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Locals surprised by Kaine’s ‘aggressive’ VP debate performance

RICHMOND, Va. -- The day after Sen. Tim Kaine appeared on the national stage for the vice presidential debate, the lunch crowd at his favorite diner weighed in on his “brash” performance.

Kaine and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence sparred Tuesday for the first and only vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville.


Richmond’s former mayor can often be seen grabbing a meal at the City Diner on West Broad Street when he’s not on the campaign trail.

“I was a little surprise Tim Kaine came out like an attack dog,” said customer, Carol Tysor. “For me, it was uncomfortable to watch.”

The rival running mates repeatedly interrupted each other -- and debate moderator Elaine Quijano of CBS -- during the debate. Kaine challenged Pence during his answers, and rejected the notion that he was eating into Pence's time by responding and rebutting each charge he made as he made it.

Kaine’s friend, Jim Holdren, said he was taken aback at the senator’s usual passive, “nice guy” demeanor.


“He’s a little more aggressive than I seen him before,” said Holdren. “But, I think he needed to get some points across.”

The tactic displayed Kaine's energy and skill with talking points but risked coming across as overbearing and irritating to some viewers at home, according to CNN.

“I think some people have said [Kaine] was boring. He was anything but boring last night,” said Holdren.

Debate experts said voters often make their judgement based on a candidate’s overall tone and performance, rather than the actual facts. That may have hurt Kaine Tuesday night, according to a political analyst.

But, voters said the debate did not change their decisions this Election Day.

“I haven’t changed my mind about how I feel about Tim Kaine. I’m still a Kaine fan,” said Holdren.