Divided by the safety of plexiglass, last night’s Vice Presidential Debate between Democratic candidate Kamala Harris and Republican Mike Pence was a mellowed down version of the first Presidential debate, but power-packed nonetheless. The candidates focused primarily on the touchpoints of the coronavirus, the Supreme Court, and taxes.
The dialogue that sparked the buzz:
“I’m speaking, I’m speaking”, exclaimed by Harris was taken up by a storm on social media. Harris said this to the opponent at one point during a discussion on taxes, while Pence then shot back saying, “It’d be important if you said the truth.”
Harris cited a New York Times report that revealed President Trump paid a total of just $750 in taxes, targetting him for not paying enough, and questioning who he might owe money to.
In the context of the question of transparency, Harris added: “And it’d be really good to know who the president of the United States, the commander-in-chief owes money to because the American people have a right to know what is influencing the president’s decisions and is he making those decisions on the best interests of the American people….or self-interest?”
In retaliation to these remarks Pence, however, highlighted the president’s dismissal of the report and said, “the American people have a president who’s a businessman, a job creator, he’s paid tens of millions of dollars in taxes – payroll taxes, property taxes, he’s created tens of thousands of American jobs.”
President Trump has previously shut down the NY Times report as “fake news” and claimed that his tax returns would be available as soon as the IRS had completed their audit.
The Handling of The Coronavirus:
Deeming the President to be a failure at handling the coronavirus pandemic, and pointing out the colossal death toll in the country, Harris stated, “the American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country.” She argued that “this administration has forfeited their right to re-election based on this” and argued that “they still don’t have a plan and Joe Biden does.”
Pence, in defense of the Federal administration, emphasized that “from the very first day, President Donald Trump’s has put the health of the American people first.” He mentioned that the President’s decision to disband all flights to and from China was a decision that brought the country “invaluable time”.
Also talking about Biden’s “prospective” coronavirus plan, Pence stated that it looks really similar to the plan chalked out by President Trump, and that “It looks a little bit like plagiarism, which is something Joe Biden knows a little bit about,” Pence added, referring to the infamous Biden plagiarism controversy from his first White House run in 1988.
Blamed for not having enough compassion towards millions of Americans succumbing to the virus, Pence fought back, saying, “there’s not a day gone by that I haven’t thought of every American family that’s lost a loved one.”
The SCOTUS Nomination:
Moving onto the nomination of Amy Coney Barett as a successor to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat at the Supreme Court, Pence proclaimed “We particularly hope we don’t see the kind of attacks on her Christian faith that we saw before,” Pence said as he pointed to criticism by some Senate Democrats over Barrett’s associated with a Christian group named People of Praise.
Furthering the notion of religion, Harris responded by saying “Joe Biden and I are both people of faith. And it’s insulting to suggest that we would knock anyone for their faith… and in fact, Joe, if elected, will be only the second practicing Catholic as president of the United States.”
Talking about the Democrats trying to hold off the SCOTUS pick until after the elections, Pence said “This is a classic case of, if you can’t win by the rules, you’re going to change the rules.” He then turned to his opponent and asked Harris if she and Biden are “going to pack the Supreme Court to get your way?”
Harris did not answer directly and instead urged the Senate not to push forward with Barrett’s confirmation. “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 Supreme Court) … for a lifetime,” the senator added.
Biden- Communist China’s Cheerleader:
After not receiving a response for the SCOTUS issue, the VP candidates took to discuss the looming issue of China, Chinese interference, and Biden’s soft spot for the country. Pence slammed Biden for being a “cheerleader for Communist China,” while saying the Trump administration, which wants to “improve” relations with Beijing, will “hold China accountable” for the novel coronavirus.
To this Harris said Trump’s trade war with China, led to the country losing a barrage of jobs. Pence fired right back, saying “Lost the trade war with China? Joe Biden never fought it.”