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Pence Facing Backlash After Brushing Off Trump's Comments On Immigration During VP Debate

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- 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 forum, trending online under #ThatMexicanThing. Twitter ranks it as the third-most tweeted about moment of the debate.

Responses to the hashtag varied from anti-Pence comments, to advocating for the lives of immigrants living in the United States. It was also used a call to rally Hispanic voters through social media.

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

Kaine and Pence ended their one and only debate shaking hands, but for much of the night, the two went toe to toe -- repeatedly talking over moderator CBSN's Elaine Quijano as they fiercely defended their running mates, CBS2's Craig Boswell reported.

PHOTOS: Kaine, Pence In Vice Presidential Debate

Kaine aggressively pressured Pence to vouch for Trump throughout the 90-minute debate, often using the brash businessman's own words. While Pence defended Trump's tax history, he notably sidestepped criticism of Trump's demeaning comments about women and his public doubting of President Barack Obama's citizenship

Kaine called attention to several past remarks Trump has made, including saying that Mexican immigrants were "bringing crime" and were "rapists," calling women "slobs, pigs, dogs, disgusting," and saying, "I like people who weren't captured" when talking about fellow Republican Sen. John McCain's war record, among others.

"He says ours is an insult driven campaign? Did you hear that? Our is an insult driven campaign?" Pence said. "To be honest with you if Donald Trump had said all the things...he still wouldn't have a fraction of the insults that Hillary Clinton leveled when she said that half of our supporters were a basket of deplorables."

Both campaigns claimed victory as soon as the debate ended.

On Wednesday, both presidential candidates will be back on the campaign trail, as Clinton attends a fundraiser in Washington, D.C. while Trump holds rallies in Nevada.

The next presidential debate between Clinton and Trump will be held Sunday night in St. Louis.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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