Last night (Oct. 7) was the only debate between the 2020 vice presidential candidates, Senator Kamala Harris and current sitting Vice President Mike Pence. Harris, who is Indian and Black, is the first woman of color to ever grace the vice-presidential debate stage. Debate moderator USA Today’s Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page stuck to topics about COVID-19, the climate crisis, Supreme Court, racial justice, and the economy ahead of the November 3rd election. Here are the highlights from the 2020 vice-presidential debate.
Unlike last week’s presidential debate, the two were mostly respectful of each other’s time and platforms as they went head-to-head discussing the nation’s most pressing issues. When Pence began to speak over Harris she was quick to take the high road and firmly remind him that she was speaking and demand equal time. The two danced around a few questions but mostly focused on clear political policies.
Many are saying the fly that landed on Pence’s head won the debate, while Pence, himself, stayed true to his sexist stance on abortion and Harris declared she aims to legalize marijuana. Notably, there were no questions about immigration or LGBTQ+ rights.
When a question about racial justice was put forth Harris, who has participated in the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, said that if her ticket wins there will be an immediate ban on chokeholds. “We need reform of our policing in America and our criminal justice system,” she said. She went on to explain if this legislation was still in place George Floyd would be alive today. Floyd was killed on May 25th in Minneapolis after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Harris also made it clear that she does not believe Breonna Taylor has received justice after no officers have been charged for her death. Pence rebutted by saying that it’s insulting to law enforcement to imply that the system is racist and that there is implicit bias. Neither of the 2020 VP hopefuls has plans to defund the police. Harris is an outspoken supporter of the police force. ”Bad cops are bad for good cops.”