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A summary of the VP debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris

By Hayden Choate

The first and only Vice-Presidential debate between Kamala Harris (Democrat) and Mike Pence (Republican) was held on Wednesday Night in Salt Lake City, Utah. The debate was moderated by Susan Page of USA Today.

The first topic was about the coronavirus, as President Trump and the First Lady Melania Trump tested positive last week. Harris talked about the statistics of COVD-19, specifically economic statistics. Bringing up that Trump and Pence knew the severity of COVID-19 on Jan. 28.

Pence then responded by defending Trump’s initial decisions at the beginning of the pandemic, such as banning travel to and from China. He said they reinvented testing and helped get support for the healthcare workers. He also believed that there will be doses of a vaccine before the end of 2020.

The open discussion gave each candidate the opportunity to respond to each other for one minute, which included some talking over.

Susan Page then brought up the rose garden event that did not include masks and social distancing, resulting in many positive cases. Pence responded by talking about the sacrifices the American people have made. Harris then said the importance of telling the American people the truth, no matter how hard it is.

The next topic was about the role of the Vice President, especially in this election when both candidates are of older age.

Pence began by going back to talking about how the United States will have a vaccine and how they learned from the mistakes made by the Obama administration during the Swine Flu Pandemic.

Harris then talked about how proud her mother would be to see her up there. She talked about how she and Biden share similar values about hard work and how prominent her career has been.

The open discussion then shifted to whether both candidates be open about their health due to their age. Pence thanked everyone for the support to Trump and the First Lady, while Harris then talked about Trump’s taxes and that Biden will be open about everything.

The third topic was about the economy, specifically the unemployment rate in the country at the moment.

Harris talked about how Biden will help everyone in the economic recovery, while Trump gave a tax bill to the top 1 percent and talked about science and education to people with student loans. Pence responded with how he and Trump helped America after the Obama administration and what Biden’s plans would do to the economy.

The open discussion was then filled with needless arguing. Harris spoke about what Biden’s actual plans are and what Trump will do if re-elected. Pence responded by talking about how bad Obamacare was and how he and the President have a plan for people with pre-existing conditions, before going on to how important it is to keep fracking.

The fourth topic was about climate change, with the recent hurricanes and wildfires out west.

Pence responded by talking about how clean the water is. He then discussed how Biden would like to go back into the Paris Accord and the Green New Deal and said that would crush American jobs, he claimed how important forest management is to fight the wildfires in the west.

Harris was then asked about the Green New Deal, she responded by talking about how Biden will not ban fracking and what he will do to help the environment without losing jobs.

The open discussion was about how the climate is changing, but was half-focused on how it would affect the economy and turned into a discussion about jobs in our country.

The next topic was about America’s relationship with China at the moment.

Pence began talking about NAFTA and how Harris has voted for certain bills in the past, then blamed the Coronavirus on China and The World Health Organization, as well defending Trump’s decision to ban travel to China finishing by saying, “We will hold China accountable for the Coronavirus.”

Harris responded by talking about the changes made by Pence and Trump after Obama left the White House, continuing about how foreign policy is relationships, and how Trump has betrayed our “friend,” talking about embracing dictators such as Russia.

The open discussion was about how Trump has stood up to certain countries and how combative he has been against ISIS. This included talking about the military under the Trump administration.

The next topic was about the supreme court, as Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett.

Pence began by going back to talk about how Trump stood up to ISIS in the middle east, then talked about how Brett Kavanaugh did not receive a fair trial two years ago.

Harris responded by talking about how the election is happening right now, when four million people have already voted. She said she and Biden are pro-choice before she took a detour to talk about importance of the affordable care act.

The next topic was about racial justice in the United States, specifically the Breonna Taylor case.

Harris talking about how there was no justice for her and brought up how America watched George Floyd be killed by an armed police officer, she then went into what Biden’s plans are for racial injustice in the United States.

Pence responded by defending the grand jury that did not indict the officers that killed Breonna Taylor and saying that what happened to George Floyd was “inexcusable,” before he went on to talk about the riots and the looting in America.

The open discussion was about white supremacy in the United States. Harris talked about what Trump has said about minorities. Pence responded by defending Trump and talking about Harris’ career in prosecution.

The final topic was about the election on Nov. 3.

Harris began talking about the support that Biden has, including some members of George W. Bush’s cabinet who emphasized how important it is to vote this election.

Pence was then asked about a peaceful transfer of power. He responded by saying how confident he is that he and President Trump will win the election, he also talked about how the Democratic party tried to overturn the result of the 2016 election.

The first and only Vice-Presidential debate was a good chance to hear from the running mates of the two candidates in the 2020 Presidential election. However, like last week’s debate, this one was filled with interruption and ignoring moderator Susan Page who at times lost control of the debate.

The next debate is the second Presidential debate, which will be a town-hall style in Miami, Florida on Oct. 15.  A final decision on the debate occurring remains contingent on the health of President Trump.

Photo Courtesy of KDRV

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