FARMVILLE, Va. ― Donald Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), spent much of the first and only vice presidential debate Tuesday night doing his damnedest to get Americans to forget all of the offensive things Trump has said.
Pence repeatedly tried to skirt around statements Trump actually said — or simply shook his head and ignored the question.
“I’m happy to defend [Trump],” Pence said.
But Pence rarely actually defended Trump. Instead, he dodged or outright denied his running mate’s statements. Some examples:
When Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Hillary Clinton’s running mate, accused Trump of praising Russian president Vladimir Putin as a “great leader,” Pence denied it and called Putin a “small and bullying leader.” But Trump has repeatedly praised Putin.
When Kaine said that Trump recently claimed Putin was not going into Ukraine, Pence denied it. But Trump did say, “He’s not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want.” Putin took the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.
Pence himself also recently said, “I think it’s inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country.”
When Kaine challenged Pence to defend Trump’s comment that more nations should get nuclear weapons, Pence said “he never said that.” But Trump did.
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