Here are the highlights from the vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris

Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence take part of their 2020 vice presidential marketing campaign debate held on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 7, 2020.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

The one and solely debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris was quieter, clearer and extra disciplined than the resentful, chaotic presidential debate per week earlier.

But regardless of the calmer tone — and the 2 sheets of plexiglass separating the contenders — sparks flew from either side of the stage with no much less frequency throughout the evening.

The contest, held in Utah earlier than a small, socially distanced viewers, started with a deal with the coronavirus pandemic however shortly panned out to embody a broad vary of coverage points, together with local weather change, commerce, jobs and America’s posture towards China.

While Pence, Harris and moderator Susan Page have been the one ones on stage, President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden have been the most important targets of the controversy.

Harris dropped the gloves from the outset. “The American folks have witnessed what’s the biggest failure of any presidential administration within the historical past of our nation,” she stated in her very first reply, launching right into a sweeping assault on the Trump administration’s dealing with of the Covid-19 disaster.

As the controversy shifted focus towards financial points — the place Trump polls the very best — Pence supplied his sharpest critiques of Biden’s coverage document. When Harris slammed that the Trump administration’s commerce conflict with China, the vice chairman retorted: “Joe Biden by no means fought it.”

Less than 4 weeks stay till the Nov. Three election.

Here are the highlights:

Coronavirus takes middle stage

The debate kicked off with a query concerning the coronavirus, which has killed greater than 210,000 folks within the U.S. What, the moderator requested, would the Biden administration do to fight the coronavirus pandemic?

Harris highlighted the staggering demise toll of the virus within the U.S., and slammed the White House for failing to behave within the early days of the pandemic.

“They knew what was taking place they usually did not inform you,” she stated. “They knew, they usually coated it up.”

Pence defended the Trump administration’s dealing with of the disaster, and argued {that a} Biden administration would have fared no higher beneath the identical situation.

“Our nation’s gone via a really difficult time this yr, however I need the American folks to know that from the very first day, President Trump has put the well being of the American folks first,” he stated.

Pence and Harris each dodge questions on their operating mates’ ages

Page requested each Pence and Harris about considerations concerning the ages of Trump, 74, and Biden, 77.

Neither candidate supplied a direct reply.

The Trump marketing campaign has made Biden’s age a central assault line of the election. Trump, in the meantime, was discharged from the hospital simply two days earlier than Pence and Harris sat right down to debate, and he’s presently being handled for the coronavirus on the White House.

Echoes of the Trump-Biden debate

When Harris tore into Trump over damning stories about his angle and actions towards the U.S. army, Pence refused to maneuver on with out finishing his rebuttal – and forcing a rebuke from the moderator.

“Joe Biden would maintain Russia to account,” Harris stated after referencing stories that Russia supplied bounties to Afghan militants to kill U.S. troops.

Page tried to maneuver on, however Pence insisted he be allowed to reply. When Page gave him 15 seconds, Pence replied, “I’ve received to have greater than that.”

“The slanders in opposition to President Donald Trump concerning women and men of our armed forces are absurd,” Pence stated.

Page lower in, however Pence stored speaking, resulting in a second paying homage to the interruption-fest between Trump and Biden per week earlier.

“You’ve had extra time than she’s had to this point” Page stated amid the crosstalk. “I didn’t create the foundations tonight.”

Critics pounced on Pence for steamrolling Harris and Page.

Some additionally stated that Page might have performed extra to stop Pence from talking after his time ran out. And a number of recommended that Harris ought to be allowed extra time to compensate.

An eighth grader’s query: If you’ll be able to’t get alongside, how can we?

Page requested the vice presidential candidates the final query of the night time submitted by an eighth grader from Springville, Utah. 

“When I watch the information, all I see are two candidates from opposing events, attempting to tear one another down. If our leaders cannot get alongside, how are the citizen presupposed to get alongside?” Page learn. “Your examples might make all of the distinction to carry us collectively.” 

Pence supplied recommendation to the scholar: “Don’t assume that what you are seeing in your native information networks is synonymous with the American folks.” He gave the instance of the late Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, who have been famously shut buddies regardless of their staunchly opposing political opinions.

Harris took the chance to speak up Biden’s character. “Joe has a longstanding status of working throughout the aisle,” she stated. “Joe Biden has a historical past of lifting folks up and combating for his or her dignity.”

The buzz

In a debate and not using a single jaw-dropping second, optics achieve outsize significance.

Unfortunately for the vice chairman, that meant viewers have been acutely conscious {that a} fly landed on his head late within the night.

A fly briefly lands on head of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence throughout within the vice presidential debate in opposition to Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on the University of Utah on October 7, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The vice presidential candidates solely meet as soon as to debate earlier than the final election on November 3. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Alex Wong | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Pence had been talking about regulation enforcement, pushing again on the notion of implicit bias in policing as “an important insult” to officers.

But a minimum of on social media, audiences have been immediately distracted by the visiting insect.

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