Mike Pence and Kamala Harris clashed fiercely over the Trump government’s handling of the coronaviru pandemic in the vice-presidential debate in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In the 90-minute debate, they also sparred over issues such as the U.S. economy, climate change, foreign policy, racial justice, police reform and the Supreme Court.
Compared to the presidential debate, the debate between the running mates was less heated and the two nominees were significantly more cordial to each other.
In the first and only vice presidential debate, the candidates sat at a gap of 12 feet, separated by protective plexiglass partitions.
Kamala Harris described Trump as “the greatest failure of any presidential administration” in history in response to Covid.
Pence accused his opponent of trying to “undermine public confidence in a (coronavirus) vaccine”, and urged the California Senator to “stop playing politics with people’s lives.”
Harris and Pence disagreed over whether justice was served for Breonna Taylor.
The Democratic candidate called for reform of policing in America and its criminal justice system. “That’s why Joe and I will immediately ban choke holds and carotid holds,” she added, referring to the way police handled George Floyd when he was taken into custody.
In her opinion, the President lost in his trade war with China.” What ended up happening is because of a so-called trade war with China, America lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs.”
On the controversy over Trump’s payment of taxes, Pence said, “The American people have a President who a businessman, a job creator. He’s paid tens of millions of dollar in taxes, payroll, property taxes. Creating tens of thousands of American jobs.”
On climate change, Harris said Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has a plan to achieve zero emissions by 2050 and carbon neutral by 2035.
Pence acknowledged Harris’ historic appearance as the first Black and South Asian woman to participate in a U.S. presidential election debate.
The second presidential debate is scheduled for October 15, but Joe Biden made it clear that it should not proceed if his Republican rival is not recovered by that time.
During a phone-in interview with Fox Business Channel on Thursday, Trump refused to take part in a virtual TV debate, as suggested by the debate commission.
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