Pence denies he's said 'Putin is a better leader' than Obama

Story highlights

  • Tim Kaine said at the vice presidential debate that Mike Pence has been too praiseworthy of Putin
  • That's an ongoing Democratic charge against GOP nominee Donald Trump

(CNN)Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine attacked both Donald Trump and Mike Pence for their praise of Vladimir Putin during Tuesday's vice presidential debate.

"You guys love Russia," Kaine said. "Gov. Pence said inarguably Vladimir Putin is a better leader than President (Barack) Obama."
Pence denied the charge, saying: "That is absolutely inaccurate. I said he's been stronger on the world stage."
    In fact, Pence told CNN's Dana Bash in September: "I think it's inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country."
    Trump has repeatedly praised Putin as well, saying at NBC's "Commander-in-Chief Forum" last month, Putin "has very strong control over a country," even if he does not agree with the way the country is governed.
    "Now, it's a very different system, and I don't happen to like the system," Trump said. "Certainly, in that system, he's a been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader."