PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2020

Who won the vice-presidential debate Pence or Harris?

The debate was a far more civil affair than the first presidential debate, although both candidates went on the attack.

Who won the vice-presidential debate Pence or Harris?
ROBYN BECK ERIC BARADAT AFP

Republican Vice President Mike Pence and his challenger Democrat Senator Kamala Harris faced off in the first and only vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday night.

Stakes raised over presidential election

Both candidates had to prove themselves tonight more so than in previous vice presidential debates given that whether Donald Trump at 74 or Joe Biden at 77 wins the debate they will be the oldest President to be elected to office. This concern is heightened given President Trump is still being treated for his Covid-19 infection at the White House after spending four days at hospital.

Although the debate was heated, both candidates kept their tempers in check throughout the evening. The two candidates exchanged barbs on several fronts with Pence controlling the questions he answered, often not the ones he was asked. He adamantly defended the administration’s handling of the pandemic and their economic track record, while at the same time attacking Ms. Harris and Mr. Biden's records.

But Ms. Harris held her own even through multiple interruptions or Mr. Pence just not letting go of microphone time. According to CBS Pence interrupted Ms. Harris ten times, twice as much as she interrupted him. The moderator, Susan Page, had to step in to control both candidates with Mr. Pence getting the stiffer rebuke.

Ms. Harris held Pence to account for "the greatest failure of any presidential administration" for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the U.S. The Senator also pointed out that due to the administration’s handling of the pandemic the economic consequences have been dire that it will have lost more jobs than just about any other previous administration.

Honest Abe

Ms. Harris had what will be probably the best zinger of the evening when it came to discussion of Mr. Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. She recounted a story of “honest Abe” not sitting a Justice Salmon P. Chase 27 days before the election saying that he wanted the people to decide.

Ms. Harris takes home the debate

All in all Ms. Harris had the better night keeping her cool and not letting Mr. Pence paint her as a revolutionary leftie.  Even better for team Biden with undecided voters worried that he is just a stand in for the more radical left wing of his party.  Mr. Pence talking over Ms. Harris will surely have turned off women voters which he needed to win over after Trump's boorish behaviour during the first debate.