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VP Debate: Mike Pence's Logic Beats Tim Kaine's Talking Points

Indiana Governor Mike Pence wiped the floor with Virginia Senator Tim Kaine at the vice presidential debate Tuesday night. Pence presented his arguments with logic, plain language, and class. Indeed at times he proved too much of a gentleman. Kaine interrupted him time and time again, and smugly dismissed the Indiana governor and his running mate.

Nevertheless, Kaine delivered the strongest lines of the debate, with cutting precision. Pence cunningly attacked this scripted performance, landing a killing blow.

The two candidates entered the ring with vastly different objectives. Pence insisted that 2016 is a change election, and blasted Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on her record time and again. Kaine aimed his fire at Donald Trump's off-the-cuff comments and insults, goading Pence to spend valuable time explaining the Republican nominee to the voters who are already dead-set against him.

Many pundits will say that Kaine won the debate in his own way, by making it seem like Pence could not defend Donald Trump. In fact, Pence did defend Trump (and himself) in brief side comments, but he remained focused on substantive issues rather than personal asides. The Indiana governor deftly turned the issue on its head — accusing Kaine and Clinton of being scripted, and ironically Kaine himself walked right into the trap.

This is why it didn't matter that Kaine had the best lines of the night. With every well-crafted sound bite he was proving Pence's point — he and Mrs. Clinton are consummate Washington politicians who know how to wrap their language in a bow. Trump and Pence say it how it is. That message came across loud and clear, and it was Tim Kaine who delivered it.

Here is the litany of perfect sound bites which, word by word, hoisted the Virginia senator on his own petard:

Do you want a “you’re hired” president in Hillary Clinton or a “you’re fired” president in Donald Trump?

One of those killed at Virginia Tech was a 70-plus–year-old Romanian Holocaust survivor. He’d survived the Holocaust and survived the Soviet Union takeover of his country. But then he was a visiting professor at Virginia Tech, and he couldn’t survive the scourge of gun violence.

Donald Trump believes in deportation nation.

If you don’t know the difference between dictatorship and leadership, then you've got to go back to a fifth grade civics class.

The gospel of Matthew says, “From the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” So Trump meant it. And he called Mexicans rapists.

Kaine even had his Reagan quote ready.

But Pence took all his hard work and used it against him.

Next Page: How Mike Pence turned Tim Kaine's word-smithing on its head.