Tonight was the first and last Vice Presidential debate, Vice President Pence vs Senator Kamala Harris. It was moderated by Susan Page from USAToday. It consisted of nine segments meant to be 10 minutes each. Note that I am thoroughly biased in my support for Trump, I will attempt to leave it behind to determine who won (my decision is at the bottom, so read all of this!).
Environmentals – VP Pence was very calm and confident, he has a strong voice and was well prepared.
In my opinion, Sen. Harris has a less impressive voice, and while well prepared, was prepared with points that were readily countered in this kind of forum. She occasionally smiled and laughed awkwardly, and she was abrasive in some exchanges.
Interestingly, Pence seemed to extend some graciousness in the middle of the debate, thanking Harris for her well wishes for Trump. He did this a couple of times, which gave him even more control.
The stage was quiet, the crowd not a factor. Even the plastic shield between them did not seem to have any effect on the exchanges. No technical issues. Pence had a fly land on his head that he did not notice, it was gone in a few minutes.
I did not check this, but Harris was said to have more speaking time than Pence.
Bias – I believe Susan Page genuinely attempted to not be biased, but her bias was clear. She spent a good deal of time in the beginning chastizing the candidates for the last debate (in my opinion, chastizing Trump). And I believed some of her questions had a huge liberal bias (although well handled by Pence).
COVID – Harris started with the current Biden campaign memes on the “failure” of the Trump administration to deal properly with the pandemic. However Pence’s responses were VERY well prepared, and given equal time noted that scientists predicted that 2.2 million people would die without a proper response and predicted 200,000 would die even with the best response.
Pence managed to emphasize several times that Biden was opposed to shutting down travel with China in the very early stages. He described the most massive response ever for a disease and all of the parts, including the fastest development of a vaccine in history.
Pence also noted that much of Biden’s response as stated on his campaign site was exactly what has happened so far. He was able to bring home a dig about Biden “plagiarizing” Trump’s plan.
Another key quote, Pence to Harris “Stop playing politics with people’s lives” and “Don’t undermine people’s confidence in the vaccine.”
Oldest President – A question was asked about succession plans since the next President will be the oldest. Neither candidate answered it. Both seemed to note that transparency in the President’s health was important.
Economic Recovery – Harris tried to note how great Obama’s recovery was. She attempted to talk about lost manufacturing jobs under Trump. Pence countered that 700,000 manufacturing jobs disappeared under Obama and that Obama said they were not coming back. He also noted Trump had already brought back 500,000 manufacturing jobs. Pence seemed very well prepared.
Pence nailed Harris on her claim that taxes would not be raised on the middle class. She stated she would cancel the Trump tax cuts the first day. Pence said that the revocation of the Trump tax cuts would raise taxes on the middle class. Pence did not yield the point, it was well made.
Climate change – Harris pushed the narrative of the disaster of climate change in hurricanes and the fires in California. This is a narrative that has been pushed by the liberal media.
Pence’s response was very honest and polished, that our environment was the best ever and well respected by the Trump Administration. Given the liberal power behind this narrative, Pence perhaps did not win on this point.
Pence did, however, noted that the Green New Deal (which has picked up a huge negative connotation) is mention on the Biden campaign site as the “crucial framework” for Biden’s plan, even though Biden has denied that it is his plan.
Roe v. Wade – Question was avoided by both sides.
Packing the Supreme Court – Pence attempted to get an answer from Harris as to whether they would “pack the court” i.e., add enough liberal Justices (up to 13 Justices, versus the current 9). Harris refused to answer, even after being prodded several times by Pence. Pence then said the obvious that they would definitely do it. Harris did not respond.
Election – This was a thoroughly biased question. It was phrased as “If Trump loses and does not yield power what will you do.” To her credit, Harris did not take the bait, not giving credibility to this crazy liberal narrative.
Pence took the bull by the horns and noted that the Democrats were the ones who had not accepted the 2016 election results and listed the 3 year Russia conspiracy investigation and the Ukraine phone call as a justification for impeachment.
Pence won this by a mile.
He was in control, his answers were substantive responsive and he clearly knocked the liberal narratives out of the park.
Harris’s manner did not endear her to the audience. Her narratives were in many cases the false ones being perpetuated by the liberal media. Her claims of “failures” by the Trump Administration were clearly and smoothly rebutted by Pence.
Pence was able to nail the Harris/Biden ticket on fracking, on the economy, on the Green New Deal and packing the Supreme Court.
My opinion is supported by the short time afterward where I watched CNN. The clearly liberal-biased commentators were making excuses for Harris. It was a bit sad.
As I said, I am not unbiased here, but I believe this is a clear victory for Pence.
This was a more influential debate than is usually the case for Vice Presidential debates. If Biden wins, Harris has a good chance to be President at some point. After the debate war last week, this was much clearer and much easier to understand. Much will depend on the Nielsen ratings here.