Pence: Donald Trump Real Winner of 2016 VP Debate

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Mike Pence, coming off his biggest night of the campaign, suggested to a gathering of supporters here Wednesday that “some people think I won” the vice presidential debate.

“Donald Trump called me late last night from Nevada to congratulate me on the debate,” Pence said at the first rally of his four-day, four-state bus tour. “That really meant the world to me. Some people think I won. But, I’ll leave that to others.”

In this conservative town in the Shenandoah Valley, Pence kicked off the rally at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds to the cheers of several hundred backers under the open skies and surrounded by bales of hay.

'Pence did his job for the ticket' 3:02

“You know what I could tell you -- from where I sat, Donald Trump won the debate,” Pence continued, seemingly trying to thwart any notion that Pence did not aid Trump as much as his own possible political ambitions down the road. “Donald Trump’s vision to make America great again won the debate!”

During the debate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine repeatedly challenged Pence to defend his running mate’s past statements.

Pence also casually corrected his slip last night in calling the Farmville, Virginia, school that hosted the VP debate “Norwood University.”

“Had a little debate last night -- it was Longwood University, and I was humbled and honored to be there,” the Indiana governor said.

He also vocally scoffed at the assertion that his campaign is fueling the rhetoric of insults: “Your Senator Tim Kaine sat across that table from me and after an avalanche of insults he said that he referred to us as driving an insult driven campaign.”

A recent Quinnipiac poll gave Hillary Clinton a nine-percentage point edge over Donald Trump in Virginia. The state is seen as one of several states that could be key to the GOP ticket turning red to beat Clinton on Election Day.