A rumor that Democratic vice presidential nominee, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, is in an "open marriage" was spreading on Twitter on Oct. 4, the day of Kaine's debate with Republican vice presidential nominee, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana.
BuzzFeed News notes that people were tweeting and re-tweeting a fake screenshot of Kaine tweeting: "When my wife told me she wanted to open our marriage and take other lovers, she wasn’t rejecting me, she was embracing herself."
Fact-checking website Snopes.com reported on Aug. 9 that the rumor started around Aug. 6, and was published by Prntly.com, which has a reputation for pushing fake articles and pro-Trump stories.
According to Snopes.com, the earliest appearance of the fake Kaine tweet came from Twitter user Scott Ernst who added this vulgar caption: "#TimKaine is a wimp who lets other dudes bang his wife. Too weak to stick up for himself #TrumpPence #GOP."
Ernst has reportedly tweeted conspiracy theories, other discredited claims and pro-Trump/anti-Clinton content.
The fake tweet's words appear to be lifted verbatim from a 2015 article from New York Magazine entitled "What Open Marriage Taught One Man About Feminism."
The article was written by Michael Sonmore, who did not create the fake tweet, and noted: "When my wife told me she wanted to open our marriage and take other lovers, she wasn’t rejecting me, she was embracing herself. When I understood that, I finally became a feminist."
Kaine, who has been married to Anne Holton since 1984, admitted on Oct. 5 in Philadelphia that she "dinged " him "a little bit" for his debate performance, reports Mediaite.com:
The debate was a little feisty, I gotta admit. I am Irish. But there were a couple of important things about the debate. First, my opponent Mike Pence is a pretty good debater. He came in really wanting to lay some gloves on Hillary Clinton and didn’t get to do anything. I've never played hockey, but I think I'd be a good goalie based on last night; nothing was going in the net last night. And the second thing was, my opponent, Mike Pence, again, he is a pretty good debater. He's pretty smooth, but there is one thing he can't do and that is defend Donald Trump on anything.
Kaine recalled the times Pence brushed off quotes by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, but added: "I got dinged a little bit, even by my wife, for interrupting too much."