- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman on Wednesday said Indiana Gov. Mike Pence looked like he was eyeing 2020 more so than 2016 with his performance at Tuesday’s vice presidential debate, saying Mr. Pence repeatedly took a pass when pressed to defend running mate Donald Trump.

“Governor Pence was smooth — he seemed sort of likable — but he didn’t get the job done,” Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “The vice president’s job is to go in and try to defend the top of the ticket.”

Mike Pence looked more like he was looking at 2020 than 2016,” Mr. Podesta said. “He kind of walked away, he did backflips on Russia — he didn’t sound at all like what Donald Trump has been saying out on the campaign trail.”

“He made a whole new policy up on Syria, which embraced Hillary Clinton’s approach to what’s going on in Syria,” he said.

“So I think Tim got the job done,” Mr. Podesta said of Sen. Tim Kaine, Mrs. Clinton’s running mate. “He came in, he was strong, he laid out clearly more concrete plans on criminal justice reform, on immigration reform, on the economy. … I thought he did a great job last night.”

“He kept putting Trump’s own words to Mike Pence and Mike Pence never defended Donald Trump. He made a kind of an attempt on his business practices, his loss of a billion dollars, but he didn’t even defend his failure to release his tax returns,” Mr. Podesta said.

“You couldn’t tell whether he was shaking his head because he didn’t believe that Donald Trump could say such things or he was trying to suggest that he hadn’t, but of course we know he had,” he said.

Mr. Pence declined to run for president in 2016. But as the party’s vice presidential nominee, he would certainly be a prominent Republican name to potentially be in the mix for a 2020 White House run should he and Mr. Trump come up short in next month’s election.

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