Donald Trump announced before Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate that he would live-tweet the exchange, ensuring an outsized and untraditional presence in Mike Pence’s head-to-head with Tim Kaine.
But his posts were a departure from the colorful commentary were amplifications of others’ research and sentiments.
In the first minutes of the debate, Trump tweeted at Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, with whom he feuded during the GOP primary, telling her he was in Nevada, not in the debate audience in Virginia. “Better luck next time,” he said.
Afterward, he mostly quoted and linked to rapid-response research by his campaign and allied groups and retweeted comments from supporters who complimented the demeanor and apparent likeability of his running mate, Pence.
The few original observations Trump made weren’t analytical, but rather encouragement for Pence, the governor of Indiana, against Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.).
“@mike_pence is doing a great job — so far, no contest!” he tweeted.
“I agree Mike — thank you to all of our law enforcement officers! #VPDebate ‘Police officers are the best of us . . . ’” read another tweet.
Trump has been known for his unfiltered commentary on Twitter and over the course of this campaign, he has turned regularly to the social-media platform as an outlet with which to vent and air his thoughts.
He was criticized late last month for a flurry of tweets he fired off in the early-morning hours about a former beauty pageant winner Alicia Machado, whom Clinton referenced in the first presidential debate.
Trump tweeted that Machado allegedly has a “sex tape.”
He later defended his overnight tweet-storm by saying he’d be awake to field a 3 a.m. emergency call as president.
The real estate magnate at the conclusion of the vice presidential debate tweeted a declaration of victory, “Mike Pence won big. We should all be proud of Mike!”
Clinton in the past has tagged tweets directly from her with the sign-off “-H.” Her Twitter account is managed by her campaign.
She did not appear to send any tweets herself on Tuesday night, but the posts to her account were a mix of quotes from Kaine on the debate stage, retweets of supporters and affiliated groups, and articles and videos critical of Pence and Trump.
“Mike Pence claiming that Trump supports our troops and veterans when he insults them and probably doesn’t pay taxes is laughable,” read one tweet.