Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, has declared himself the real winner of last night’s vice presidential debate between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine.
Whatever you thought of Pence’s performance, he clearly did a better job than Trump did in his debate. Furthermore, as Vox noted, at least part of Pence’s success was due to his refusal to defend his running mate.
Predictably, thin-skinned Trump did not take it well, according to reports:
CNN’s John King, reporting from a source close to Trump, that the reviews that Pence did better then he did won’t go over well with Trump
— Sam Stein (@samstein) October 5, 2016
Trump adviser on debate after Pence passed up opportunities to defend him: "Pence won overall, but lost with Trump"
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 5, 2016
So, perhaps recognizing how poorly a Twitter tantrum over his own vice presidential pick would go down, Trump did the next-best thing: He declared himself the real winner of the debate. In the video below, from a campaign appearance in Nevada today, Trump took credit for Pence’s supposed victory:
“Mike Pence did an incredible job, and I’m getting a lot of credit because that’s really my first so-called choice. That was my first hire, as we would say in Las Vegas.
We are very, very proud of Governor Mike Pence.
And last night, America also got to look firsthand at my judgment. And that was judgment. You know, you need judgment for people, for deals.”
Pence went along with the charade. From Politico:
“‘Some people think I won,’ Pence said, sending the crowd into a roar. ‘But I’ll leave that to others. You know, what I can tell you is from where I sat, Donald Trump won the debate. Donald Trump’s vision to make America great again won the debate.'”
Whoever won or lost last night’s debate, the real winner at this moment is Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee. FiveThirtyEight.com currently gives her a 73% chance of winning in its “polls-plus forecast.” That’s up from 55% a little over a week ago.
Watch Trump pat himself on the back for Pence’s success below, via Bloomberg Politics.
Featured image from YouTube video.