The Latest: Kaine says Pence should have stuck up for Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2016 presidential campaign (All times EDT): 6:44 p.m. Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine says he won the debate against Mike Pence. But acknowledged that even his wife gave him a hard time for interrupting Pence so much. Hillary Clinton's running...

 
              Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine walks off the stage with his wife Anne Holton following the vice-presidential debate with Republican vice-presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2016 presidential campaign (All times EDT):

6:44 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine says he won the debate against Mike Pence. But acknowledged that even his wife gave him a hard time for interrupting Pence so much.

Hillary Clinton's running mate joked to supporters Wednesday at a Philadelphia sheet metal workers union hall that being Irish is to blame for his feisty approach.

The Virginia senator has been widely criticized for his aggressive style at the debate.

Kaine kept up his criticism of Pence on Wednesday for not sticking up for his presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

Kaine said, "Your running mate ought to be able to defend you."

Kaine compared himself to a good hockey goalie who blocked Pence from scoring any substantive attacks on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

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6:15 p.m.

Democrats are courting organized labor in eastern Ohio by highlighting Donald Trump's use of Chinese steel and aluminum in his construction projects.

Newsweek reported on the Republican nominee's dealings earlier this week. It came up throughout Bill Clinton's bus tour in an area of Ohio critical to Hillary Clinton's chances against Trump. The billionaire businessman has railed against international trade.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown told union workers Wednesday in Canton that Trump stiffed Americans by buying illegally subsidized materials from overseas. Brown said all Trump does "is run his mouth and pad his pocket."

Bill Clinton said "they knew they were selling that steel illegally." The former president argued Hillary Clinton's proposals would foster economic growth in the United States without abandoning international trade.

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5:45 p.m.

Sen. John McCain is defending Donald Trump after the GOP nominee seemed to suggest that veterans suffering from mental health issues may not be as strong as those who don't.

The Arizona senator says in an interview with the Arizona Daily Star's editorial board that Trump's comments were misconstrued by the press.

He calls it "the classic example of the media feeding frenzy that is going on. The bias that is in the media."

Trump drew criticism from some veterans groups when he said earlier this week that some who have served are "strong" and "can handle it. But a lot of people can't handle it."

Trump thanked McCain on Twitter for his "kind remarks."

Trump and McCain have had a stormy relationship, with Trump at one point questioning whether McCain should be considered a war hero because the former prisoner of war was captured during the Vietnam War.

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5:03 p.m.

Donald Trump is calling the Federal Reserve "a political organization" and suggested that Chairwoman Janet Yellen was keeping interest rates low at the Obama administration's behest.

Trump was sharply critical of the Fed during a Wednesday luncheon with Latino business leaders at a Mexican restaurant in Las Vegas.

The Republican nominee bemoaned how hard it was for minority-businesses to receive bank loans and then criticized the Fed, calling it "another political arm of the administration."

The Federal Reserve is an independent organization and Yellen last week denounced Trump's previous claim that she was considering politics when making decisions about interest rates.

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3:55 p.m.

Donald Trump is once again pushing back on characterizations by his Democratic rivals that he's too cozy with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He says at a rally in Henderson, Nevada, that people say, "Donald Trump loves Putin. I don't love, I don't hate, we'll see how it works."

Trump says that maybe he and Putin will have "a good relationship. Maybe we'll have a horrible relationship. Maybe we'll have a relationship right in the middle."

But he is repeating his willingness to work with the strongman to combat Islamic State group militants despite disagreements between the two countries.

Trump says, "If we got along with Russia and Russia went out with us and knocked the hell out of ISIS, that's OK with me."

Washington this week suspended direct U.S.-Russian talks on a Syria cease-fire in a move blamed on Russia's rejection of diplomacy in favor of helping the Assad government.

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3:50 p.m.

Republican Mike Pence has emerged from the vice presidential debate newly energized.

He's set on winning over small-town and rural conservatives in big, influential states for Donald Trump.

But the praise Pence is receiving after Tuesday's debate is also an awkward reminder of Trump's failings in his own debate. Unlike Trump, the understated Pence kept calm during the debate, never getting riled during the stream of attacks from Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine.

