Esme Cribb

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Esme

During the vice presidential debate earlier this week, Trump's running mate Mike Pence insisted that Donald Trump never said several of his most high-profile and controversial comments, virtually severing himself from the GOP nominee by the end of the night.

Trump adopted that tactic himself Sunday in the second presidential debate, flatly denying posting a tweet that invited his followers to look into a former Miss Universe's past and "check out" a sex tape that doesn't exist.

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Lauren Fox contributed reporting.

Tasked with defending Donald Trump's comments and positions during the vice presidential debate Tuesday night, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence flatly rejected a number of the GOP nominee's more high-profile comments as false, even in the most open-and-shut cases.

At the end of the night, the verdict was in: the running mate had virtually severed himself from the GOP nominee.

"The indelible image that will shape the debate in the coverage to come is Mike Pence repeatedly shaking his head, 'No, no, no. Donald Trump didn't say that,'” Republican strategist Steve Schmidt told MSNBC’s Brian Williams. "Almost in every instance, in fact, Donald Trump did say that.”

"To win this debate Mike Pence had to stand up for Donald Trump,” Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robbie Mook, told TPM in the post-debate spin room in Farmville, Virginia. “He just changed the platform. Mike Pence refused to defend him.”

Trump surrogate Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) praised Pence’s strategy in the spin room, however, saying that he "did a fantastic job not of defending Donald Trump” but of focusing on policy positions.

Here are some of Pence’s most bold denials over the course of the debate.

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