US Presidential Election 2016 Vol.2 (Who won the vice presidential debate? | @CNNPolitics)

Here are our excerpts of Who won the vice presidential debate? (w Video) | @CNNPolitics.

@David_Gergen: Pence Lifts GOP Spirits
Governor Mike Pence did not change the underlying dynamics of the campaign Tuesday night, but he did provide a significant service to Donald Trump: he gave fresh heart to Trump supporters and may have stopped the downward spiral of their campaign.
Democrats and many journalists argue that Pence succeeded only by throwing Trump under the bus, refusing to defend his boss from repeated attacks. But they miss the point: voters rarely scrutinize debates line-by-line, instead making their judgments on the overall tone and performance of a candidate. Pence will not fare well with fact checkers, but his poise and polish played well with voters. For better or worse, style counts a lot in these debates.
Tim Kaine had a much sharper mastery of policy but was forced to play attack dog, a role that doesn’t fit his personality. His frequent interruptions didn’t help, either — he seemed less Rottweiler than fox terrier. And by the way, who screwed up his camera angle, so that he was often looking off into space instead of talking directly to viewers? That wasn’t fair to him or the audience.
With a CNN poll showing a Pence victory, Republicans finally have reason to cheer again. Trump himself should see how much preparation paid off for his running mate. But now it is up to the candidate to show he can win at this game, too: the upcoming debate this Sunday in St. Louis is make or break for Trump.

@sallykohn: Mike Pence is living on an alternate planet

@errollouis: Pence gives lesson on how to defend Trump

@secupp: Kaine gave tone deaf, unhinged performance

@tarasetmayer: Debate won’t move needle
… Kaine was at his best when he listed many of Trump’s controversial statements and then challenged Pence multiple times to defend them, which he didn’t for the most part. However…

@timothy_stanley: Pence delivers pleasingly banal performance
Now, that was the kind of polite and intelligent debate we used not to watch. Yes, the VP encounter was feisty, but never personally offensive — and its substance also felt incredibly old fashioned. The separation of church and state, a subject never mentioned in Trump v Clinton, was tactfully addressed; memories of 9/11 were invoked; both candidates agreed that Russia is a strategic threat. In fact, Mike Pence’s performance was so old school Republican that he seemed unaware of the reality of Trump’s iconoclastic campaign. …
Kaine gave a spirited performance that was, to his detriment, wholly negative. If he couldn’t say “But your candidate said XYZ!” then he wouldn’t have had much to say at all. Pence defused the antagonism with the wry smile of a genial old man humoring a simpleton — and won most rounds. …
So effective was his performance, so pleasingly banal, that many Republicans will be calling for the ticket to be switched. They do so forgetting that Trump’s radicalism deflects but does not diminish Pence’s: He was once considered a politically incorrect conservative himself, and any other year would have been regarded as a risky choice for VP.
So this debate reinforced the impression that while the Democrat ticket is weak and unlikeable, the Republican one is eccentric. Pence, undeniably effective, won in large part by not being as bizarre as his running mate. …

@nayyeroar: Kaine, Pence and the battle for white voters

@BuckSexton: Tuesday night a sign of what’s to come Sunday?
… As for the head-to-head aspect of it, Pence won the debate against Kaine. In tone and style, he came across as more measured, poised and statesmanlike. Pence also made a much more coherent case against Hillary Clinton — both on her record and her judgment — than anything Trump pulled together in the first debate. Pence had much more difficulty defending Trump’s record, however, as he often was left shaking his head without a response when asked about a specific Trump quote. …

@FridaGhitis: Pence smooth, but can’t defend Trump
… Governor Pence, Trump’s choice for running mate, presented some interesting policy proposals to the public. They just didn’t sound very much like those of his current boss, Donald Trump.
The most startling of all was Pence’s talk about Vladimir Putin, “the small, bullying leader of Russia,” as Pence called him.
… That’s the same Putin that Pence claims his team wants to forcefully take on.
On Syria, Pence outlined a policy that does not resemble any of what Trump has said. Trump has spoken of attacking ISIS and leaving in place the dictator Bashar al-Assad, responsible for far more deaths than ISIS. By contrast, Pence declared that American leadership requires it protect vulnerable citizens, including the children of Aleppo. Compare that to Trump’s tone on Muslims in general.
Pence did make an effort to defend his running mate, but it was a bizarre tactic. When his challenger, Governor Tim Kaine, quoted Trump’s own highly offensive words, Pence repeatedly shook his head as if saying no, and laughed, appearing to deny the quotes that were almost all quite accurate. Then, when his turn came to speak, he did not refute Kaine’s statements citing Trump’s own words.
But then, at one point, he did refute them. Kaine listed a series of Trump insults that all Americans have heard; attacks against a Mexican judge, disdain for John McCain being captured in Vietnam, and others. Incredibly, Pence seemed to deny the words everyone has heard. “If Donald Trump had said all the things you said he said in the way he’s said them,” he said, it would still not compare to Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables.” …

