Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will square off against Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tonight in the campaign’s only vice presidential debate. The showdown could prove pretty interesting, even if it cannot approach the pyrotechnics of last week’s Trump-Clinton matchup. Pence and Kaine may seem “boring” compared with their running mates, but, Trump aside, Pence is anything but. Over nearly two decades in political life, first as a congressman and later as Indiana’s governor, Pence has been one of the leaders in efforts to push extreme conservative ideas—from limiting abortion access to questioning climate change—into public policy.
We’ve covered plenty of these before, but here’s a refresher:
- In March, Pence signed a bill into law requiring burial or cremation for aborted fetuses.
- Last month, Pence said he’d like to “send Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history.”
- Pence signed a 2015 bill permitting Indiana business owners to cite religious beliefs as a reason to refuse service to gay and lesbian customers.
- As Indiana’s governor, Pence slashed Planned Parenthood funding, arguably contributing to one county’s HIV outbreak.
- During his 12 years as a congressman, Pence voted against nearly every piece of environmental legislation.
- Pence voted to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases.
- Pence voted for opening the Atlantic up to offshore oil drilling.
- As a congressman, Pence gave a floor speech advocating the teaching of creationism in public schools.
- Pence wrote an op-ed arguing that “smoking doesn’t kill.”
- Pence has advocated the use of public funds for conversion therapy, a discredited and potentially harmful form of anti-gay therapy.
- Gov. Pence funneled $3.5 million in Indiana’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds, intended for needy families with children, to crisis pregnancy centers, which counsel women against having abortions.
- Gov. Pence refused to comply with Obama administration rules aimed at reducing prison rape.
- As congressman, Pence voted in favor of a bill that would have allowed for the detention of undocumented immigrants seeking hospital treatment.
- Pence co-sponsored a bill in Congress that would have eliminated automatic citizenship for children born on US soil to undocumented parents.
- Pence was one of 31 governors to oppose the resettlement of Syrian refugees in his state, declaring that state agencies wouldn’t cover the cost of some social services for Syrian refugees. His behavior earned him a strong rebuke from a panel of three federal judges, including one whom Donald Trump put on his Supreme Court nominee short list.