Transcript   |   Coverage   |   Clinton/Dems   |   Trump/Reps   |   Third Parties   |   Interest Groups   |   [Longwood Univ.]

Clinton, Democrats, Allies and the Vice Presidential Debate

Democratic National Committee
Oct. 5, 2016 12:45 a.m.

Trump Jealous of Pence

Ruh roh. Apparently the Donald isn’t happy with Mike Pence for failing to defend him and upstaging him in tonight’s debate
@samsteinhp: CNN’s John King, reporting from a source close to Trump, that the reviews that Pence did better then he did won’t go over well with Trump
@JohnJHarwood: more from adviser on Trump reaction to strong Pence debate following poor Trump showing last week: "he can't stand to be upstaged"
Vox: Mike Pence won the debate by throwing Donald Trump under the bus

“Kaine is running for VP, Pence is running for 2020”
The Daily Beast:
“Donald Trump has one policy toward Russia. His vice presidential nominee, Mike Pence, seems to have another. At least, that was the case during Tuesday’s vice presidential debate.
While Trump has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin—and, at times, pushed a foreign policy agenda that sounds like it came straight out of the Kremlin—during Tuesday’s vice presidential debate, Pence refused to adopt Trump’s embrace of Putin. Rather, he said the U.S. would meet Russian aggression with “strength.”


Oct. 5, 2016 12:32 a.m.

“That Mexican Thing”

DNC Deputy National Press Secretary Jose Aristimuño issued the following statement on Mike Pence’s “that Mexican thing” comment:
“During tonight’s debate, Mike Pence not only refused to apologize for Donald Trump’s indefensible comments that Mexican immigrants are ‘rapists’ and ‘criminals;’ he even went as far as to tell Tim Kaine that he had ‘whipped out that Mexican thing again.’ That’s outrageous, offensive, and unfortunately, what we’ve come to expect from the Trump-Pence ticket. This is just another example of the divisive and ugly campaign that they have been running. Though we’ve know it all along, after tonight’s debate, it’s clearer than ever that only Secretary Clinton and Tim Kaine respect and value the many contributions that Latinos make to this country.”


Oct. 4, 2016 11:49 p.m.

Pence debate strategy #2: Deny, deny, deny; Pretend you’re not running with Trump

