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Kaine Praises His Debate Performance, Calls Out Tension Between Trump, Pence

"There is one thing [Pence] can’t do and that is defend Donald Trump on anything," Kaine said Wednesday. "On anything.”
Image: Tim Kaine
Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. speaks during a campaign rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, Sept. 6.Chuck Burton / AP

PHILADELPHIA — One day after the biggest debate of his life, Democratic vice presidential candidate and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine praised his performance, telling a crowd that his GOP opponent, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, “came in really wanting to lay some gloves on Hillary Clinton — and didn’t get to do anything,”

“I’ve never played hockey, but I think I’d be a good goalie based on last night,” Kaine continued. “Nothing was going in the net.”

Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, roughly an hour from Kaine’s home in Richmond, was the first time the two candidates had ever met in person. The evening was full of sparks, as Kaine drew criticism from pundits for how he consistently interrupted Pence, and Pence took heat for failing to defend Trump from the attacks Kaine lodged at the ticket.

Related: How Pence Helped Pence While Kaine Helped Clinton

“He is a pretty good debater, he’s pretty smooth,” Kaine acknowledged of Pence, who was praised for style points in appearing calm, while Kaine was eager to jump in and object a number of times. “But there is one thing he can’t do and that is defend Donald Trump on anything, on anything.”

“If you can’t defend your own running mate, how can you ask one person to vote for your running mate, one person?” Kaine asked.

During his evening rally at the Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 19 Hall in Philadelphia, Kaine alluded to the fierce nature of their exchanges.

“The debate was a little feisty, I mean, I gotta admit,” Kaine said. “I am Irish.”

He also admitted that his multiple interruptions didn’t play well, including with some of those closest to him. “I got dinged a little bit, even by my wife, for interrupting too much,” he said.

But the Clinton campaign has made a point that Hillary Clinton was pleased with Kaine’s debate performance and his defense of her, in contrast to reports that Trump was less happy with Pence, which Kaine alluded to Wednesday.

“The key part of that debate was at some points I felt like both me and Mike Pence were debating Donald Trump. I was going after Donald Trump and Mike Pence was kind of going after Trump with me,” Kaine said, then suggesting there must be tension between Trump and Pence over it following the debate. “I can’t imagine that that made the Donald too happy, so there may have been some interesting conversations about that today on the other side of the aisle.”