CNN political analysts concurred that Senate Republicans should imitate Pence's debate performance and lie about Trump's record.
October 5, 2016

During a panel discussion on CNN's Inside Politics, AP's Lisa Lerer said Gov. Mike Pence's refusal to answer questions about what Trump has actually said? Was a blueprint for success for battleground Senate candidates.

As Digby says:

CNN's John King played a fact-checking segment on some of Pence's non-responses and denials to Gov. Tim Kaine's statements of facts and said, "One of the great conversations today and immediately last night was as you watched this play out, Democrats saying, rightly so in many cases, Tim Kaine would quote Donald Trump. Mike Pence would say, 'I'll defend it.' and didn't defend it. And often said several times, 'Donald Trump never said that.'"

"To most of those cases, Donald Trump did say those things -- but Mike Pence was shaking his head: 'No, he didn't."

In most debates, lying or fudging the facts would be viewed as a big problem for a VP or Presidential candidate during a debate, but not for Pence.

Instead of agreeing with King, Lerer said, "I think Pence is giving a really nice playbook for a lot of these Senate candidates."

Openly lying on national television is now being considered a "really nice playbook" for political candidates by the beltway media? Really?

Now the news analysts are not only justifying the multitude of lies the Trump campaign and their surrogates spout off everyday, they are sanctioning it.

Lerer continued, "A lot of Senate candidates, Republican Senate candidates facing running in battleground states with Donald Trump at the top of the ticket. I think a lot of those people are watching his performance carefully and some taking notes, which is basically ignore the things you don't want to engage in and try to fuzz up the rest of it and see if you can make it through."

This has been the strategy of all Trump surrogates who appear on TV, but they are paid to deny and "fuzz up" the truth like so many of the Rudy's and Jeffrey Lord's have done so far.

However, aren't candidates supposed to run on their principles and policies in hopes of persuading the constituents to vote for them?

The panel agreed and only took issue with Pence inventing a new running mate out of thin air. After all, Pence lied about most of what Trump has stood for in this election.

To her credit, recently Lisa Lerer pushed back on Sean Hannity over the "Hillary is having a seizure" moment.

But this new narrative shouldn't be described as a "good playbook" when it is really a playbook of deceit.

The Washington Post jumped on board with this theory as well:

The consensus among political commentators is that Mike Pence got the better of Tim Kaine in Tuesday's vice-presidential debate. An instant poll of registered voters conducted by CNN gave Pence the win, 48 percent to 42 percent. Yet Pence did well by ignoring basic facts about Trump. He got away with it because he spoke with confidence — and because moderator Elaine Quijano didn't correct him.

Thus you had exchanges like this one, in which Kaine accused Trump of encouraging nuclear proliferation:

KAINE: More nations should get nuclear weapons. Try to defend that.

PENCE: Don't put words in my mouth. Well, he never said that, Senator.

KAINE: He absolutely said it. Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Japan.

PENCE: Most of the stuff you've said, he's never said.

QUIJANO: Gentlemen, Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, annexed Crimea, and has provided crucial military support to the Assad regime. What steps, if any, would your administration take to counter these actions? Senator Kaine?

What a perfect encapsulation of the evening. Kaine would make a claim about Trump, Pence would deny it, and Quijano would move on to another subject without weighing in. The cycle repeated itself over and over.

Media Matters has a long list of tweets from some journalists, who are calling out Mike Pence's lies.

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