Quick Takes: Pence’s Biggest Lie

* Towards the end of the debate last night, the candidates were asked about how their faith intersects with their politics. Mike Pence chose to zero in on his opposition to abortion and proceeded to tell his biggest lie of the night – and it was about his own record.

…a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable, the aged, the infirm, the disabled, and the unborn. I believe it with all my heart.

Mike Pence believes that the government should step in to protect the “unborn.” But when it comes to other people who fall in that “most vulnerable” category, his entire career has been devoted to stopping the government from protecting them. For example, he slashed food stamp benefits in Indiana, has consistently opposed the minimum wage, and when it comes to Social Security and “the aged,” here is a summary of his record:

Mike Pence was one of Congress’ biggest proponents of privatization. He supports cutting Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age, reducing the COLA, means-testing and turning Medicare into “CouponCare.” As he told CNN, ‘I’m an all of the above guy. I think we need to look at everything that’s on the menu,’ and the record shows he has done just that by supporting every form of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefit cut proposed in the past decade.

* In case you haven’t heard, Mike Pence started a new social media meme last night: #ThatMexicanThing.

“When Donald Trump says women should be punished, that Mexicans are rapists and criminals, or John McCain’s not a hero, he is showing you who he is,” Mr. Kaine said, after repeated efforts during the 90-minute debate to try and persuade Mr. Pence to explain or defend Donald J. Trump’s past comments about immigrants.

“Senator, you’ve whipped out that Mexican thing again,” Mr. Pence replied.

Twitter exploded.

Here is one of my favorites:

* I guess that offending Latinos, African Americans, Muslims and women isn’t enough for conservatives. Last night on Bill O’Reilly’s show, Fox News aired a segment that seemed to be aimed at fitting every offensive stereotype about Asian Americans into a 5 minute segment. The premise was that Jesse Watters went to New York’s Chinatown.

Or at least that’s what he said he was doing. What Watters was really doing was making fun of the people he encountered with the broadest, dumbest Asian stereotypes imaginable — making it clear they were there as props for him and his viewers for what he clearly considered a hilarious joke, rather than to actually give their opinions.

With stunts like that, I guess this should come as no surprise:

* President Obama writes: “On the Strength and Resilience of Rural America.”

I’ve spent most of my life living in big cities. But the truth is, a lot of what’s shaped me came from my grandparents who grew up on the prairie in Kansas. They taught me the kind of values that don’t always make headlines, let alone the daily back-and-forth in Washington. Honesty and responsibility. Hard work and toughness against adversity. Keeping your word, and giving back to your community. And treating folks with respect, even if you disagree with them…

At the same time, what’s also true is that when our country is tested, our rural communities are tested as well. An economy that’s been changing for decades — more automation, more global competition — has, in many ways, hit rural communities particularly hard. Too many people are still fighting back from the recklessness on Wall Street that shuttered storefronts on Main Street. Too many workers are still reeling from plants that moved overseas and took good jobs with them. Too many communities are struggling to compete, hamstrung by lagging infrastructure like slow or nonexistent broadband connections. And too many families have been ravaged by the heartbreaking epidemic of opioid use…

Over the last eight years, my Administration has worked hand-in-hand with rural communities to build more opportunity — investing in rural schools, supporting rural small business owners, deploying high speed internet and wireless, and building partnerships between businesses and colleges to help train folks not just for a job, but for a career. And for those struggling with opioid use, we’ve expanded access to treatment to help them get the care they need.

So we’re making progress — progress that’s possible only because of the strength and resilience of the people in our rural communities.

* Finally, yet more wisdom from our fabulous First Lady.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .