Senator Kamala Harris drafted the Vice Presidential debate with Vice President Mike Pence on the Trump administration's reckless response to the coronavirus pandemic while foiling attempts to interrupt it several times during the debate.
The debate on Wednesday night (October 7th) was far more muted than last week's controversial showdown between Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, although Pence appeared to represent Trump's campaign better than Trump himself last week.
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When Harris found early on in the debate that despite knowing it was coming, the Trump administration could not provide a response to the coronavirus entry into the United States, he stepped into the vice president early and almost stuck to it Tear down for 30 minutes.
"The Vice President and President knew it was fatal as a result, that it was in the air, that it would affect young people … and they knew what was happening and they didn't tell you," she said, looking directly to the television audience. "Can you imagine if on January 28th as opposed to March 13th you knew what you knew and what you might have done to prepare?" She then outlined Biden's plan to provide contact tracking and a vaccine search to stop the disease from spreading.
Photo by Morry Gash Pool / Getty Images
White House head of the Coronavirus Task Force, Pence, accused Biden of being "xenophobic" in Trump's plan to stop travel from China to prevent entry. But he said the operation "saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans" and later said, "Reality is under the Biden Plan. It looks very much like what President Trump, I and our task force are doing every step of the way to have." "Pence also called Biden's plan" plagiarism ".
The debate took several twists and turns, with the moderator, USA Today's White House director Susan Page, asking questions about economics, foreign affairs, and even whether Trump would step down if he didn't win the election, which frankly none of the candidates answered, but rather to talk about the platforms of the tickets on which they run.
The discussion came to Trump's appointment to the Supreme Court of Amy Coney Barrett, who won Republican support but which the Democrats oppose because of the proximity of the election. Noting Barrett's Christian faith, Pence shared some criticism of it and how some fear it will affect her decision-making when she sits on the bench.
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"We hope she gets a fair hearing," he said, citing Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the controversy surrounding his nomination. "And we hope that your Christian faith will not be attacked."
Harris replied, "Joe and I are people of faith and it is insulting to say that we would beat anyone for their beliefs."
However, she said the Biden Harris ticket's position is that any Senate hearing on a Supreme Court candidate should take place after the election. "Joe and I were very clear, let the people take this seat in the White House, then we'll take the seat on the Supreme Court."
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One of the moments of the evening that showed how strong the two candidates are was when Page brought up the fatal police shots of Breonna Taylor by officers in Louisville, Kentucky. She simply asked if the judiciary had served when Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron did not return a grand jury charge against the police officers related to her death.
Harris was quick to respond that justice had not served in the case. "I don't think so," she said. "I've spoken to Breonna's mother, Tamika Palmer and her family and their family deserves justice." But that brought her to the death of George Floyd in May, in which he was also killed by a Minneapolis police officer.
"… An American man was tortured and killed under the knee of an armed uniformed police officer," she said while addressing the massive demonstrations in response to Floyd's death. "I firmly believe that while we will never tolerate violence, we must always fight for the values that are close to our hearts." She then outlined the criminal justice reform plan on her ticket, which includes bans on chokeholds and a national register for officials convicted of misconduct.
Pence said he believed the grand jury rightly failed to charge the officers and that he was surprised at Harris' position on the Taylor case decision.
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"It's really remarkable that as a former prosecutor you would assume that a high-level grand jury reviewing all the evidence would have done something wrong," he said. The vice president mourned Floyd's death but said there was "no excuse for the unrest and looting that followed".
During the debate, a fly landed on Pence's hair for a few minutes and stood out on camera, causing some bumps on social media, especially from Harris supporters.
If you watch the debate. A fly just landed on a BS.
– r santiago-hudson (@rsantiagohudson) October 8, 2020
Pence was 3rd after THE FLY
– Will Packer (@willpowerpacker) October 8, 2020
Pence also disapproved of the notion that law enforcement has an implicit bias toward people of color, which she describes as a “great offense” to the law enforcement community. Minutes later, the conversation turned to the law enforcement role, in which Pence attempted to improve Harris' record as a district attorney in San Francisco, which sparked a narrow reaction.
"I'm not going to sit here and be taught by the vice president what it means to enforce the laws of this country," she said. "I'm the only one on this stage who has personally followed everything from child sexual assault to murder." . It wasn't long before she brought up Trump's avoidance in the debate over the condemnation of white supremacists last week.
"This is part of a Donald Trump pattern," she said.
The debate ended after 90 minutes and Page managed to stick to the schedule even though the candidates had exceeded their allotted times to answer each other on specific questions to which they wanted to bring their points or counterpoints.
Pence and Harris ended their contest answering a question from a young viewer who was concerned about the country's political division. "We can have a big argument about how Senator Harris and I are on this stage tonight," said Pence. "But when the debate is over, we Americans will come together."
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Harris ended the debate on one final thought, endorsing Biden: "Joe has a longstanding reputation for working across the gang … and he will do that as president." Joe Biden has lifted people up and fought for their dignity in the past. "
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