@hsmoghul: Pence’s dishonesty is spiritually toxic, socially radioactive
… I am, however, arguing that we can get an insight into what happened to Mike Pence by seeing how great writers explore the effect of power on the human soul.
Sen. Tim Kaine repeatedly cited Trump’s most egregious comments, but all Pence did was deny Trump ever said any such thing. We have a non-focus grouped term for that. Lying. Pence may have lied more than Trump did, and that’s a historic achievement.
So whether Pence loses the debate in the court of public opinion is secondary. Whether he becomes vice president almost does not matter. Pence’s dishonesty is not just spiritually toxic, but socially radioactive. If the top of your ticket indulges anti-Semitism, moots war crimes, mocks veterans, shames women, and mines Breitbart for campaign direction, then you’re no different. …

@lanheechen: If Pence had been at the top of the ticket…

@ruthbenghiat: Pence won, but Americans could lose
… Pence’s astonishing ability to deny everything perfectly expresses the GOP leadership’s refusal to acknowledge what they have unleashed in America by nominating Trump. It helps to soothe the consciences of Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator John McCain, and all others who refuse to retract their endorsement of this rogue individual, no matter what he says or does. …
@angela_rye: What was that?
… There were so many missed moments starting with the moderator: if she was fact checking, Kaine wouldn’t be the only one cutting Pence off.

@RaulAReyes: Governor… please
… Kaine was fiercely on-message tonight. He did a good job in laying out the stark differences between Clinton and Trump on immigration, calling Trump’s plan “Deportation Nation.” He crystallized the complicated abortion issue into one simple question, asking Pence why he didn’t trust women to make their reproductive choices themselves.
Still, Kaine failed to bring up one of Pence’s vulnerabilities — his history of anti-LGBT legislation cloaked as religious freedom. At a time when marriage equality is the law of the land and most Americans — especially young people — support LGBT rights, this was money left on the table. Kaine also missed the opportunity to mention the fact that Pence has accepted the Medicaid expansion in his state under the the Affordable Care Act — something at odds with Trump’s opposition to “Obamacare.”
For his part, Pence struggled to explain how the Trump tax plans would benefit all Americans. …

@julianzelizer: The start of Pence 2020?
… Most importantly, Kaine forced Pence into the uncomfortable position of being challenged to defend Trump’s most outrageous, polemical and insulting comments about women, Mexicans and Muslims. Mostly Pence side-stepped the points Kaine made.
“I’m just saying facts about your candidate, and you can’t defend him,” Kaine said when Pence complained about their “insult-driven” campaign.
But Pence achieved his goal in this debate, which was simply to provide some positive coverage for the Republican ticket and offer an image of the ticket that differs from everything Trump has conveyed. …
… Pence was able to express some of the major lines of Republican criticism against Clinton’s policy record, something that Trump has mostly failed to do. He brought in the attacks on whether voters can trust Clinton without letting the issue overwhelm his argument.
Pence scored some points by responding to the claims about Trump’s insults by pointing to Clinton’s line about half of Trump’s supporters being in the basket of “deplorables”. …

@iamroxannejones: Pence is polished, but Is that enough?
When you know it’s wrong, just be quiet and move on. That was the strategy adopted by Governor Mike Pence at Tuesday night’s …
… Clearly, Pence does not believe in everything Trump is selling. No matter how many times Senator Tim Kaine tried to bait Pence, he stood firm, opting to defend his own conservative legacy and reputation instead of getting mired in Trump’s drama. Smart move.
Kaine, who it turns out, isn’t just a mild-mannered nice guy, was a breath of fresh air. He came into the debate armed with information and talking points on Hillary, ready to pounce. …
… Integrity matters. The win goes to Tim Kaine, by an edge.