Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine interrupted moderator Elaine Quijano and Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence many times during their debate at Longwood University Tuesday night.
Pence and Kaine interrupted each other often, but Kaine’s constant interruptions and dismissal of the moderator, CBS News anchor Quijano, rubbed many the wrong way.
Kaine's constant interruption is not a good look. #VPDebate
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) October 5, 2016
Civil discourse is dead and while this debate might not be where it died, I think a lot of people watching are mourning it.
— Betsey Stevenson (@BetseyStevenson) October 5, 2016
— CNN (@CNN) October 5, 2016
Republican pollster Frank Luntz monitored how Kaine’s interruptions tanked his favorability with his focus group members in real time:
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) October 5, 2016
As the debate wore on, more people began to view Kaine and Pence’s interruptions in gendered terms.
Oh wow, two white men talking over each other as a woman tries to get a word in edgewise! It's just like the rest of television! #VPDebate
— Lauren Shippen (@laurenshippen) October 5, 2016
Two white men arguing over a woman's emails while another woman tries to get them to talk about Syria is pretty perfectly emblematic
— Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen) October 5, 2016
This kinda sounds like every conversation with two men and one woman. #VPDebate
— Aura Bogado (@aurabogado) October 5, 2016
If I wanted to watch two white dudes bicker near a woman named Elaine, I would definitely just watch Seinfeld.
— Maris Kreizman (@mariskreizman) October 5, 2016
But when it came to the candidates’ treatment of Quijano, pundits tweeted that Kaine seemed to be the more aggressive of the two.
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) October 5, 2016
At one point, as Quijano tried to steer Kaine back toward addressing her original question, Kaine responded, “This is important, Elaine,” in a tone that some considered disrespectful.
Senator, please never say "this is important, Elaine" in that mansplaining voice every again
— Claire Markham (@clairecmarkham) October 5, 2016
— Eliel Cruz-Lopez (@elielcruz) October 5, 2016
Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway took advantage of the conversation about Kaine’s treatment of the female moderator.
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 5, 2016
At the end of the debate, however, people appeared to agree on one thing — Kaine interrupted too often during the debate.