Journalists and influencers agree: Pence outright denied so much that Trump had done and said that it seemed Pence was living in another reality and running with another candidate altogether. At other times, he was simply throwing Trump under the bus and espousing his own entirely separate agenda.
Does Mike Pence even realize that Donald Trump is his running mate?
@brianjameswalsh: Pence: "Provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength." Something I'd love to hear from Trump himself but never have.
@RichardEngel: Pence talking tough on Putin.  That’s not what trump has been saying.  So which is it? #VPDebate
@StuPolitics: Pence says stuff is "a lot of nonsense." Doesn't seem to know what Trump has said.
@jbendery: Kaine: Trump didn't even know Russia invaded Crimea.
Pence: "Oh that's nonsense."
See here:
@jonward11: Pence: Trump "never said" more nations should get nuclear weapons.
But he did say that:
@CahnEmily: "You know what, I'm just saying facts about your candidate" Kaine says when Pence says hes hurling insults. Kaine is just quoting Trump.
@BCAppelbaum: Mike Pence seems like a reasonably traditional Republican VP candidate. Who either doesn't know or care what his running mate has said.
@nickconfessore: "Insult-driven" is Pence's response to any time Kaine quotes Trump (mostly accurately as far as I can tell).
@DylanByers: "This isn’t the old days where you can just say stuff and people believe it.”
— Pence said that to Kaine. Does Pence know his running mate?
@PeterBeinart: For Republicans cheering @mike_pence's Cheneyesque foreign policy, remember: If your own voters supported it, Trump wouldn't be nominee
@Max_Fisher: Pence, whose running mate says South Korea should have nukes, says his goal is to “de-nuclearize the Koreanin peninsula.” Good luck!
@mviser: Mike Pence just claimed not to say Putin was a stronger leader than Obama. He’s wrong. He did:
@reidepstein: Pence saying Trump hasn't said things that he's said will be problematic once someone makes a mashup of Trump saying those things.
@ira: Pence shakes his head when Kaine quotes verbatim things Trump said like I used to when my mom would read my report cards aloud #VPDebate
@RachelSB: Pence denying Trump quotes seems awkward.
@petermaer: #debate understatement: "He's not a polished politician:"--@GovPenceIN on #Trump comment on punishing women for #abortions.
@Neda_Semnani: Seriously, who does Mike Pence think he's running with?!?! Did he not research Trump before he said yes? #VPDebate
@jonathanalter: Kaine is scoring now on nuclear proliferation, Russia and taxes. Pence keeps denying Trump said things that he did indeed say.
@ddale8: Then Pence falsely denies that Trump said more countries should get nukes. From start to finish, this is the Denying Plain Facts campaign.
@poniewozik: Mike Pence will solidly win this debate in his closing remarks, when he flatly denies that Donald Trump is running for president.
@markzbarabak: Pence's strategy seems to be either ignoring or denying things that Trump has said, regardless of all evidence to the contrary.
@PeterHamby: I get that a brazen disregard for facts is not new in this campaign, but Mike Pence just denied that this really proveable thing happened
@katherinemiller: Mike Pence turning in a great performance for his imaginary running mate Mitt Romney.
@samsteinhp: Trump honestly should have just done what Pence is doing: denied ever saying the things he said.
@FlitterOnFraud: Pence is denying he said Putin is a stronger leader than Obama. But...he said it. Trump did too. Trump said it first.
@mileskathleen: Pence denied that Trump called NATO obsolete. FACTCHECK: "I think NATO is obsolete," Trump told ABC News in March. #VPDebate
@jbouie: Tim Kaine and Elaine Quijano quoted, nearly verbatim, Trump's rhetoric to Mike Pence, and he just denied it outright.
@ZackFord: Ah, Pence must've remembered it's his job to deny that Trump said things he said in front of countless cameras. #VPDebate
@ezraklein: It sort of works in the debate, but Pence shaking head, saying "no he hasn't" is going to look bad in ads next to Trump saying those things
@zachdcarter: Pence is basically just denying that Trump has said or supported everything Trump has said and supported. #VPDebate


Oct. 4, 2016 11:48 p.m.

Pence’s debate strategy 1: Lie; Don’t Defend Trump

Journalists and influencers agree, Mike Pence failed to defend Donald Trump tonight.
See the reactions below.
@JamesPindell: Pence isn't even trying to defend Trump, just offensive on Clinton #VPDebate
@ReutersZengerle: Pence is avoiding answering the Trump tax return question.
@mmurraypolitics: But he hasn't answered Q if it's fair to profit on declaring a $1B loss
@JamesPindell: Pence didn't ask to rebut that litany of charges on Trump about things he has said #VPDebate
@JeffreyGoldberg: Is Mike Pence actually denying the fact that Donald Trump insults people?
@jonlovett: Pence's plan here is to pretend the previous year did not happen. Just can't work.
@StevenTDennis: "A Hoosier judge."

"Judge Curiel."

Pence ignores.
@RichLowry: That Pence has to deny Trump's support for mass deportation another indication of how ill-considered it was
@jameshohmann: Pence sits silently as Kaine attacks Trump for his racist attacks on Judge Curiel.
@jackmirkinson: Mike Pence is clearly hoping that if he just pretends like he is running in a completely different election nobody will notice
@GlennThrush: Seriously, Pence has not answered a single question
@mmurraypolitics: Pence doesn't defend Trump's previous claim that more nations should have nuclear weapons
@badler: Pence completely unwilling to defend Trump's position in favor nuclear proliferation
@asymmetricinfo: If I were in Pence’s place, I’d do the same, but it’s odd watching VP candidate consistently decline to defend anything top of ticket says
@ZekeJMiller: Pence: "I'm happy to defend them...I'm happy to defend him" As he doesn't defend them/him.
@AaronBlake: Pence's "Don't put words in my mouth that I'm not defending him" doesn't really make sense?
@ajjaffe: Pence seems to confirm the NYT docs were real: "Those tax returns showed that he faced some pretty tough times." #VPDebate
@badler: If Mike Pence rolls his eyes or shakes his head, that means what Tim Kaine is saying Trump did, he really did.
@JamilSmith: Tonight we learned that it is easier to pretend racism doesn't exist than to defend Donald Trump.
@jbouie: There's no doubt that Pence is a great performer. But for 90 minutes, he lied about everything his running mate said.
@adamnagourney: Did Pence ever defend any statement Trump made that he was he was confronted with by Kaine?

