Donald Trump’s performance at the first presidential debate was nothing less than disastrous. He repeatedly lied, made sexist remarks, yelled about his temperament, bragged about not paying taxes, sniffled and then put all the blame on a “defective” microphone.
After that catastrophe of a performance, one would assume the Trump campaign would be happy to receive any sort of positive reviews following the first and only vice presidential debate — where Trump’s running mate was actually able to present a drastically different face of the GOP ticket.
During Tuesday’s debate, Mike Pence’s steady speaking style, knowledge and thoughtfulness was a stark contrast to the Republican nominee’s absurd run-on sentences and temper tantrums. In fact, critics believe the Indiana governor’s dodge-and-deflect strategy while responding to Trump’s various insults and bizarre moments may have won him the debate.
“Six times tonight I have said to Gov. Pence, I can’t imagine how you can defend your running mate’s position on one issue after the next,” said Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Sen. Tim Kaine, at one point during the night. “And in all six cases, he’s refused to defend his running mate.”
“I’m very, very happy to defend Donald Trump,” Pence responded, before refusing once again to do just that.
It was a good tactic — if you cannot defend them, skirt around their questions and shake your head in disapproval.
However, some people believe that Trump is not so happy with this turn of events. In fact, reports suggest he is actually mad that his veep outperformed him at debating.
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— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) October 5, 2016
Trump adviser on debate after Pence passed up opportunities to defend him: "Pence won overall, but lost with Trump"— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 5, 2016
Then these came in:
More from source within Trump campaign: Trump on Pence not defending him: "Melania was right." (Was not very excited about picking Pence.)— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) October 5, 2016
"I have never seen him so pissed off."— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) October 5, 2016
Actual quote from Trump tower. #VPDebate
Trump’s impulsiveness and narcissism is no secret. He is a self-loving demagogue who cannot stand anyone being better than him at anything. So it’s not really surprising that he is disgruntled by people thinking highly of his running-mate while criticizing him.
Did Mike Pence throw Donald Trump under the bus?
The governor either avoided defending Trump or just outright ignored the question and began talking about something else entirely.
For instance, when Kaine attempted to put Pence on the defensive by recalling all the times Trump insulted the Mexicans, adding that, “I cannot imagine how Gov. Pence can defend Donald Trump,” Pence responded by turning the accusation against Kaine and Clinton instead.
“You and Hillary Clinton would know a lot about an insult-driven campaign,” he replied.
When Trump’s tax returns came up, Pence chose to ignore the question. His response to Kaine’s queries about the birther controversy, Trump insulting John McCain and the recent feud with former Miss Universe Alicia Machado was not much different.
“He’s not a polished politician like you and Hillary Clinton,” Pence told his opponent at one point.
The truth is, the election campaign has somehow turned into the Donald Trump show — and it’s safe to say he won’t let anyone steal his thunder.