Pence Couldn't Refute Any of Tim Kaine's Attacks on Trump

A VP nominee's main role is to help the party's nominee get elected. True, Mike Pence held steady during the sole 2016 vice-presidential debate, leading mainsteam commentators to declare him the winner. 

“What Trump needs desperately is someone to assure the nervous middle that there will be a grownup in the Oval Office next to the tantrum-throwing toddler," said Andrew Sullivan, blogger for New York magazine. "It was very effective, I’d say, on that count, especially with Republican voters who were looking for reassurance.”

But Pence failed "bigly," as Donald Trump would say, with regards to defending his running mate. While a revved-up Kaine piled on criticism of Trump talk, reiterating the GOP nominee's infamous statements, Pence dodged and denied the facts, instead, making up his own platform. 

"Donald Trump has, in this campaign, expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin. He's essentially endorsed a wish list of pro-Putin policies. He's suggested we should withdraw from NATO, which would put our Eastern European allies at risk—and then tonight we heard a completely different message from Mike Pence," Brian Fallon, the Clinton campaign's national press secretary, told Fox News' Megyn Kelly shortly after the debate ended.

"He was talking about how Putin was a bully and he was small. I mean, at the next debate I hope that Donald Trump will be asked if he agrees with Mike Pence then," Fallon continued. "I think that showed that Mike Pence had his own agenda tonight, and to me it almost seemed like he was auditioning for 2020 more than he cared about electing Donald Trump in 2016." 

But what about viewers with less of a stake in the performance?

“Pence is giving the country a very good preview of how the Republican Party is going to move beyond Trump," tweeted Alec MacGillis, politics reporter for ProPublica. "Just pretend he never happened.”


Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.