8 Things That Mike Pence Did In Real Life That Will Make You Rethink Him Winning Anything

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, the vice presidential candidates had their only opportunity to face off in a debate before the general election. Some might say that Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence was the winner, if only for the relatively calm demeanor he upheld throughout the 90-minute debate. However, looking at his history and political actions may make you rethink any notion of Pence winning the debate. The Indiana governor has shown time and time again that he produces discriminatory legislation, disregards offensive language, and supports terrible initiatives that would hurt women, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and more.

Even before the debate began, the GOP declared Pence the winner due to a ill-timed posting of a pre-written article. And yes, compared to Senator Tim Kaine's constant interrupting and overall defensive stance on the debate, Pence did come off as the more well-tempered of the potential VPs. But judging the candidates goes beyond the debates, and includes their prior actions. And if we're to judge Pence's prior decisions, then I would be extremely reluctant to declare him a winner. Here's just some of the times when Pence has pushed ill-informed and harmful policies and some other times when he's been simply factually wrong.

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His "Religious Freedom" Law Would Have Made Discrimination Legal

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In 2015, Pence signed a law that included language that would have allowed Indiana businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers by refusing to serve them under religious reasoning. People were not OK with the law, and Pence ended up amending it.

He Argued For Funding For Gay Conversion Therapy

Back in 2000, Pence wrote on his website that federal funding for HIV/AIDS treatment should go to gay conversion therapy. On the same website, he also made his views about gay marriage very clear: "Congress should oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage."

He Argued That Creationism Was A Valid Theory, Like Evolution

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As a congressman, Pence once gave a speech on the floor to argue for the teaching of Creationism in schools, during which he said that "Every signer of the Declaration of Independence believed that men and women were created and endowed by that same Creator with certain unalienable rights. The Bible tells us that God created man in his own image, male and female. He created them. And I believe that, Mr. Speaker." He argued that creationism is a theory, just like evolution, and therefore it should be taught in schools as well. However, scientific theory is a little different than a "theory" or "belief."

He Said Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer

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In an editorial during his 2000 Senate race, Pence once wrote that "despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn't kill." He did admit that it's not great for you, but he completely rejected the deadly effects of smoking and the documentation of the damage it causes.

He Voted Against Environmental Legislation

As a congressman, Pence wanted to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. He also favored offshore drilling, and has said at various times that Trump is working to end the "war on coal."

He Signed A Bill Requiring Funerals for Abortions

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Pence slid a little provision into an abortion bill earlier this year in his state that would have required burials or cremations for aborted fetuses. Luckily, an Indiana judge blocked the law from going into effect.

He Said That Condoms Are Not Effective STD Prevention

While the Bush administration was pushing abstinence-only sex education, Secretary of State Colin Powell said he supported condom use because it protects against STDs. After, Wolf Blitzer asked Pence about Powell's comments and the congressman had some highly misinformed opinions to get out. He said, "frankly, condoms are a very, very poor protection against sexually transmitted diseases, and in that sense, Wolf, this was — the secretary of state maybe inadvertently misleading millions of young people and endangering lives," despite the CDC saying condoms are "highly effective" at preventing STDs. Let's just let that sink in.

He Used The Phrase "Criminal Aliens." More Than Once

During the vice president debate Tuesday, Pence repeatedly said "criminal aliens" when referring to undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of crimes. It was a repulsive move on his part, as it is for anyone who still calls immigrants "illegals" or "aliens."

With this type of behavior, Pence is in no position to earn the title of winning anything, let alone a vice presidential debate.