Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he was not impressed with Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine’s performance at the vice presidential debate on Tuesday night.
The billionaire businessman lamented that Hillary Clinton’s No. 2 kept interrupting his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.
But Trump didn’t stop there. He insisted that Kaine’s “constant interruptions” should not have been allowed during the first and only vice presidential debate of 2016.
The constant interruptions last night by Tim Kaine should not have been allowed. Mike Pence won big!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2016
Many were quick to point out that just last week, during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Trump interrupted Clinton far more than she interrupted him. According to Sarah Frostenson of Vox, Trump clocked in at 51 interruptions, while Clinton reached 17.
But the official arm of the GOP was also undeterred about the apparent contradiction. The Republican National Committee released a video Wednesday morning called “Tim Kaine Interrupts,” which strings together 72 times Kaine spoke up while Pence was talking.
According to some undecided voters — and even likely Clinton voters — the interruptions did not do any favors for Kaine’s image. Several reportedly said he came across “like a jerk.”
CBS focus group going very negative on Kaine right now "he came across as a jerk," says a likely Clinton voter.
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) October 5, 2016
Undecided voter in Ohio says, "Kaine came off like a jerk" tonight. Adds that he "reinforced" some of the negatives about Clinton.
— Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) October 5, 2016
Late Tuesday night, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus released a statement saying Kaine refused to address Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state or the Clinton Foundation’s alleged corruption. He also took issue with Kaine’s interruptions.
“While Tim Kaine desperately flailed away with empty platitudes and constant interruptions,” Priebus said, “Mike Pence put forth the Trump-Pence vision for shaking up the Beltway, keeping Americans safe from terrorism, and making sure the American dream is within everyone’s reach.”
Throughout the debate, Kaine brought up several controversies that have surrounded the Trump campaign during the past year. He pointed to Trump’s praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the mogul’s misstatement about the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea. Kaine further cited Trump’s vow to establish a “deportation force” to round up people in the U.S. illegally, and the GOP nominee’s statement — since walked back — that women who get abortions should be “punished.”
Pence dismissed each of those accusations as “nonsense,” “completely false” or something Trump never said.
“Six times tonight I have said to Gov. Pence I can’t imagine how you can defend your running mate’s position on one issue after the next, and in all six cases he’s refused to defend his running mate,” Kaine said at one point. “And yet he is asking everybody to vote for somebody that he cannot defend.”