Two overshadowed vice presidential candidates briefly emerged into the media spotlight on Tuesday night. Their areas of agreement turned out to be more telling than their disagreements.
Mike Pence broke in a big way with the top of his ticket on foreign policy during the debate, declaring that his administration would be prepared to “strike military targets of the Assad regime.”
The answer came in response to a question about the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo, which is currently under siege by forces loyal to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. In recent days, Russian military jets have bombed the city, killing scores of civilians, and the surrounding region has featured fierce fighting between Syrian forces and U.S.-backed rebel groups.
Trump has long argued that he would not target Assad, and would instead work with Russia, Assad’s ally, to instead target the Islamic State in Syria. Pence’s comments are much closer to the neoconservative demands that the U.S. enter the conflict on the side of the rebels to overthrow the Assad regime.