Variety was conducting a very non-scientific poll of readers who came to its site, asking who won the vice presidential debate last night, and as of this writing about 11,000 readers had responded, with Mike Pence leading 65% to 35%.
However, the Chicago Tribune’s Rex Huppke wondered whether Pence may have won the debate but lost the war.
Huppke writes, “Every time Donald Trump was criticized during Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate, running mate Mike Pence had the perfect response: Who is this ‘Donald Trump’ of which you speak?
“It was as if Pence had never met the man on the top of the ticket and was unaware that we now have video and audio recording technology that can preserve the things people say.
“Asked by Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine to defend an array of Trump’s statements, Pence simply denied that those statements exist.”
After giving examples of this during the debate, Huppke says, “While clearly winning the debate on style points — Kaine was rudely aggressive and frequently annoying — Pence set his running mate up for a blistering series of political ads that will go like this: ‘Pence: “Donald Trump never said that.”
(Video clip of Donald Trump saying that.)’”
Huppke’s conclusion: “Pence won the battle Tuesday night. Kaine set his campaign up to win the war.”