Biggest Takeaways From The Kamala Harris-Mike Pence Vice Presidential Debate

The vice presidential debate took place this Wednesday night in Utah, in what commentators are referring to as ‘last week’s debate, on decaf.’

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The debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris covered more issues than the Biden-Trump debate last week. Pence, like his running mate, often ignored the moderator’s efforts to enforce time limits while both candidates often ignored the questions they were asked. 

The two also offered no insight into whether they’d be willing to transfer the powers on the tops of their tickets with their running mates, considering Trump and Biden will be voted as the oldest elected president in history in the middle of a deadly pandemic that’s already impacting numerous staffers in the White House, including the president himself. 

One of the biggest and most shared moments online so far has been Harris stating “Mr. Vice President I am speaking,” when Pence tried to interrupt her answer regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Harris also opened the entire debate by condemning Trump and his entire administration’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, emphasizing that America has lost 210,000 lives with more than 7.5 million people contracting the virus. 

“The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country.”

Harris played it relatively safe in her debating with Pence, which makes sense considering Biden and Harris are leading the polls by double-digits nationally and are ahead in every crucial swing state, however, as we know that doesn’t mean we know the outcome of the election yet. A source working close with Harris recently spoke with the press regarding her preparation for the event, claiming that she knew she would need to find the balance between being assertive and letting certain disparities go.  

“To thread the needle on balancing being assertive and letting it go at points. Women are judged differently, it’s a needle we have to thread all the time and of course she has been the only woman and the only Black woman in many spaces,” the source said. She defined Trumps administration as incompetent and focused on the complete lack of honesty that’s come from our government throughout the worst global health crisis in history. 

“You respect the American people when you have the courage to be a leader, speaking of those things you may not want people to hear, but they need to hear so they can protect themselves.” The plexiglass barriers between all three individuals on screen being a stark reminder of the reality of the world right now, and emphasizing to the American people to vote for the candidate who they believe can handle managing the rest of the pandemic.

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“The Trump administration stood on information that if you had as a parent or a worker, and if you didn’t have enough money saved up, you’re standing in a food line because of the ineptitude.”

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Considering both of these vice presidential candidates are running alongside the oldest presidential candidates in history, and that Trump is currently battling Covid-19 at the age of 74, it makes sense that the idea of a transfer of power should the president become disabled/unable to complete his duties would come up. However, neither Pence nor Harris wanted to directly answer the question.

For Pence, the issue is obviously more relevant considering the president and a whole slew of his staffers currently are battling the virus. Instead of discussing his conversations with the president regarding this transfer, Pence discussed the 2009 swine flu outbreak and then talked about whether or not a president should be transparent about their health. 

Harris was also mindful with her answer when discussing a transfer of power with Biden. Instead of providing a full answer about health transparency regarding the president, she turned the attack on Trump for not revealing his tax returns. However, while both running mates may not want to “go there” in terms of insinuating their running mate may not be able to perform the full four years of their term, many Americans want to know what would actually happen in that situation and believe that they should be informed about the health status of the individual who’s sole responsibility is running the country. 

Pence also ignored a question about how the Trump administration would handle protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions if the administration’s lawsuit to end Obamacare is successful. He instead asked whether the Biden administration would seek to add seats to its Supreme Court if the Trump administration pushes through their nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Harris responded by claiming that “Joe and I are very clear: The American people are voting right now. And it should be their decision about who will serve on the court for a lifetime.” Overall, the entire debate left viewers feeling the same way they felt after last week’s. Future debates are still up in the air in terms of if they’ll actually be able to occur, so in the meantime make sure you’re registered to vote in your respected county!

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