Trade, Taxes And Truth: Kamala Harris reignited her prosecutor instincts while Mike Pence stuck to the keynotes of his 2016 performance.
The 90-minute 2020 Vice Presidential debate resulted several skirmishes between Pence and Harris where the latter chastised the Republican candidate for interrupting her time and again. The debate was held at a time when Trump himself is recovering from coronavirus and according to a CNN poll, he is trailing Biden by 16 points nationally.You will find more infographics at Statista
An important feature was the plexiglass barriers that separated both Harris and Pence who exchanged animated expressions seated 12 feet apart because of Covid-19 guidelines. The setting influenced their demeanors and ultimately the outcome of the 2020 Vice Presidential debate.
Harris accused Trump of being the “greatest failure in US’ history of presidential candidates” for his inability to handle coronavirus properly.
Here’s how Kamala Harris and Mike Pence fared on the major issues that shaped the outcome of the 2020 Vice Presidential debate
1) Covid-19 garnered attention during the debate
In a scathing attack on the Trump administration, Harris said that the government had failed to handle the coronavirus pandemic, even as 210,000 people have died and 7.5 million have been diagnosed with Covid-19. “The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country,” said Harris.
She said Trump, through his misleading statements, has repeatedly minimized the seriousness of the virus, adding that the frontline workers had been treated like ‘sacrificial workers’. Pence defended Trump saying that America is in the midst of a ‘challenging time’ and the president ‘has put health in priority from the very first day of pandemic’.
Watch: Harris accuses Trump and Pence of deliberately ignoring the pandemic
Harris forced Pence to answer on Trump’s poor handling of coronavirus saying that he often ignored advice of medical experts and scientists and enforced his own version of statements on Americans. Pence accused Harris of playing politics in the name of a pandemic. “Stop playing politics with people lives.” He said that the US administration is pushing scientist and pharmaceutical companies to produce Covid-19 vaccine in record time. Harris hit back saying she would not take Covid-19 vaccine supported by Trump without medical experts’ approval.
Pence accused Harris of playing politics in the name of a pandemic.
2) Clash on trade war with China
Harris accused Trump of taking trade war with China personal, saying the president’s tit-for-tat tariff policy against China led to manufacturing recession. “You lost a trade war. You lost it,” Harris said. She also accused Trump of ending 300,000 manufacturing jobs and pushing farmers into bankruptcy. Pence hit back quickly saying Biden as a senator approved permanent trading relations with China which opened ways for the Dragon Land to expand its business considerably. “Lost the trade war with China? He never fought it. Biden has been a cheerleader for communist China over the last several decades,” Pence said.
Harris accused Trump of ending 300,000 manufacturing jobs and pushing farmers into bankruptcy.
3) Trump’s tax returns
Debating on the transparency of Trump and Biden’s health records, Harris took a dig at the president for his failure to pay federal income taxes, especially in 2016 and 2017 when he paid a mere $750 each year. Pence condemned Trump’s tax return media reports saying they are ‘inaccurate’. He said the US president had paid ‘tens of millions of dollars in taxes’ and has ‘stacks’ of financial disclosure to prove his claim.
4) Harris told Pence she would not be lectured
Interruptions and scathing attacks between the two vice-presidential candidates were on full display during the debate. It also saw some tense moments between the two leaders.
Raising the question of the killing of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police early this year, Harris said justice had not been served in her case. Pence defended the US administration saying he has faith in the legal system as there were no charges against the officers involved in the killing. “Trump administration would always stand with law enforcement,” Pence said, adding Harris and Biden shouldn’t have insulted crime justice system saying there was implicit bias in the case. Harris said, “I will sit not here and be lectured by Pence on what it means to implement law in our country.”
I will sit not here and be lectured by Pence on what it means to implement law in our country.Kamala Harris during the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate
5) Pence questioned on Rose Garden event
The September 26 ceremony at the Rose Garden in the White House is being considered as the ‘superspreader’ event where coronavirus norms were severely violated. Trump, Melania Trump, ex-White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Thom Tillis and many other top White House officials attended the event where Amy Coney Barrett was appointed the Supreme Court judge. Video showed that among 180 people who were at the event, only around 50 were wearing masks.
Harris attacked Pence saying how could have the US administration expect public to follow COVID-19 rules while the White House was itself flouting them.
“There’s is a great deal of speculation about the That Rose Garden event,” Pence said, asserting that many people who attended were tested before. “Donald Trump and I trust the US citizens to make choices in the best interest of their health,” he said.