Every Time Mike Pence Lied About Trump at the VP Debate

Behold Pence's dodges, denials and untruths about things his running mate has said and done

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Every Time Mike Pence Lied About Trump at the VP Debate
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said a number of untrue things about what Donald Trump has said at Tuesday's vice presidential debate.

Mike Pence brought the Jedi mind trick he's been practicing on the campaign trail to the vice presidential debate Tuesday evening. He consistently denied Donald Trump's positions while simultaneously telling the audience how proud he was to defend them. At points, Pence even took umbrage at Trump's own words, characterizing direct quotes as "insults" and smears.

For whatever else one might say about Tim Kaine's debate performance, the Virginia senator delivered a fundamental truth about not just Pence, but Republicans as a whole this election: "[Pence] is asking everybody to vote for somebody that he cannot defend."

This has been the case for months: Elected Republicans will disavow Trump's comments – about Mexican immigrants, Muslim Americans, a judge with Mexican ancestry, a Gold Star family or Vladimir Putin – while remaining steadfastly in support of his presidential bid. For 90 minutes Tuesday night, Kaine helped put that cognitive dissonance on display.

Here were all the instances at the debate when Mike Pence failed to defend his running mate, and flat-out gaslighted America.

Fact:
Trump has promised to create a new "deportation task force."

At the debate:
Kaine: "These guys, [Pence] and Donald Trump, have said it: deportation force. They want to go house-to-house, school-to-school, business-to-business, and kick out 16 million people.
Pence: "That's nonsense. That's nonsense ... Senator, we have a deportation force. It's called Immigrations and Customs Enforcement."

Fact:
Trump has attacked Mexicans, women, Judge Gonzalo Curiel, Sen. John McCain, African Americans and President Obama.

At the debate:
Pence: "I mean, to be honest with you, if Donald Trump had said all of the things that you've said he said, in the way you said he said them, 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 .... She said they were irredeemable, they were not American."

Fact:
Trump promised in 2014 that he would "absolutely" release his tax returns if he ran.

At the debate:
Kaine: "Donald Trump started this campaign in 2014 and said, If I run for president, I will absolutely release my taxes. He's broken his first promise."
Pence: "He hasn't broken his promise."

Fact:
Trump has expressed ignorance about Ukraine.

At the debate:
Kaine: "Donald Trump ... didn't know that Russia had invaded the Crimea."
Pence: "Oh, that's nonsense."
Kaine: "He was on a TV show a couple months back, and he said, 'I'll guarantee you this, Russia's not going into the Ukraine.' And he had to be reminded that they had gone into the Crimea two years before."
Pence: "He knew that."

Fact:
Trump has contended that women should be punished for getting abortions.

At the debate:
Pence: "Donald Trump and I would never support legislation that punished women who made the heartbreaking choice to end a pregnancy."
Kaine: "Then why did Donald Trump say that?"
Pence: "We just never would."
Kaine: "Why did he say that?"
Pence: "Well, look, he's not a polished politician like you and Hillary Clinton."

Fact:
Trump has said Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists – "and some, I assume, are good people."

At the debate:
Pence: "Senator, you've whipped out that Mexican thing again ..."
Kaine: "Can you defend it?"
Pence: "There are criminal aliens in this country, Tim, who have come into this country illegally who are perpetrating violence and taking American lives."
Kaine: "You want to use a big broad brush against Mexicans on that?"
Pence: "He also said and many of them are good people. You keep leaving that out of your quote. And if you want me to go there, I'll go there."

Fact:
Trump has expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un and Muammar Gaddafi.

At the debate:
Kaine: "[Trump] loves dictators. He's got kind of a personal Mount Rushmore, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Muammar Gaddafi ..."
Pence: "Oh, please. Come on."

Fact:
Trump's threatened to leave NATO.

At the debate:
Kaine: "Alliances are critical. That's why Donald Trump's claim that ... NATO is obsolete and that we need to get rid of NATO is so dangerous."
Pence: "That's not his plan."

Fact:
Trump and Pence have praised Putin.

At the debate:
Kaine: "Donald Trump and Mike Pence have said he's a great leader."
Pence: "No, we haven't."

Fact:
Trump's said that more countries should have nuclear weapons.

At the debate:
Kaine: "Do you think ... more nuclear weapons in the world will make us safer? That's what Donald Trump thinks."
Pence: "Ronald Reagan also said nuclear war should never be fought because it can never be won. And the United States of America needs to make investments in modernizing our nuclear force for both deterrence and assurance to our allies."
Kaine: "But can you defend Donald Trump's claim that more nations should get nuclear weapons?"
Pence: "But let me go back to this Iran thing ..."

Fact:
Trump has proposed banning Muslims from entering the U.S.

At the debate:
Kaine: "With respect to refugees, we want to keep people out if they're dangerous. Donald Trump said keep them out if they're Muslim."
Pence: "Absolutely false."