CNN’s undecided voters reacted strongly to just 1 moment in the VP debate. It wasn’t the Pence fly.

“In the vice presidential debate, Vice President Pence took a number of flimsy claims out of the Trump playbook, although he often delivered them more deftly,” The Washington Post fact-checkers wrote after Wednesday night’s debate. “Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) also stretched the truth at times.” Pence was certainly “more buttoned-up on the stage than his boss,” The Associated Press adds, but he “nevertheless echoed many of President Donald Trump’s falsehoods.”

“Pence muddied the reality on the pandemic, asserted Trump respects the science on climate change when actually the president mocks it, overstated the threat of voting fraud, and misrepresented the Russia investigation in the Salt Lake City debate,” AP said. ‘Harris got tangled in tax policy at one point and misleadingly suggested that Trump branded the coronavirus a hoax.”

“I think the whopper of the night was Vice President Pence’s claim that they always tell the truth,” Daniel Dale said on CNN. “I mean, it’s vague, but this was on the subject of the pandemic. … It’s not a specific policy claim or something, but that, to me, was egregious.”

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Factually, the debate “was imperfect, but it was conventional political spin and dishonesty, rather than just the avalanche of lies we get regularly from President Trump,” Dale concluded. “Vice President Pence made a number of significant false claims, including when he said that ‘we always tell the truth’ on the pandemic — that itself is just not true. Sen. Harris herself made some false and misleading claims, certainly was not perfect. But for me, selfishly, it was a little bit at least a chance to take a breath after dealing with Trump for four or five years.” Peter Weber

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