The Pence factor: VP debate provides unexpected boost for Team Trump

by WorldTribune Staff, October 5, 2016

Mike Pence’s debate performance on Oct. 4 trumped that of Democratic candidate Tim Kaine,  according to media analysts from both conservative and liberal media outlets.

GOP vice presidential candidate Pence was triumphant with a “measured” approach while Kaine continued his campaign’s focus on petty “name-calling,” political commentator Dick Morris said of the VP debate.

Mike Pence, right, and Tim Kaine at the Oct. 4 vice presidential debate.
Mike Pence, right, and Tim Kaine at the Oct. 4 vice presidential debate.

“Pence won handily,” Morris said on the Newsmax TV Vice Presidential Debate Special. “He won in a way that really reflected credit on Trump and discredit on Hillary Clinton.”

The Washington Posts’ Chris Cillizza said that “from the very beginning, Pence was the more comfortable of the two men on the debate stage. Pence repeatedly turned to the camera when he answered questions, making clear he understood that the real audience wasn’t in the room but watching on TV. The Indiana governor was calm, cool and collected throughout — a stark contrast to the fast-talking (and seemingly nervous) Kaine.”

The Hill also gave the “polished and crisp” Pence the win: “Kaine, on the other hand, was shifty and appeared overly eager, something exaggerated by the split-screen with Pence. His constant interruptions were poorly received.”

The debate provided the Trump campaign a major unexpedted boost heading into the second presidential debate on Oct. 9.

The Hill’s report on the debate noted that Clinton and Kaine are favored to win and “if they do, it will be in spite of their resumes. Both are long on government service and running in the year of the outsider.”

Kaine “twisted to defend the status quo, often setting up Pence for some of his strongest moments,” The Hill noted.

Kaine said that he’s worked in “all levels of government.”

“And God bless you for it,” Pence responded. “Career public servants. Donald Trump is a businessman.”

Kaine argued that the economic recovery has been a success.

“The people of Scranton know different,” Pence responded. “The people of Fort Wayne know different.”

And, The Hill noted, “Kaine’s extended riff on how the U.S. is safer today from the threat of terror than it was eight years ago — before the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — will certainly be used against Clinton.”

On several occasions, “Pence swatted away Kaine’s defense of the Obama years as the scripted pablum of lifelong politicians.”

“You use that line a whole lot,” Pence said at one point. “You and your running mate use a lot of pre-done lines.”

Morris, the co-author of The New York Times best-seller “Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary”, said that “Kaine seemed supercilious, and Pence seemed earnest. In the course of that supercilious, one-upmanship, gotcha-kind-of-pettiness, Kaine revealed the weakness of the Hillary campaign. Its brittleness, its tininess. Its focus on just name-calling and nothing else.

“Pence gave measured, good responses,” Morris added. “Looking at those two guys, I would vote for the guy who appointed Pence, not for the woman who appointed Kaine.”