People who know Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump are quick to tell you that one thing Trump hates the most is being upstaged by people around him. Which is exactly what Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, did on Tuesday night.
Pence, debating Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, stayed calm and focused, even as the Virginia senator repeatedly pressed him to defend some of the most offensive things Trump has said during the presidential campaign.
Over and over, Pence deflected questions about Trump by shaking his head and denying that Trump had ever said things Trump says all the time. For viewers, the overall effect was as if Trump barely existed.
Early opinion polls following the debate indicated that a plurality of viewers thought Pence won the 90-minute live broadcast.
Yet within minutes, Trump advisers indicated that Pence may have done a little too well, considering Trump’s widely panned performance in last week’s presidential debate.
On CNN, reporter John King said a Trump adviser told him much the same thing.
A source close to Trump told HuffPost that Trump would likely be happy with Pence’s performance, noting that the Indiana governor managed to “stop the bleeding” after a disastrous week for the Trump campaign.
Trump is notorious for lashing out at those he feels have stolen the spotlight from him. Earlier this year, he told a woman at a rally whose baby was crying to “get that baby outta here.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.