Donald Trump on Wednesday claimed credit for Mike Pence scoring what he called a historic victory in Tuesday night’s presidential debate, saying it was the result of his good judgment.
“How many of you watched the vice presidential debate last night?” Trump asked the crowd at a rally in Henderson, Nevada. “Mike Pence did an incredible job, and I’m getting a lot of credit because that’s really my first so-called choice, that’s really my first hire, as we would say in Las Vegas.”
“I’d argue that Mike had the single most decisive victory in the history of vice presidential debates. I believe that too,” Trump added. “Last night America also got to look first hand at my judgment, and that was judgment.”
After Tuesday’s vice presidential debate, Pence was criticized for not fighting back against Tim Kaine’s attacks on Donald Trump’s record. Instead, Pence flatly denied that Trump had said things he has in fact been captured saying on video or in print.
If Trump was miffed by that, he didn’t let it show at the Henderson rally.
“I’ll tell you, he’s a good one,” Trump said of Pence’s debate performance. “He was cool, he was smart, he was—I mean, take a look at him. He was meant to be doing what he’s doing, and we are very very proud of Gov. Mike Pence. Thank you Mike Pence!”
Trump reportedly had second thoughts when he first selected Pence to be his running mate, though. Before he announced the pick, Trump was “on the phone till midnight” discussing alternatives with aides, according to several reports at the time.
In a press conference before the Wednesday rally, Trump said of Pence’s debate performance, “somebody said he won on style, but style doesn’t matter. The issues, the policy, matters, and he’s getting tremendous reviews from me and everybody.”