PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One night after the vice-presidential debate, Democrat Tim Kaine told supporters in South Philadelphia that even his wife thought he’d interrupted too much.
He also allowed that he’d been “feisty,” explaining, “I am Irish.”
But the rally at the Sheetmetal Workers hall saw the return of the folksy, devout, slightly self-deprecating image Kaine has projected since Hillary Clinton chose him as a running mate in July, as– freed from sharing a stage with his opponent– he returned to the points he’d tried to make on immigration, abortion, economic policy and criminal justice.
“Even in the back and forth, we exposed the differences in the tickets,” he said.
And he was by no means apologetic about his performance.
“Mike Pence, who’s a pretty good debater, he came in wanting to lay some gloves on Hillary Clinton and he didn’t get to do anything,” Kaine said. “I’ve never played hockey but I think I’d be a pretty good goalie based on last night. Nothing was going in the net last night.”
Kaine’s goal was not primarily to defend his performance but to rally turn-out in Philadelphia, a key strategy of the Clinton campaign.
Both the Clinton and Trump campaigns have said they consider Pennsylvania crucial to victory and both have brought the candidates themselves and high-profile surrogates to the area.
President Obama and the First Lady have both campaigned for Clinton in Philadelphia, along with Vice-president Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren and assorted actors and musicians. Biden is making a return visit later this week and Clinton’s former rival, Senator Bernie Sanders is schedule here this weekend.
Trump chose Philadelphia to lay out his national security plan and has visited suburban and outlying counties, where he is more likely to get votes given registration patterns.
Clinton has held on to a lead in Pennsylvania polls but Kaine warned the crowd that the key to victory is fighting like an underdog.
“You’re the underdog till you’re the winner,” he said. “That’s the attitude that we’ve got to have to pull this thing home.”
The crowd was enthusiastic and had mainly approved of his debate performance.
“Every time Pence lied, he had to interrupt it because there was nobody to correct it,” said Nancy Feldman, attending with her husband Mark. “So today he could say the things that were true so it was a different atmosphere. He seems like a nice guy.”
Kaine showed his “Irish” one more time when he turned to Trump’s remark that not paying taxes “makes me smart.”
“Those of us who pay taxes… what’s he saying about us? He saying we’re stupid,” said Kaine. “I got a boy in the military, who’s deployed overseas right now and when I see a guy stand on stage and smirk about how ‘I don’t have to pay taxes; it just shows I’m smart,’ it makes me very, very angry.”