All gloves were off in Salt Lake City, Utah as Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence took the stage for the vice presidential debate. Throughout the night, the two candidates took jabs at each other, but did not engage in the same tone that former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump engaged in during their debate. Touching on topics of COVID-19, election security and police reform, the opposing sides vied for the votes of undecided voters with less than one month to the general election. After speaking for 90 minutes, here are five quick takeaways from tonight’s debate.
Vice President Mike Pence refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.
"First and foremost, I think we're going to win this election," Vice President Mike Pence says in response to a question on what he would do if Biden won and Trump refused to accept a peaceful transfer of power. https://t.co/KlTUt8iaZh #VPDebate pic.twitter.com/LLVgqIkjpN
— CNBC (@CNBC) October 8, 2020
During Wednesday’s debate, moderator Susan Page asked Vice President Mike Pence about comments President Donald Trump had made in September. When asked if he would commit to a peaceful transition of power if he lost the election, Trump said, “Well, we’ll have to see what happens.” On Wednesday, Page followed up on Trump’s comments with Pence. He responded by saying that he and the President plan on winning the election.
Senator Kamala Harris refuses to answer questions regarding “packing” the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sen. Kamala Harris: "Let's talk about packing the Court then."
VP Mike Pence: "Please."
— The Hill (@thehill) October 8, 2020
Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris had a contentious back and forth regarding the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett. Many of Trump and Pence’s allies have supported the administration’s decision to move forward with hearings less than a month before the general election. In contrast, Democrats on Capitol have pushed for a delay on the hearings until after the election. With conversations regarding the U.S. Supreme Court bubbling up, Republicans have raised the possibility that Democrats may “pack” the court and seats to the court if Barrett is confirmed. When asked about that possibility, Harris declined to answer the question directly.
A fly landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s head.
that fly held on for the entirety of Sam and Dave's 'Hold on I'm coming' pic.twitter.com/A0w68eddKv
— Peter Wade (@brooklynmutt) October 8, 2020
One of the more comical moments of the debate occurred above the Vice President’s head. During the later stages of the event, a fly repeatedly flew on top Pence’s head. Despite the comical nature of the incident, the Vice President didn’t appear to be bothered at all.
Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence refused to answer questions regarding former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump’s age and health.
If re-elected, President Trump will be 74. If elected, Joe Biden will be 78. Tonight neither of their VP candidates answered direct questions about whether they had discussions about a transfer of power.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 8, 2020
If President Donald Trump is re-elected, he will be 74-years-old at the time of the inauguration. If former Vice President Joe Biden is elected, he will be 78-years-old at the time of the inauguration. Regardless of who is elected on November 3, the country will have the oldest U.S. President in history. As a result, questions have been raised regarding the capabilities of either vice presidential candidate to step in if Trump or Biden experiences poor health. When Page asked both candidates about their colleague’s age, they both declined to answer the question directly.
Vice President Mike Pence takes aim at Senator Kamala Harris’s record as a prosecutor after denying the existence of systemic racism in America.
Pence making the point that Harris's record as DA disproportionately impacted people of color moments after rejecting the idea of systemic racism
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) October 8, 2020
During tonight’s verbal sparring session, Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence touched on the topic of police reform as it relates to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Harris began by touting her experience as a prosecutor and changes she hopes to make if elected as Vice President. Pence then shifted towards the alleged riots taking place in cities across the country and the Harris-Biden’s more liberal stance on policing. Pence also claimed that systemic racism doesn’t thrive in the country. He then ended by pointing out Harris’s record as a prosecutor as it pertains to Black and Brown communities.
That’s a wrap on tonight’s debate. Former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump will take to the stage in-person or virtually for a town hall-style debate on October 15, 2020 in Miami, Florida.