After last week’s disastrous debate, which has been labeled as the worst Presidential Debate in history, it’s time for the Vice-Presidential Debate. Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris will face off against one another on Wednesday night, twelve feet apart, in light of President Donald Trump’s recent COVID-19 infection. As horrible as last week’s debate went, I’m sure this week’s Vice-Presidential debate will go better. Another outburst or rude performance made by either of the candidates could cost them the vote, especially Pence. After President Trump’s tantrum at the Presidential Debate, where he bullied Biden and constantly interrupted him, I’m positive there is a lot of pressure on Vice President Pence to act like an adult, unlike his President. The Presidential Debate put Biden in the lead by 14 points, and 53 percent of respondents said they’d vote for the former Vice President, compared to President Trump, who had 39 percent on his side. With this in mind, Pence really needs to bring his A-game to the upcoming debate on Wednesday, as Harris is known for being a good debater because of her prosecutorial chops.
Vice President Mike Pence handled himself poorly in the 2016 Presidential Debates; he flat out lied multiple times about then candidate and now President Trump’s actions. Some of these lies included Trump praising Russian President Vladimir Putin, his advocacy of nuclear weapons proliferation, his attacks on Sen. John McCain and a federal judge of Hispanic heritage, and the Muslim Ban, which would not allow Muslims into the USA. If Pence does try to lie his way through the debate, Harris will most likely call him out, along with quoting things Trump has said or done in the past.
So what can Pence do if he clearly can’t bully or lie his way through the debate like Trump did? For one, he can try to sound reasonable, even if it means that Pence has to go against everything his boss Donald Trump has said. Examples of statements like this could be: “of course Russia is a threat” and “of course people should wear masks.” It would work in Pence’s favor, if he wants a job post-Trump, to contradict the actions of his boss because of the history that Trump has with lying, especially after last week’s debate. In my opinion, I believe that Pence is going to lose the debate regardless, and Harris is going to come out victorious.
What would Harris need to do in order to crush Pence at Wednesday’s debate? She could do one of five things. For one, she can ridicule Pence’s boss for downplaying the virus and for mocking Biden for wearing a mask. Pence is head of the White House COVID-19 meetings; with this in mind, it would be harder for Pence to deny anything that Dr. Anthony S. Fauci has said, like the amount of case numbers, more testing that has not explained the higher death count, and how the Center for Disease Control and Prevention had to change their warnings about airborne transmission and school safety measures. This gives Harris the upper hand because she is able to ridicule Trump for his actions; he held huge campaign rallies over the summer, he mocks those who choose to wear a mask, and the list goes on when it comes to President Donald Trump’s failures and lies surrounding COVID-19. Harris could also bring up the fact that Trump tested positive for COVID-19 right after he mocked Biden for wearing a mask at last week’s debate. Although these aren’t attacks at Vice President Pence, Harris is still able to make a case against him because of his boss.
The next thing Harris can do is bring up the fact that President Trump won’t denounce White supremacists but will praise the confederate flag, defend murderers such as Kyle Rittenhouse, and refuse to address police reform. It will be riveting to see what Pence will have to say about his boss’s own racism because, whatever way he chooses, he is doomed. If Vice President Pence agrees with President Trump, Harris will be able to make the point that the Trump Administration is full of racist individuals. If Pence were to disagree, or stray away from what Trump had said at last week’s debate, their MAGA supporters would lose their minds. Pence can’t win with either side, thus giving Harris the upper hand.
The third thing that Harris could bring up is all the crazy conspiracy theories Trump has created against former President Barack Obama, claiming that Obama is spying on him. This is something that Pence most likely would not want to discuss, along with his friendly relationships with dictators such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, and, in addition, his invitation for the Taliban to come to Camp David. With all of these points, Harris can easily gain the votes of Republicans who are scared about the U.S.’s declining influence on other countries. This is only if she makes the case that the President can’t distinguish between friends and enemies, which works in the favor of the democratic party.
The next thing that could be brought up is the Affordable Care Act and how Trump is trying to dismantle it, which means people without health insurance would have no protections for their preexisting conditions. This gives Senator Harris the chance to point out Trump’s plan for healthcare, which is nothing because he hasn’t created anything, like he said in an interview he did with Chris Wallace back in July.
Lastly, President Donald Trump is, clearly, full of empty promises, and this is going to hurt Pence during the debate. The wall President Trump promised is only a fraction of the way built. He still hasn’t cut Medicaid or produced an infrastructure bill, nor a healthcare bill. Trump did not fix the problem of China stealing our intellectual property, technology, either. The Trump Administration has made the U.S. look like a joke.
The debate is in Kamala Harris’s favor, as she has a lot to pull up on Mike Pence and President Donald Trump. Pence has the choice to defend his President (which he will most likely do) or plan for a new career after working for the Trump Administration.
Featured Photo: Sage Amdahl / Quaker Campus