direct.”

Frustrated with the candidates’ tone-deaf responses on racism, Dr. Johnson said the debate was a “wasted opportunity” by both candidates.

Roland Martin, host of NewsOne Now, said Pence, “Totally missed the point about what’s happening in this country when it comes to police actions.”

Deana Bass, Partner at Bass Public Affairs, agreed with Martin’s statement and said, “I think that the goal of this debate, though, was to do no harm to their tickets and so if that is the goal of this debate, they did the job of dodging throughout the debate in terms of not answering questions.”

Martin said Pence “would not remotely address the issue” when there was an opportunity to shift the conversation to law enforcement – especially when the question specifically dealt with the issues of race and police.

Martin called the Republican Vice Presidential candidate’s avoidance of the issue a “problem” and said, “It is like he is tone-deaf speaking to what is a real issue in America.”  

Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss Tim Kaine and Mike Pence’s failure to address issues of race and policing in the video clip above.


Watch NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.


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