That has some Republicans wishing he was atop the ticket — and thinking that he may be in the future if Trump doesn't win this year.

Pence kept up his subdued tone on a bus tour Wednesday through Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

At a Virginia rally, he joked: "I'm the other face on the bus."

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3:35 p.m.

Donald Trump is taking credit for Mike Pence's strong debate performance because it was "my first hire."

Trump, speaking Wednesday in Nevada, said Pence did "an incredible job" and "I'm getting a lot of credit" because the Indiana governor was his choice to be vice president.

The Republican nominee also said that Tuesday's debate allowed voters "to look first-hand at my judgment." And he said "you need judgment for people, for deals."

Trump chose Pence in July after days of very public ruminations about whom he should select as a running mate.

Pence squared off with Democrat Virginia Senator Tim Kaine in the lone vice presidential debate. Trump will hold his second debate with Hillary Clinton on Sunday in St. Louis.

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3:30 p.m.

Mike Pence is making a pit stop — that is, barbecue pit stop — in the northwest Virginia city of Harrisonburg.

Pence stopped at the Bar-BQ Ranch, a roadside restaurant where a sign proclaims: "Pigs are beautiful."

Pence and his daughter Charlotte -- followed by Secret Service and press --grabbed pulled pork sandwiches, topped with coleslaw, and worked the late lunch group at the 68--year-old joint popular with the James Madison University crowd.

Pence poked his head through the order window and said: "I've heard you got some good barbecue here."

Pence stopped to talk to Gerald Spence, a JMU math instructor. Spence congratulated Pence on his debate performance against Tim Kaine the night before. He said: "You laid some good ones on him."

Pence replied: "I did my best."

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2:21 p.m.

Donald Trump is praising his running Mike Pence's performance in the vice presidential debate.

The Republican nominee, speaking Wednesday at a church in Las Vegas, said he was "very proud" to watch his running mate square off against Hillary Clinton's ticket mate, Tim Kaine.

Trump said Pence "won on the issues."

"Some say he won on style but style doesn't matter," said Trump, who noted that Pence was getting "great reviews" in the media.

The celebrity businessman spoke as he visited with a group of pastors at the International Church of Las Vegas. Trump also praised Pence as a "good Christian" before reading a verse from the Bible.

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2:05 p.m.

Donald Trump is warning that a Hillary Clinton victory in November would "endanger religious liberty" across America.

The Republican presidential nominee said that if Clinton won "religious liberty wouldn't be there" and the result would be "a different country."

Trump again vowed to overturn the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits houses of worship advancing specific candidates or political parties.

He made the remarks at a visit to the International Christian Academy, a charter school affiliated with the International Church of Las Vegas

He also visited an indoor soccer practice and a 1st grade classroom, where the students greeted him with the gift of a Bible and then recited both the Pledge of Allegiance and an adaption of that called Pledge to the Bible.

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12:50 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is at her Washington home, preparing for the second presidential debate.

Campaign chairman John Podesta, top aide Jake Sullivan and debate team advisers Ron Klain and Karen Dunn arrived at the Democratic nominee's home around lunchtime Wednesday.

Podesta told reporters that the town hall setting for Sunday's debate in St. Louis "is a natural format for her."

Podesta said "that's a format that Donald Trump isn't as used to."

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12:45 p.m.

Latino scholars and activists say Mike Pence's "whipping out that Mexican thing" remark during the vice presidential debate was dehumanizing and tinged with sexual innuendos.

The comment by Pence on Tuesday was an attempt to brush off rival Tim Kaine after he repeatedly raised Trump's critical comments about Hispanic immigrants. Pence said: : "Senator, you've whipped out that Mexican thing again."

By Wednesday Latino comedians, activist, and elected officials widely ridiculed Pence's reference on social media.

Syndicated cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz shared a picture of Trump's "Make America Great Again" red cap replaced with the words "whipping out that Mexican thing."

New Mexico Rep. Javier Martinez also tweeted "proud to be 'that Mexican thing'."

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11:45 a.m.

Bill Clinton is continuing the hard-sell to working class Ohio voters considering whether to send his wife to the White House.

