Political Insider

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Tim Kaine takes the Donald Trump approach in the Veep debate


Hillary Clinton got rave reviews in the first presidential debate for patiently rebutting Donald Trump as he repeated “wrong” and tried to talk over her. Apparently, Clinton’s running-mate had a different debate coach.

Tim Kaine went on the offensive from the start of the showdown, and entire interactions with Mike Pence early on the debate were almost impossible to follow as he interrupted his opponent and talked over him. The transcript for some sections might as well read:

[Crosstalk]

[Crosstalk]

He aimed to get under Pence's skin - and at times he appeared to do exactly that - but the frequent interruptions made it difficult to watch for the millions of TV viewers tuning in.

An exasperated Elaine Quijano, the debate’s moderator, had to interrupt the two men repeatedly to get them back on track. At times, they ignored even her repeated pleas to quiet down or her attempts to change the subject.

“The people at home cannot understand you when you speak over each other,” she said.

Pence smiled. Kaine shrugged.

“We’re having fun here.”

Later, after another Kaine interruption, Pence turned to his rival and heaved a sigh.

"Let me finish my sentence."

CBS correspondent Mark Knobler has a suggestion for the moderators of the next two debates:

Or maybe a Taser.

Related coverage: 

Behind the scenes at Longwood University’s VP debate

Here’s what to expect from Tim Kaine during tonight’s VP debate

Here’s what to watch for in tonight’s vice presidential debate

Five weeks out, projection models give edge to Clinton in race for White House

AJC poll: Georgia voters are ‘meh’ on Mike Pence, Tim Kaine

In American politics, being VP is no sure path to better things


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.