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Susan Page: (00:00)
Good evening. From the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, welcome to the first and only vice presidential debate of 2020 sponsored by the nonpartisan commission on presidential debates. I’m Susan Page of USA Today. It is my honor to moderate this debate, an important part of our democracy. In Kingsbury Hall tonight, we have a small and socially distant audience and we’ve taken extra precautions during this pandemic. Among other things, everyone in this audience is required to wear a face mask and the candidates will be seated 12 feet apart. The audience is enthusiastic about their candidates, but they’ve agreed to express that enthusiasm only twice—at the end of the debate and now, when I introduce the candidates. California Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence. Senator Harris and Vice President Pence, thank you for being here. We’re meeting as President Trump and the First Lady continue to undergo treatment in Washington, after testing positive for COVID-19. We send our thoughts and prayers to them for their rapid and complete recovery, and for the recovery of everyone afflicted by the coronavirus. The two campaigns and the commission on presidential debates agreed to the ground rules for tonight. I’m here to enforce them.On behalf of the millions of Americans who are watching. One note: no one in either campaign or at the commission or anywhere else has been told in advance what topics I’ll raise or what questions I’ll ask. This 90 minute debate will be divided into nine segments of about 10 minutes each. I’ll begin a segment by posing a question to each of you. Sometimes the same question, sometimes a different question on the same topic. You will then have two minutes to answer without interruption by me or the other candidate. Then we’ll take six minutes or so to discuss the issue. At that point, although there will always be more to say, we’ll move on to the next topic. We want a debate that is lively, but Americans also deserve a discussion that is civil.
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2020 has been the most chaotic year in recent years but out of all things, political debate was a godsend of normalcy this year. With the lack of chaos, you’d assume this debate had some substance that would help American’s make their decision this Nov. 3rd however most of the time spent talking was either attacking the other side or standing by the usual talking points of the candidates and stuff everyone has heard before. Nevertheless, it’s still important to know what was said so let’s jump right into the review of the debate.
The first question that was asked was about the Covid-19 response of Trump and how Biden would differ. Senator Harris used this time to attack Trump’s response and talk about how many have died and brought up some interesting things that Biden would do once in offices like contact tracing and mask mandate for the country. In his response, Vice President Pence talked about how he banned travel from China before anyone even thought it was necessary. Also talking about how Biden’s plan looks like what they’ve already done with their taskforce. When asked about the super-spreader event at the white house where no social distancing or masks was being worn Pence used this time to commend the American people for doing great during this crisis and then pivot to the supreme court and talk about the new nomination. Harris then went on the attack bringing up reports from Bob Woodward about how Trump knew how bad Covid-19 was but he downplayed it and continued to say that if they (the trump administration) respected the American people they wouldn’t have lied to them.
The next question was about them both being Vice President to the oldest president ever in American history no matter which person won. Mike Pence used this time to discuss how we could see a vaccine by the end of the year and attacked Biden and the Obama administration for their response to the swine flu outbreak in 2009. Harris used her time to talk about her accomplishment as the first woman of color attorney general of California and only second ever elected to the Senate. The topic went back to the health of the presidential candidates and talks about whether the American people deserve to know about their health. Pence was the first to answer giving a great response about how the people should know and they’ve done a good job releasing that information and thanking Senator Harris and Joe Biden for their concern for Donald Trump’s health. Harris when asked the same question used her time to discuss how transparent Biden has been and pivoted around to attack Trump on the recent report that he only paid $750 in taxes and how he hasn’t released his taxes.
The third part of the debate moved on to talk about the economy with the first question going to Senator Harris discussing the Biden administration plan to raise taxes. She used this time to again attack Trump’s and his tax cuts to the rich and corporations and how Biden measures the economy by the workers while Trump does by the rich. Vice President Pence used his time to praise Trump and how well the economy was doing before Covid-19 and how in 2021 it will be the best economy ever. This section quickly transitioned into talks about healthcare with Harris bringing up the Affordable Care Act that Biden helped pass and Pence bringing up how bad Obamacare was and how they’re trying to protect pre-existing conditions ending on talks about the Green New Deal.
With that ending by Vice President Pence, it brought the debate to topic four and the environment. Pence touted on about how well his administration has done for the environment and how they’ll listen to the science and then attacked Biden’s plan regarding the environment and how they support the Green New Deal which in his opinion would destroy American energy. Harris’ question was regarding how she supports the Green New Deal while in the Senate but recently Joe Biden has come out and said he doesn’t support it. Her response starts with talking about how Biden won’t ban fracking and how his plan for the economy is not to tax anyone making less the 400,000 thousand dollars and repurpose some tax dollars to jobs in renewable energy. Pence then went on the attack talking about how Biden has said he will remove Trump’s tax plan for his own and how that will increase taxes on everyone and how they actually do support the Green New Deal and then went on to say Trump supports American jobs. Harris uses that line to talk about how there aren’t many jobs and with the economy as it is right now people are worried about getting jobs.