The former president told a union hall audience Wednesday in Youngstown that Democrat Hillary Clinton wants an economy that allows Americans to "rise together." He said Republican Donald Trump is a dangerous alternative bent on more "trickle down" tax breaks for the wealthy and continued political gridlock.

Bill Clinton advised that "if you don't want somebody to drive a truck off a cliff, don't give 'em the keys."

The former president has been campaigning often in working-class areas where Trump's anti-globalization message has resonated.

Ohio has about 670,000 workers represented by unions. President Barack Obama won the state in 2012 by about 165,000 votes.

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11:20 a.m.

A Democratic congressman doesn't want union voters in his home state of Ohio to buy what Donald Trump is selling.

Tim Ryan says the Republican presidential nominee is offering "snake oil" with his promises to bolster the manufacturing economy. He blasted Trump for using steel and other materials from China in his own building projects.

Ryan said Trump fits a phrase "my little Italian grandmother used — 'due facce.' He has two faces."

Ryan was introducing Bill Clinton at a rally in Youngstown. He warned union workers that Trump would "gut you and he will walk over your cold dead body, and he won't even flinch."

About 670,000 Ohio residents in the battleground state are represented by unions. President Barack Obama won the state by about 165,000 votes in 2012.

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10:45 a.m.

Hillary Clinton is giving Tim Kaine's debate performance two thumbs up.

Spokesman Nick Merrill said Clinton emailed her running mate after Tuesday's debate to congratulate him.

The Democratic presidential nominee offered two thumbs up when she was asked a shouted question about Kaine's performance. She was at an airport in White Plains, New York, on Wednesday for a flight to Washington.

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8 a.m.

Donald Trump's campaign manager say Tim Kaine acted "like he had a tic" by mentioning Donald Trump so frequently in the debate.

Kellyann Conway said Trump is preparing "constantly" for his second debate against Hillary Clinton. She told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Trump should be "tough but fair" against Clinton in Sunday's debate.

But Conway is acknowledging that Trump needs to avoid getting distracted by fights about peripheral issues. She says Trump has a right to defend himself against attacks, but that he understands he's best when he's talking about Clinton or her record.

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7:35 a.m.

Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta says Mike Pence "didn't get the job done" in the vice presidential debate because he didn't defend running mate Donald Trump.

Podesta said Wednesday that Trump "lost" even though he wasn't in the debate. He said he doesn't think the debate changed the course of the race.

Podesta told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Clinton running mate Tim Kaine's job was to challenge Pence to defend Trump. He said Pence didn't do it.

Podesta said Pence came off as a reasonable and likeable guy, but seemed like he was more focused on his own presidential prospects in 2020 than on Trump's in 2016.

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6:30 a.m.

Some Mexican-Americans are taking issue with Republican Mike Pence brushing off GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's comments on Mexican immigrants as "that Mexican thing."

Pence chided Democrat Tim Kaine's repeated mention of Trump's comments on immigrants during Tuesday night's vice presidential debate, telling him at one point: "Senator, you've whipped out that Mexican thing again."

The Indiana governor's remark has quickly become one of the most talked about moments from the primetime forum, trending online under #ThatMexicanThing. Twitter ranks it as the third most tweeted about moment of the debate.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign has apparently taken note of the online attention. Visitors to ThatMexicanThing.com are being redirected to Clinton's campaign website.

3:30 a.m.

Republican Mike Pence was calm and steady in the face of Democrat Tim Kaine's fiery and frequent challenges. But when it came to defending Donald Trump, Pence dodged, sidestepped or was silent about some of his running mate's most provocative words.

Kaine aggressively pressured Pence Tuesday night to vouch for Trump throughout the 90-minute debate, often citing the brash businessman's own words. Pence defended Trump's tax history, but maneuvered around criticism of Trump's demeaning comments about women, his public doubting of President Barack Obama's citizenship and broader questions about temperament.

"I can't imagine how Governor Pence can defend the insult-driven, me-first style of Donald Trump," said Kaine, the Virginia senator and Hillary Clinton's No. 2.

The usually easygoing Kaine went on the attack from the start and seemed determined to make the debate a referendum on whether Trump has the disposition for the Oval Office.

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