Here’s a Recap of the Vice Presidential Debate in Case You Missed It
Here’s everything notable that went down at the VP debate on October 7 in case you missed it.
A lot was discussed at the vice-presidential debate last night, but it was much calmer than we saw last week at the presidential debate. CNN referred to it as “last week’s debate on decaf.” The debate took place in Utah where Mike Pence and Kamala Harris went head to head covering more topics than the Trump versus Biden presidential debate.
Harris is best known for her direct questioning of Trump nominees in Senate committee hearings. Harris is the first Black and south Asian woman to participate in a general election debate. Harris started off strong by boldly stating that “the American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country” referring to Trump’s failure to protect Americans and stop the spread of COVID-19 after months of knowing the severity of it. Pence tried to chime in and Harris wasn’t afraid to stand her ground and fired back at Pence for trying to speak over her cutting into her allotted two-minute response time.
Pence on the other hand isn’t known for providing direct and straightforward answers from interviewers or the press. During the debate, his blatant avoidance of answering questions regarding topics such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to reach new levels. When asked a question regarding President Trump’s health at this time, given he tested positive for coronavirus as of recent, Pence steered away from the topic and began to talk about the swine flu instead. When later asked about the supreme court, he began to talk about the top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.
The conversation quickly made its way over to a discussion about a COVID-19 vaccination. Pence argued that Harris was “undermining” confidence in a future vaccine when she admitted she wouldn’t agree to a vaccine until it was fully researched and endorsed by public health officials. Pence attacked Harris with an unexpected quote from someone working alongside Trump, “Senator, I just ask you, stop playing politics with people’s lives.” President Trump has repeatedly inserted politics into his decisions regarding COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown policies, so his attack seemed to be contradictory.
Harris stood her ground through the entirety of the debate while playing it safe at times as well. She called attention to the current president’s failure to reveal the truth about the pandemic, even him discouraging Americans to wear masks. She announced how the president disrespected Americans by withholding the truth in fear of revealing information people might not want to hear. She touched on the extent to which Americans with not enough money saved up had to sacrifice given the crumbling economy and skyrocketing unemployment rates because of the “incompetence of the administration.”
The conversation segued into climate change. The moderator posed the first question to Pence asking, “do you believe as the scientific community has concluded, that man-made climate change has made wildfires bigger, hotter, and more deadly, and has made hurricanes wetter, slower, and more damaging?” Pence responded that our air and land are cleaner than ever reported. The U.S. Global Change Research Program did a study on air quality in the US and discovered that over 100 million Americans live in communities where air pollution exceeds health-based air quality standards. He opened up his agreement by stating “in regards to climate change, the climate is changing.” He claimed that the progress being made towards a cleaner environment has been due to the fact we have a “strong free-market economy.” He responded to the wildfire crisis suggesting forest management be forefront, and in regards to hurricanes, “there are no more hurricanes today than 100 years ago.”
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Vice President Mike Pence did not agree with California Sen. Kamala Harris’ assessment that the climate crisis poses an existential threat, saying when he was asked directly about that assessment: “The climate is changing. We’ll follow the science.” Harris, meanwhile, said Biden does not support the progressive Green New Deal but touted his proposed stimulus package, which would pump hundreds of billions of dollars into clean energy jobs.
The Breonna Taylor case was also a topic for debate as the moderator posed the question to both vice presidential candidates if justice had been served for Taylor. Harris responded, “I don’t believe so.” She admitted she spoke to the victim’s family offering her sympathies. She revealed her and Biden are working to band chokeholds, and require a national registry for police offers who break the law and wish to get rid of private prisons. Pence then chimed in stating, “our hearts break for the loss of any innocent American life.” He shared the family of Taylor has our sympathies but went on to state he trusts the justice system and process that is taken care of by the grand jury. He went on to claim that systemic racism and implicit bias against minorities regarding law enforcement are an insult to the people in uniform. His comments regarding Taylor sparked a rage amongst Americans across the country.
Pence’s response to the question “did Breonna Taylor receive justice” was disgusting #VicePresidentialDebate
— HOT GIRL MEG (@theestallion) October 8, 2020
Many were outraged at how he was quick to dismiss and undermine the issues of systemic racism in America.
let’s not overlook the fact pence literally said systematic racism in america DOESN’T EXIST and that justice WAS served for breonna taylor. Disgusting.
— amelie (@ameliexrose) October 8, 2020
Harris wrapped up her argument with a strong finish speaking up about Americans with pre-existing conditions. She explained if you have heart disease, breast cancer, or are even under the age of 26 on your parent’s coverage “they are coming for you” referring to the Trump administration.
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The debate was arguably more civil than the presidential debate that took place last week and covered a large variety of issues and topics. There is more to discuss, and we plan to tune into the next presidential debate set to take place on October 15. Trump recently announced he does not agree to a virtual debate as requested by Biden, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on the news regarding the events to come.
In case you missed it, you can watch the full VP debate here.