The fifth topic discussed in this debate was China with Pence being asked the first question about our relationship with China. Pence started it by talking about the renegotiation of NAFTA and how Harris is the most liberal Senator in the Senate then continued to talk about how Trump is standing up to China about the coronavirus. Harris was asked the same question using her time to discuss how badly the Trump administration handled the coronavirus outbreak and finally talked about how our previous allies now hold the leader of China in higher regard than our President. Harris was then asked about how strained relationships with our allies in NATO. Harris blamed this on Trump and talked about how he would rather praise dictators than our allies and attacked the president’s response to the Iran nuclear deal and how his pulling out made us less safe. Pence’s response, to Harris attacks, touted Trump’s accomplishments with ISIS, and killed Al-Baghdadi and how other countries in NATO are now paying their fair share. Harris was then given time to respond to Pence and she used her time to discuss the recent report that Trump called American soldiers losers and the Russian bounties on American soldiers.
After a brief heated exchange between the moderator and Vice President Pence, the debate moved on to the sixth topic. The first question about the supreme court was asked to Mike Pence asking him whether or not he’d want his state to ban abortion. He however decided he shouldn’t answer this question and respond more to Soleimani’s assassination. He then just discussed Judge Barrett’s accomplishments and how she is qualified to be on the supreme court. The moderator then asked the same question to Harris about banning abortion. She then promptly brought up how Joe Biden is a man of faith and is catholic. Then continued to talk about how they shouldn’t fill a supreme court seat while an election is happening and discussed how over 4 million people have already voted so they should wait for the next administration to appoint the person to the seat and ended it with how she is pro-choice. The next question was directed towards Mike Pence about how his administration could protect pre-existing conditions if it is trying to strike down the Affordable Care Act. He started it by talking about he is pro-life and then asked his question to Harris about packing the supreme court. She answered with how Abraham Lincoln refused to nominate an empty seat when he was up for reelection even though he had party control. Pence brought up how she never answered Harris then said that the Trump administration packed the courts themselves and finally Pence wanted it noted that Harris and Biden have refused to answer that question.
The next section was about racial injustice with the first question about Breonna Taylor being asked to Kamala Harris. Her response was to give sympathy to the family and then talk about how they would work to solve the problem of racism in America and expunge marijuana charges on people. Then Pence was asked to answer the same question again starting with sympathy for the family but then attacking Harris and Biden for discussing systematic racism and inherent bias and how that it doesn’t exist and it’s an insult to talk about how it exists and finally giving his and Trump’s unbending support for law enforcement. The section ended on the topic of how Harris and many Americans felt that Trump didn’t condemn white supremacy in the last debate while Pence argued he has previously and still condemned such.
The final question, by the moderator, was then asked the Harris about what Biden would do if Trump would refuse to hand over power if he lost the election. She used her time to urge people to vote and talk about how broad of a coalition they have with many republicans helping them win this election and having over 500 generals, retired generals, and former national security experts and advisors. Pence was then asked about what he would do if Trump didn’t accept the election results. He didn’t answer the question but said that he believes that they would win and again bringing up how mail-in ballots create a massive opportunity for voter fraud.
With how intense this debate was it was a pretty run of the mill debate for most elections and even though it was that way the final question was written Brecklin Brown ended the night on a high note. Both Vice Presidential candidates used this time to praise Brown for their question and how even though they might be seen as fighting both have respect for each other off the stage. Harris talking about how much love Joe Biden has in his heart and Pence discussing the friendship between Justice Scalia and Justice Ginsburg. With this ending, we might’ve finally seen a light at the end of the tunnel that is 2020 with a respectable debate by both candidates.
Transcript of the debate: https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/kamala-harris-mike-pence-2020-vice-presidential-debate-transcript
And they took offense at him. – Matthew 13:57
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Nothing in this post should be taken as for, or against a particular politician, bill or candidate.
To God there is no such thing as an “American Christian Political Movement.”
God may call a Christian to be involved in politics but He will be ashamed of such a person if they find their place in the United States as an “American Christian.”
Fact is, a disciple following Jesus has the exact same attitude as Abraham who followed the Living God.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16)