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Mike Pence: Donald Trump won the VP debate

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence defends his presidential running mate, Republican Donald Trump.
/ Source: TODAY

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said that despite personally fielding questions from the moderator during Tuesday's vice presidential debate, it was actually running mate Donald Trump who came out on top.

"It was Donald Trump's vision that I was describing," the Republican vice presidential candidate said Thursday on TODAY.

Trump took credit for Pence’s debate performance, saying it was a symbol of his good judgment for picking him as his running mate and calling him the “first hire” of his administration.

Pence has been praised for his calm and steady demeanor during Monday night’s vice presidential debate with Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who repeatedly ticked off a list of derogatory comments Trump has made against women, immigrants, African-Americans and others. But Pence has been criticized for repeatedly failing to defend his running mate's comments.

He did deny, however, statements that Trump has been captured on video actually saying about the need for nuclear weapon proliferation and the "great" leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Pence stood his ground on TODAY.

"The mischaracterizations and the way Tim Kaine and Hillary Clinton continue to take Donald Trump's statements out of context was something I just wasn’t going to tolerate during the debate," he said.

Later, when asked if he thought Trump is a role model for children, Pence avoided a direct answer.

"I frankly think Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have many admiral qualities that young people can look up to today," he said, noting Trump's business background and Clinton's historical status as the first woman to become a presidential nominee.

"Nobody’s perfect. I can only think of one person in human history that’s perfect, but I think there’s qualities in both of these people that young people can admire."