In the first and only vice presidential debate of 2016, the second fiddles took center stage. Their conversation at times, however, might be described as just a little out of tune.
Both Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Democratic Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine dug in to defend their candidates – often falling over each other to deliver a series of canned zingers and wild jabs.
Here are 11 of their most cringe-inducing, flat one-liners:
1. Pence flubs name of university
“Well, first off, thank you, Elaine, and thank you to – thank you to Norwood University for their wonderful hospitality and the Commission on Presidential Debates.” (The debate took place at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia).
2. Pence on ‘insult-driven’ campaign
“He says ours is an insult-driven campaign. Did you all just hear that? Ours is an insult-driven campaign?” said Pence, running mate of Donald Trump, who during the debate retweeted insults of Kaine.
3. Kaine struggles with predictable jab
“You are Donald Trump’s apprentice,” Kaine said clumsily, referencing the television show Trump once starred in.
4. He tried again
“Do you want a ‘you’re hired’ president in Hillary Clinton or do you want a ‘you’re fired’ president in Donald Trump?” he asked.
5. Pence on Trump’s taxes
Pence defended his running mate’s reported tax return showing $916 million loss in 1995, saying: “His tax returns showed he went through a very difficult time, but he used the tax code just the way it’s supposed to be used. And he did it brilliantly.”
6. Pence’s recycled line
“There they go again,” he said, ripping off a famous debate line from Ronald Reagan in 1980.
7. Pence’s very specific number of economists
Pence: “305 economists said your plan is bad for the economy.”
8. Kaine muddles his Miss Universe line
“Donald Trump can’t start a Twitter war with Miss Universe without shooting himself in the foot,” he said.
9. Pence’s topographical assessment of Clinton economic plan
“We’re going to be in a mountain range of debt (if Clinton wins),” he said.
10. Kaine’s canned line on Trump’s ‘Mount Rushmore’ of dictators
“He’s got kind of a personal Mount Rushmore, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Moammar Gadhafi … (Pence interrupts) … and Saddam Hussein,” he said.
11. Pence responds to a question about homegrown terror … by talking about immigration
“Well, I think it’s – I think it’s a great question, Elaine, but it really does begin with us reforming our immigration system and putting the interests, particularly the safety and security of the American people,” he said