Morning-after cleanup: Mike Pence made Trump ‘proud,’ campaign manager says

Republican+vice+presidential+candidate+Mike+Pence+speaks+at+a+campaign+rally+at+The+Villages%2C+Fla.%2C+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+17%2C+2016.+%28Stephen+M.+Dowell%2FOrlando+Sentinel%2FTNS%29
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Morning-after cleanup: Mike Pence made Trump ‘proud,’ campaign manager says

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence speaks at a campaign rally at The Villages, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence speaks at a campaign rally at The Villages, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

TNS

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence speaks at a campaign rally at The Villages, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

TNS

TNS

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence speaks at a campaign rally at The Villages, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

By Lisa Mascaro | Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s campaign manager said Wednesday that reports that the Republican presidential candidate was displeased with running mate Mike Pence’s failure to defend him at the vice presidential debate are “absolutely not true.”

Pence repeatedly declined to speak up for Trump during the debate Tuesday as Democrat Tim Kaine rehashed the long list of insults Trump has delivered against women, Mexicans, immigrants and others during the campaign. Rather than push back, Pence often just shook his head.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, said Wednesday that Trump’s tweets during the debate showed “how excited he was, how proud he was” of Pence. She said she talked to Trump during the sparring, and that Trump and Pence also spoke Tuesday.

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“As Ronald Reagan always said, personnel is policy, and Donald Trump has promised as president to surround himself with the best people,” Conway said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “You saw last night who the best people are.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the 11th annual Values Voter Summit on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the 11th annual Values Voter Summit on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, acknowledged that Pence “seemed sort of likable.” But Podesta spent more time mopping up after former President Bill Clinton’s suggestion ahead of the debate that Obamacare is the “the craziest thing,” reiterating that Hillary Clinton supports the law.

“Secretary Clinton believes the Affordable Care Act is doing great things,” Podesta said on the MSNBC show. “She thinks it’s been a success and we need to continue it and we need to build on it.”

Bill Clinton was referring to coverage gaps under Obamacare created in states where Republican elected officials have refused to expand Medicaid or have embarked on efforts to undermine the law.

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