RNC Declares Pence the Winner of the Debate -- Before It Starts
The Republican National Committee seems like it's pretty confident in vice presidential candidate Mike Pence -- so much so that the organization posted about Pence's victory in the debate hours before the event even started.
"The consensus was clear after the dust settled, Mike Pence was the clear winner of the debate," read the post on GOP.com, which reporters spotted on Twitter early in the 7pm ET hour. (The debate starts at 9pm.)
Apparently, the GOP VP is ready to have some "top moments" during the debate on the economy and "highlighting Hillary's scandals."
Here's a screenshot from around 7:18pm. The post has since been taken down.
Pence Overstates Trump Remarks on Mexican Immigrants
"He also said and ‘and many of them are good people,’ you keep leaving that out of your quote," Pence fired back when confronted repeatedly about Trump's remark in his campaign announcement that some Mexican immigrants were "rapists" and criminals.
Trump never said “many of them are good people,” he said “some, I assume, are good people.”
Well, That Didn't Take Long...
The Clinton campaign made short work of Mike Pence's annoyed dismissal of "that Mexican thing" when trying to deflect Kaine's attacks on Trump's immigration.
The web address ThatMexicanThing.com redirects to a donation page for Hillary Clinton.
Pence Wildly Understates Clinton Foundation Charitable Work
In discussing the work of the Clinton Foundation, Mike Pence said “less than 10 cents on the dollar has gone to charitable causes, it has been a platform for the Clintons to travel the world, to have staff."
Pence is absolutely wrong here: 80-90 percent of Clinton Foundation funding goes to program services, which our friends at PolitiFact found is the best measure of charitable work while checking a similar claim two months ago. It is true that less than 10 percent of their funds go to third-party charities, because most of its money goes directly to their projects.
Phew. And That's the End!
And that's the end!
After a contentious hour-and-a-half that included debate about policing, taxes, Russia, Syria, immigration, both the Clinton and the Trump Foundations, cyber warfare and abortion, it's over.
Stay tuned for lots more analysis and fact-checking.
Pence's Plan to Achieve Unity: Change
Pence said Trump can bring together the country, saying, "The best way we can bring people together is through change in Washington, D.C."
It was a continuation of his theme that Clinton is more of the same and Trump represents change.
The Final Question: How to Unify the Country
Asked how he and Clinton would help unify the country after a divisive campaign, Kaine called the query "the $64 million question."
Kaine lauded Clinton's good relationships with Republicans while she served in the Senate, saying "Hillary Clinton has a track record of accomplishment across the aisle."
Addressing the same question, Pence said "the best way that we can bring people today is to enact change in Washington D.C."
Pence to Kaine: 'You bring up that Mexican thing again'
In struggling to defend some of Trump's comments, Pence said to Kaine, "You bring up that Mexican thing again."
Pence was referring to Trump calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals.
Pence Insists He and Trump Haven't Praised Putin. They Have
"No, we haven't" said Russian President Vladimir Putin is a great leader Pence claimed on Tuesday night, later insisting it's "absolutely inaccurate" for Kaine to say he and Trump have called Putin a strong leader.
Pence said Putin is stronger than Obama, and Trump has said Putin is a great leader, among other praising remarks. Neither said both, but the message is largely the same.
Kaine Says Trump Won't be Tough on China
Kaine says the relationship with China is "competitive," "challenging" and must be cooperative, and notes that the U.S. must work with China on areas like North Korea.
He added that he would "worry" about a president Trump because he owes $650 million to Chinese banks.
"I'm not sure if he could stand up to people who owe him money," Kaine said.
Kaine Insinuates (Again) That Trump Has a Business Interest in Russia
The debate over Russia continues. Kaine infers that Trump offers praise of Putin because Trump is financially invested in the country. But adds that the scope is unclear because Trump won't release his taxes.
What Kaine is doing is planting the idea that Trump could have a conflict of interested and he could place his business interests above U.S. security.
What Did Pence Say About Putin?
Pence and Kaine got into a back-and-forth on what Pence has said about comparing Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama.
Here's what Pence told CNN on September 8.
"I think it's inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country. And that's going to change the day that Donald Trump becomes president."