The general consensus is that Indiana Governor Mike Pence fought Virginia U.S. Senator Tim Kaine during the Vice Presidential debate every single step of the way in a spirited, vigorous defense. However, the spirited, vigorous defense displayed by Gov.Pence was forhimself and his brand of conservative politics, and much less of Donald Trump, as he left his Republican running mate behind in throwing him under the bus.

Every question asked of Gov. Pence wasa pivot to his own competence—rather than the many flaws of the guy at the top of his ticket, Donald Trump.

The Clinton campaign called it "defending the indefensible." There were many areas and quotes from Trump that Gov. Pence refused to address, instead changing the subject.

Mike Pence dumpsTrump; pivots to 2020 election

The biggest hint that this strategy of leaving behind his running mate, Donald Trump, may have been deliberate is the fact that Gov. Pence's debate partner in preparation for the Tuesday night event was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. There is no love lost between Mr. Trump and Gov. Walker. Think a 2020 ticket of Pence-Walker.

The debate started with Sen. Kaine slamming Mr. Trump for the announcement speech calling "Mexicans rapists and criminals." He also attacked Mr. Trump for pursuing the "discredited and really outrageous lie that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States." Sen. Kaine then asked Gov. Pence pointedly, “I can’t imagine how Gov.

Pence can defend the insult-driven, selfish, me-first style of Donald Trump.”

Pence avoids defending Trump; promotes self

He didn't defend it at all and went on to present his own competence and qualities. When asked about the Trump Foundation and the tax returns, Gov. Pence avoided getting boxed into that trap. In a garbled answer, Gov.

Pence said of the tax returns, “His tax returns—his tax returns showed he went through a very difficult time, but he used the tax code just the way it’s supposed to be used.” Adding thathe "did it brilliantly.”

And so it went, back and forth with Pence dodging any mention of Trump's name and Kaine defending and praising his own running mate, Hillary Clinton.Interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile ridiculed Gov. Pence by tweeting, "Mike Pence Won The Debate For His Imaginary Running Mate, Mitt Romney," a reference to running away from Trump.

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