Oct. 4, 2016 11:48 p.m.

Statement from DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile on Tonight’s Vice-Presidential Debate

WASHINGTON -- DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile issued the following statement following tonight’s vice-presidential debate:
“There was no contest tonight. Tim Kaine demonstrated that he and Hillary Clinton are prepared to lead our country on day one.  They are ready to face the daunting challenges of the presidency together, and ready build on the progress of the last eight years. Mike Pence only proved that there’s no defense for the indefensible. On the heels of what could be the worst week of any presidential run in history, Pence had one job: to stop the bleeding. But Pence couldn’t re-brand Donald Trump as anything other than the unhinged, dangerous and divisive candidate that he’s been since the start of his campaign.


 Oct. 4, 2016 10:35 p.m.

The Donald Who Didn’t Exist

A pattern emerged in tonight’s debate: Tim Kaine quoted Donald Trump, Mike Pence shook his head, pretended it never happened and then denied Trump said it. It would be a winning strategy, were it not for the crushing weight of reality.
@morningmoneyben: Kaine succeeds most when he simply lays out what Trump has said. #VPDebate

@mckaycoppins: Kaine is not wrong that Pence has consistently avoided defending Trump tonight.
@svdate: Pence is defending the Trump he wishes existed, rather the one who really is at the top of the Republican ticket.
@aseitzwald: Boy, wouldn't want to be guy who has to tell Mike Pence who his runningmate is.
@ZekeJMiller: Pence: "I'm happy to defend them...I'm happy to defend him" As he doesn't defend them/him.
@SabrinaSiddiqui: Tim Kaine just landed his best line against Mike Pence: "He is asking everyone to vote for someone he will not defend." #VPDebate
@jameshohmann: Pence saying Trump did not say lots of stuff he's definitely said -- on tape! So he'll get high marks for performance but creamed tomorrow.
@JohnJHardwood: If you haven't paid attention to campaign, you might believe Pence denials that Trump said things he really said bc many are hard to believe

@reidepstein: Pence saying Trump hasn't said things that he's said will be problematic once someone makes a mashup of Trump saying those things.

Priorities USA
For Immediate Release
October 4th, 2016
Contact: Justin Barasky

Priorities USA Chief Strategist Guy Cecil Statement On Tonight’s Vice Presidential Debate

Priorities USA Chief Strategist Guy Cecil released the following statement following tonight’s Vice Presidential debate:
“In tonight’s debate Mike Pence refused to defend Donald Trump’s brand of divisive and dangerous politics that makes him so unfit to be President of the United States. As Trump’s chief apologist Mike Pence failed to explain why Donald Trump has insulted and demeaned women, African Americans, Hispanics, prisoners of war, the disabled, veterans, and so many other Americans throughout this campaign. Mike Pence refused, or simply couldn't, defend Donald Trump's dangerous plan for more countries to have nuclear weapons, or his claims to “love war,” and know “more about ISIS than the generals do.” And nowhere did Mike Pence explain why Donald Trump didn’t pay taxes for nearly two decades, while shorting those who work for him and engaging in shady business deals with Russian interests. On the other hand, our next vice president demonstrated a readiness, intellect, and resolve to help Hillary Clinton lead this country. Two debates down, Democrats have a perfect record, and as we near the final month of the campaign our work to stop Donald Trump and elect Hillary Clinton is more important than ever.”

Correct The Record
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                               

Tuesday, October 4, 2016           

CONTACT: Elizabeth Shappell / Lizzy Price

Statement from CTR Communications Director Elizabeth Shappell on Tim Kaine’s Winning Debate Performance

Washington, D.C.--This evening, Correct The Record Communications Director Elizabeth Shappell released the following statement on Tim Kaine’s winning debate performance in tonight’s vice presidential debate:

“Tonight, Mike Pence aw-shucks-ed and shook his head through 90 minutes of pretending Donald Trump doesn’t exist. He dodged, ducked, deflected and lied his way through the entire debate. Pence utterly failed to defend Donald Trump’s dozens of bigoted and misogynistic insults, attacks on Judge Curiel, nationwide call for stop-and-frisk and affection for Vladimir Putin. Pence appeared irritated and flustered every single time Donald Trump’s name was mentioned. Sorry, Mike, but you signed up for this.

