Mike Pence defended Donald Trump’s $916 million in business losses that allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years by saying Trump had faced “tough times” in 1995—but also giving him credit for taking the losses as part of a long-term business strategy.
At first, Pence dodged the question, saying that the Clinton/Kaine ticket had proposed “$2 trillion in more spending, more deficits, more debt, more government.” But after moderator Elaine Quijano asked again, Pence put up the business-centric defense used by Trump surrogates all week.
“Like virtually every other business including the New York Times, not too long ago he used what’s called net operating loss” Pence said during the vice presidential debate.
Pence also called Trump “brilliant” for using the tax code the way he did, arguing the losses were part of a long-term business strategy.
“Donald Trump has created tens of thousands of jobs and he’s paid payroll taxes,” Pence said.