Mike Pence: Donald Trump won the VP debate

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.

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Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence shake hands as they arrive for their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) shakes hands with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at the start of their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Debate moderator Elaine Quijano arrives on the debate stage at the start of the debate between Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Debate moderator Elaine Quijano (L) looks on as Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine shakes hands with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (R) at the start of their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Debate moderator Elaine Quijano (R) looks on as Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) shakes hands with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at the start of their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence discuss an issue during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (L) listens as Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine speaks and moderator Elaine Quijano (C) looks on during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine discusses an issue with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (off camera) during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Rev. Jesse Jackson listens during the debate between Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine speaks during his debate against Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (not shown) at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine debate Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (R) during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Gombert/Pool
The audience watch the U.S. vice presidential debate between Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine speaks as Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (C) and debate moderator Elaine Quijano (R) look on during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence discuss an issue during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (L) speaks as Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine and debate as moderator Elaine Quijano (C) look on during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (C) speaks during his debate aginst Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence moderated by Elaine Quijano (L) at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Gombert/Pool
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) listens as Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence speaks during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Gombert/Pool
Democratic candidate for Vice President Tim Kaine gestures during the vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia on October 4, 2016. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence discuss an issue during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Gombert/Pool
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) shakes hands with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at the start of their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine speaks during his debate against Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence, moderated by Elaine Quijano at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane
Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence speaks as Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine and moderator Elaine Quijano (C) look on during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine discusses an issue with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (off camera) during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (C) debate during their vice presidential debate moderated by Elaine Quijano (R) at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence greets his wife Karen Pence after the conclusion of the debate with Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine (C) and his wife Anne Holton (R) greet a guest in the audience at the conclusion of the debate with Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Anne Holton (R), the wife of Democratic candidate for Vice President Tim Kaine greets her husband after the vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia on October 4, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Anne Holton (L), wife of Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine shakes hands with Karen Pence (R), wife of Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Mike Pence at the start of the vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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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."

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