“While the Republican ticket fell apart before our very eyes, Tim Kaine was feisty and passionate. Senator Kaine powerfully and forcefully made the case for Hillary Clinton’s vision for a stronger, fairer America and held the Trump-Pence ticket accountable for their campaign of hate. And unlike Mike Pence, Tim Kaine actually agrees with his running mate on the issues.”

Correct The Record
October 4, 2016


Elizabeth Shappell / Lizzy Price

Correct The Record Releases New Memo, Video on Donald Trump’s

Chief Apologist Mike Pence

Ahead of tonight’s vice presidential debate, Correct The Record released a new memo and video outlining what you need to know about the extreme record of Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate and chief apologist. For years, Pence has been at the forefront of right-wing attacks on women, LGBT Americans, immigrants and refugees in Congress and Indiana. Since joining the Republican ticket, Pence has taken his extremist politics national as the chief defender and explainer of Trump’s hateful rhetoric and bigoted views.


TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Brad Woodhouse, President of Correct The Record
RE: What You Need to Know About Donald Trump’s Chief Apologist, Mike Pence
DATE: October 4, 2016


Compared to the bombastic Donald Trump, many have painted vice presidential nominee Mike Pence as the voice of reason on the Republican ticket. In reality, Indiana Governor Mike Pence is as extreme as Republicans come and has emerged as the GOP’s leading apologist for Trump’s most outrageous comments and policies.

For years, Pence has been at the forefront of right-wing attacks on women’s health, LGBT rights and immigrants and refugees in both Washington and Indiana. So it is no surprise that since signing up for the Donald Trump campaign, Pence himself has emerged as the the chief defender and explainer of Trump’s hateful politics. Ahead of tonight’s vice presidential debate, here is what you need to know about the other half of the Republican ticket.

Cleaning up for Donald Trump

For someone who claims to be “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order,” Pence has inexplicably defended Donald Trump’s offensive rhetoric and behavior at every turn. Pence has proven a remarkable willingness to try to dismiss, explain, or otherwise condone offensive statements and policies from his running mate and the Trump family. In the process, he has become an apologist for some of Trump’s ugliest and most poisonous rhetoric—including Birtherism, Trump’s insinuation of violence against Hillary Clinton  and Donald Trump Jr.’s infamous Skittles tweet.

  • MACHADO: Ignoring the blatantly offensive nature of Trump’s comments, Pence brushed off Donald Trump’s body shaming and incendiary tweets about a “sex tape” (that doesn’t exist) regarding former Miss Universe Alicia Machado as the media being too focused on “he said this, he tweeted that.”

  • RUSSIA: On Trump’s dangerous admiration of Putin’s Russia, Pence offered the head-shaking assertion that it was “inarguable” that Putin has been a stronger leader than President Obama and compared Trump’s encouragement of Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails to an Abraham Lincoln quote.

  • BIRTHERISM: Governor Pence defended Trump’s leading role in the birther conspiracy theory, saying Trump “brought that issue to an end this week” after Trump’s one-sentence admission and, in the same week, Trump refused to admit President Obama was born in Hawaii.

  • OBAMA FOUNDED ISIS: Pence has defended Trump’s assertion that Obama founded ISIS and Trump’s support for bringing back waterboarding, saying–without proof–“enhanced interrogation saved lives.

  • ENCOURAGING VIOLENCE: Pence has tried to explain away Trump’s insinuation of violence against Clinton with his comment that “Second Amendment people” could do something about Clinton picking judges and Clinton’s secret service protection should disarm and “see what happens to her.”

  • POLICE POLICIES AND GUN VIOLENCE: Pence defended Trump’s call for profiling, calling it “common sense,” claimed Trump is “on a sound constitutional footing” with his stop-and-frisk proposal (not true), and defended Trump for politicizing the shooting death of NBA player Dwyane Wade’s cousin.

  • SKITTLES: He defended Donald Trump Jr.’s tweet comparing Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles, saying he was simply using a “metaphor” and condescendingly said it was “remarkable to see the level of outrage” about the tweet.

