Pence's Yuge Gift to the GOP Will the Trump Camp Use It Wisely? By Michael R. Caputo













After weeks of wondering why the Hell Hillary Clinton chose Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate, it's now abundantly clear: even she looks good standing next to him.

Last night’s vice presidential candidate debate was more interesting than I expected. Gov. Mike Pence turned in a solid performance for the Republican ticket, at least whenever he could get past Kaine’s interruptions – he cut in 72 times. That’s 50 percent more than even Donald Trump, quite an accomplishment. 

My question to my Democrat friends: how does it feel to have a vice presidential candidate who looks more unhinged than Trump in a debate?

Clearly, Kaine was told to rip Trump to pieces, no matter what the cost. Now, Kaine is widely regarded as kind of a goofy, nice guy, but his aggressive interruptions looked awful to the audience and caused him to lose the matchup by acclamation.
 
But the Trump-Pence ticket can't get a break in the media, even after a hands down victory in an important debate. Today, America woke up to headlines like "Pence Offers Trump Lesson in Discipline During Debate", "Mike Pence Showed Donald Trump How to Debate" and "Mike Pence sounded nothing like Donald Trump in the vice-presidential debate". And before any of us finished our breakfast, CNN's John King was reporting that Trump was mad at Pence for his success.
 
This is a great example of how the media is in the tank for Hillary: Frustrated that Kaine crapped the bed, the media tried to gin up a fight between Trump and his running mate. It won't work.
 
I strongly supported Gov. Pence for vice president behind the scenes in Trump Tower since May, and quite publicly after I left the Trump campaign. And this is precisely why I did: you hand the ball off to Mike Pence and he'll always run for a first down. I think Gov. Pence gave the most powerful argument for the Republican ticket in a week or more, and at a very crucial time. He's opened a unique window to reboot the message, come out swinging and regain the momentum. I can't even think of the last time I saw a vice presidential debate performance create such a profound opportunity. Let's see how the next hand is played. 

After last week's Clinton-Trump debate, it appears that having 1,200 campaign staffers has finally paid off: the Clinton team has cracked the Trump code nobody in the primary could. They've clearly studied him closely for a year and figured out how to bait him effectively. It was bound to happen. Now it's up to Mr. Trump and his campaign leadership to change things up in time to win on Election Day, and I have faith that they will.

I view last night's debate as Gov. Pence's gift to all Republicans, especially to his partner, Donald Trump. The Indiana governor rebooted the story line at a crucial time. Now, we'll see how the Trump campaign unwraps this present. Down four nationally and down by four or more in key battleground states, the Trump team damn sure better take advantage of the opening Pence created. Now.
 

 




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