Donald Trump was quick on Wednesday to claim credit for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s well-received debate performance.
Speaking to a crowd at a rally in Henderson, Nevada, Trump praised his running mate for doing an “incredible” job against Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s choice for vice president.
“So, how many of you watched the vice presidential debate last night?” Trump asked the rally attendees. “Mike Pence did an incredible job and I’m getting a lot of credit because that’s really my first so-called choice, my first hire as we would say in Las Vegas.”
“And I’ll tell you, he was a good one,” the Republican nominee continued. “He was cool. He was smart. He was, I mean, you just take a look at him, he was meant to be doing what he was doing and we are very, very proud of Gov. Mike Pence. Thank you Mike Pence.”
He added that he’d “argue” Pence had the “single most decisive victory in the history of vice presidential debates.”
“I believe that,” Trump said. “And last night, America also got to look firsthand at my judgment, and that was judgment. You know, you need judgment for people, for deals.”
Kaine was criticised by many on both the right and left for his frequent interruptions of both Pence and debate moderator Elaine Quijano during the event, and Pence hit him for “pre-done” lines after Kaine made a comment about wanting “a ‘you’re hired’ president in Hillary Clinton” over a “‘you’re fired’ president” in Trump.
Clinton’s running mate hit Pence repeatedly for Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, while Pence on multiple instances denied a long series of controversial statements made by Trump in the past.
An instant poll from CNN/ORC had Pence as the debate winner, with 48% of respondents selecting him, while 42% chose Kaine.
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