“Nobody hates Planned Parenthood quite as much as Mike Pence.”

While Trump continues to make headlines for his disparaging, offensive comments about women, Mike Pence’s record expands upon this disrespect for women. Perhaps more than any other Republican politician in the recent past, Pence has fought to undermine women’s access to health care services on both the national level and in Indiana. In 2011, Politico even declared that  “Nobody hates Planned Parenthood quite as much as Mike Pence.”

Pence has a long history of trying to take down Planned Parenthood in his larger campaign to take away a woman’s right to choose. He has said he wants to send Roe v. Wade “to the ash heap of history where it belongs.” Pence signed into Indiana law earlier this year a bill that would ban women from seeking abortion based on a fetal diagnosis of physical or mental disability and require women to seek funerary services for a fetus, no matter if an abortion or miscarriage, at any point in time in the pregnancy. The law was blocked by a federal judge in June 2016.

In Congress, Pence was the defacto leader of efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and eliminate the Title X program, which provides family planning and reproductive health funding. In 2011, Politico wrote Mike Pence was “on a one-man crusade to deny all federal funding to [Planned Parenthood]—not just the money it gets for reproductive health and family planning services, but every penny it gets for anything.” He sponsored legislation that would make it legal for hospitals to deny abortions to pregnant women with life-threatening conditions and supported a federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks. He cosponsored a bill that would redefine certain rape cases as “forcible rape,” redefining “rape” in the case of federal funding for abortions in case of “forcible” rape only.

Enacting LGBT discrimination in the name of “religious freedom”

Donald Trump’s repeated refrain to the religious right is a promise that he will protect religious freedom by repealing the Johnson Amendment. His running mate is right in line with Trump’s extreme agenda, having already taking action in the name of “religious freedom” in 2015. Governor Mike Pence signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015 and with it, exacted LGBT discrimination. The widely-condemned law alienated the Republican governor’s natural allies in the business community, drew national condemnation and deeply embarrassed the Hoosier state. Throughout the scandal, Pence displayed an almost Trump-like level of disingenuousness and dishonesty. In one devastating interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Pence refused to answer six yes-or-no questions about whether the law legalized discrimination against the LGBT community.

Pence at first said he would not support legislation to clean up the mess he made, was “knowingly disingenuous” when trying to compare Indiana’s law to those passed in other states, and finally supported a bill to “clarify” RFRA after an uproar from Indiana business and community leaders and other governors and mayors banned taxpayer-funded travel to Indiana.

Discriminating against the LGBT community was nothing new for Governor Pence. When in Congress, he cosponsored an amendment to the Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage, voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and against the Matthew Shepard Act in 2007 and 2009. During his first successful run for Congress in 2000, his campaign said “Homosexuality is incompatible with military service because the presence of homosexuals in the ranks weakens unit cohesion.”

Test driving Trump’s Muslim ban in Indiana

It’s no surprise Pence is “very supportive” of Trump’s proposed ban of Muslims from coming to the U.S. In 2015, Governor Pence announced he was suspending the resettlement of all Syrian refugees in Indiana. Religious leaders defied the Governor. The Archbishop of Indianapolis, Joseph Tobin, met with the Pence to hear his concerns but defied his ban, declaring Catholic Charities would welcome a family of four from Syria anyway. This ban was challenged in court by the ACLU and blocked by a federal judge on the grounds that it “clearly discriminates” against Syrian refugees.

Pence honed his anti-immigrant agenda while serving in Congress. He said it was “wrong” to oppose Arizona’s “papers, please” immigration law, sponsored legislation that would end birthright citizenship, opposed a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and sponsored a bill to declare English the official language of the United States. He even introduced an immigration plan that would push undocumented immigrants to “self-deport.”

BONUS: Bringing Pravda to the Plains

Trump disparages members of the media nearly every day, whether through going after certain newspapers or networks or encouraging rally attendees to boo reporters covering his events. This concerning lack of respect for a free and open press is something Governor Pence can relate to. In 2015, Governor Pence tried to launch a state-run news service in Indiana that earned the nickname “Pravda on the Plains.” His state-run taxpayer-funded news outlet was going to produce pre-written news stories and even break news about the Pence administration. Not surprisingly, Pence was forced to drop the project after planning documents were leaked to the Indianapolis Star.