There was little doubt Indiana Gov. Pence proved to be a major asset to Donald Trump, as he cheered and even energized the grassroots of the Republican Party following his only vice presidential debate with Democratic opponent Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
According to a group of prominent political women who spoke to Newsmax TV after the 90-minute debate, Virginia Sen. Kaine demonstrated he could be an aggressive "attack dog" for Hillary Clinton by repeatedly slamming Trump more than he did the Republican he was facing in Farmville, Virginia.
"Mike Pence was running for President in 2020," observed one woman. "And, Tim Kaine was running for vice president in 2016."
Ohio's GOP Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor told Newsmax: "Mike Pence spoke directly to voters like me,"
"Mike talked about jobs and he can back up his words with a record that in many ways mirrors what we've done here in Ohio. We did what the liberal politicians didn't have the courage to do -- we balanced the budget, cut spending, eliminated job-killing regulations by using common sense, and held government accountable."
Taylor added, "we can't afford to trust Hillary Clinton or her 'not-so-worker-friendly' economic plan."
Despite the fact that Taylor has so far refused to endorse Trump, the lieutenant governor said: "Mike Pence earned my vote by talking honestly and I'm excited to work with him when we elect him the next Vice President of the United States."
Her view was strongly echoed by Michigan's State GOP Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel, who said Pence came off the debate "as a serious conservative and problem-solver, who would help Donald Trump fix the problems facing our nation.
"Tonight's debate clearly showed that only one ticket has the ability to tackle the serious issues facing America."
Like her party's vice presidential nominee, Christina Hartman, Democratic nominee for Congress in Pennsylvania's 16th District, focused her criticism on Trump rather than Pence.
"Donald Trump's divisive insults and dangerous policies are so reckless that even his own running mate, Governor Pence, couldn't defend Trump's worst wrongdoings," Hartman told Newsmax. "Yet he is asking the American people to vote for Trump."
"I am proud to stand on the side of solutions,facts, and experience-- with Secretary Clinton and Senator Kaine," Hartman said.
Ann Womble, a former Lancaster County, Penn., GOP chairman who is now a "Never Trump" activist, concluded that "tonight's debate belonged to Tim Kaine. He came out the winner because he knew his stuff, defended his running mate admirably, and had pragmatic answers to the hard social questions."
But Womble, who changed her registration from Republican to independent after Trump wrapped up the nomination, was by no means critical of his runningmate.
"As steady, good, and reassuring a man as Mike Pence is, he is clearly miscast as a defender of the indefensible Donald Trump," she said, "I wish him well as he prepares for his 2020 run for President, but he is tainted by his unfortunate alliance with Trump as are all formerly principled conservatives turned Trump enthusiasts."
Republican political consultant Dana White, author of the much-praised book "Become the Leader You Were Meant to Be," noted that "Kaine looked like an awkward attack dog who had to refer to his notes for insults. I think his line of attack proves how weak their position is. By attacking a candidate, you can bring someone down but you'll never bring yourself up.
"Gov. Pence lost an opportunity to call out the Crime Bill of 1993 which is directly responsible for disproportionate rise in the incarceration of black men due to drug sentencing laws," said White, who is African-American.
"I don't think that Pence or Kaine moved the needle on minority voters on substance, but I think Gov. Pence looked the most presidential and he talked a lot about putting Americans' safety first.
"That was a strong point and one that Americans are worried about."
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