Mike Pence may have “won” the vice-presidential debate, as many pundits declared Tuesday night, but he did so by repeatedly denying everything that both he and Donald Trump have said over the course of the campaign. In Seth Meyer’s words Wednesday, Pence “tried to act like Donald Trump wasn’t even his running mate.”
The Late Night host spent some time mocking Tim Kaine’s “terrible zingers,” but said Pence’s “absurd insistence that it was actually Hillary Clinton’s campaign and not Donald Trump’s that consisted primarily of insults” was even worse. “Have you heard your running mate?” Meyers asked Pence. “Donald Trump drops so many insults it’s like Don Rickles and Triumph had a baby who had a Twitter account.”
Meyers went on to describe Pence as a candidate from an “alternate universe” who wasn’t running with Trump. “His strategy for deflecting criticism of Trump’s most controversial comments was just to flat-out deny that they’d ever come out of Trump’s mouth in the first place,” he said.
“Of course, Donald Trump and Mike Pence actually have said all of those things,” Meyers told viewers of the quotes Kaine brought up throughout the debate. “Pence might want to check them out sometime. If he did, it might look something like this.”
What followed was a split-screen video with all the Trump campaign statements Kaine brought up during the debate on one side and Pence shaking his head in disgust on the other.
But “as much as Pence lied about Trump’s record” at the debate, Meyers pointed out that pundits still declared him the “winner on style,” especially when compared to Trump’s “terrible” debate performance the week before. Did Pence do “too well” for Trump?
Deciding to pile on the praise, Meyers turned to the camera once again and told Trump, “Your boy Mike Pence is great on TV. I mean, what a great debater. He was nothing like you! He was calm and polite, regular-sized hands. I mean, he never got all red and sweaty.”
“Anyway, great pick, you nailed it, bro!” he concluded.
Trump would no doubt agree.