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RNC Declares Mike Pence Winner Hours Before Vice Presidential Debate

Committee spoils VP nominee’s top talking points in accidental post

Mike Pence

The Republican National Committee accidentally proclaimed Mike Pence the winner of the vice presidential debate hours before it started.

Heidi Gutman/Getty

The Republican National Committee declared Mike Pence the winner of the vice presidential debate in a post on its website that accidentally went up over an hour before the Indiana governor’s showdown with Tim Kaine, The Huffington Post points out. Spoilers ahead!

The statement has since been taken down (and tastefully replaced with an unflattering picture of Hillary Clinton and a 404 message), though a screen grab shows the RNC was ready to proclaim, “The consensus was clear after the dust settled, Mike Pence was the clear winner of the debate.” In an impressive act of prophesy, the post also noted that Pence’s best moments came while discussing the economy and “Highlighting Hillary’s scandals.”

The RNC also predicted, “The other clear winner from tonight’s debate was Donald Trump. His running mate perfectly shared Trump’s vision to make America great again and that message is resonating with Americans all across the country.”

Along with its premature Pence victory post, the RNC also accidentally published another statement with the headline, “It’s Clear Who Lost the VP Debate, Hillary Clinton.” Per CBS, the RNC wrote, “Tim Kaine was unable to answer for his running-mate’s record of failure, corruption and secrecy at tonight’s debate. The American people have spoken and it’s clear who tonight’s biggest loser is, Hillary Clinton.”

Pence and Kaine’s first and only debate takes place Tuesday evening at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. CBS News’ Elain Quijano is moderating and the debate can be streamed live on YouTube

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