Tim Kaine’s own post-debate spin: even his wife thought he was interrupting Mike Pence too much, but he succeeded in embarrassing Donald Trump and maybe sparking some infighting in his campaign.
“At some points, I felt like both he and I were debating Donald Trump,” Kaine said. “I can’t imagine that made the Donald too happy.”
Making his first public stop since leaving the debate stage here late Wednesday, Kaine acknowledged how jittery his own performance looked compared to his opponent, but said that wasn’t the most important issue.
“He’s pretty smooth,” Kaine said of Pence. “There is one thing he can’t do, and that is defend Donald Trump on anything.”
Trotting out some of his canned lines over the course of his speech to a mostly full Sheet Metal Workers Union hall split halfway, Kaine kept at it.
“If you can’t defend your own running mate, how can you ask one person to vote for your running mate?” he added a moment later.
“Mike Pence couldn’t defend the indefensible,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle, as he introduced the Democratic vice presidential nominee at the Sheet Metal Workers Union hall, near Penn’s Landing on the city’s waterfront.
“After last night, I’m not even sure Mike Pence is voting for Donald Trump,” said Pennsylvania AFL president Richard Bloomingdale in his own introduction.
Allies have also explained away Kaine’s approach at the debate as keeping Pence from getting any real attacks in on Hillary Clinton. He latched onto that explanation himself.
“He came in really wanting to lay some gloves on Hillary Clinton and didn’t get to do anything,” Kaine said. “I’ve never played hockey, but I think I’d be a good goalie based on last night.”
Then he got into landing some of his own punches, most of them focused on Trump’s business record and the questions about his tax returns.
“Let’s talk about Donald Trump’s taxes,” Kaine said.
“What taxes?” a woman in the crowd shouted.
“Yeah, what taxes?” Kaine responded, joking that he’s looking for a speechwriter to hire.
Kids applying for summer jobs need to provide references, Kaine said, calling releasing tax returns the equivalent for running for president.
“Running for president is a job interview, and it’s only a job interview for the most important job in the world, and there are some basic questions that the voters want to know, and that the voters have a right to know,” Kaine said.
Trump’s varying explanations and claims of an audit don’t add up, Kaine insisted.
“You do that with the expectation that maybe I could put this over on people,” he said.