A handful of liberal pundits admitted that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate, came out on top over Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, in Tuesday’s vice presidential debate.
First was MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who declared Pence the winner of the debate.
“I don’t know why Tim Kaine kept interrupting,” he said following the Virginia event, noting Kaine’s interjections during the debate.
Matthews later added that Pence is now “probably the front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2020.”
The concession from others was that Pence did very well on “style.”
“Tim Kaine is a very positive, ebullient character and was asked to be an attack dog here,” David Axelrod, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, said on CNN. “And I think he wasn’t’t entirely comfortable in that role.”
“The strategy of interrupting was probably overdone,” he continued. “Mike Pence, stylistically, did very well.”
Sally Kohn, another liberal CNN commentator, tweeted that there “is no question that, for viewers, Pence won this debate.
“Which is baffling, considering he lied every damn second!!!” she continued. “Argh.”
She added that Pence “couldn’t defend Trump” but that Kaine should have let Pence “dig his own holes, not pushed his advantage.”
Kohn expressed hope that the ratings for the debate “are low” and “most will see news reports in which Pence will get MASSIVELY DINGED for his blatant lies.”
Ahead of the first presidential debate, David Plouffe, Obama’s former campaign manager, said the candidates are heavily judged on style in the debates.
“Policy is important and issues are important — but these are as much about performance,” he said.
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