Vice presidential fact check: Daniel Dale selects his lie of the night
Vice President Mike Pence echoed some of President Donald Trump's most common falsehoods and misleading statements during the lone vice presidential debate with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) -- though in a more restrained, neatly packaged way.
The Salt Lake City debate was a less chaotic affair when compared to September's first meeting between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. But there were traces of that event in Pence's delivery of some of the same lines that the President often repeats.
Harris, too, made some claims that were misleading or lacked context, but those paled in comparison to the litany of statements from Pence that were either untrue or needed additional context. Coronavirus and the Trump administration's response dominated the start of the debate and was referenced throughout, and the threat of the virus -- due to the plexiglass barriers separating each desk -- was apparent before either candidate spoke a word. The rivals also argued over economic recovery, the future of health care in America and the importance of tackling the climate crisis.
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✔️ Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris meet in Salt Lake City for the Vice Presidential Debate. Democratic vice presidential hopeful, Kamala Harris, and sitting Vice President Mike Pence sparred over coronavirus, the economy and the environment in Salt Lake City on Wednesday night, but no clear victor was able to emerge. Both presidential candidates tweeted out messages of support following the relatively civil debate, with President Donald Trump claiming that his running mate had "WON BIG," while Democratic nominee Joe Biden told Kamala Harris that she had "made us all proud tonight."
Although vice-presidential debates normally play a less significant role in the run-up to the US election, with the recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in the White House and the age of the two presidential candidates, there was keen interest in the outcome of the clash. In comparison to the raucous debate between Biden and Trump, the two remained civil. Pence was warned several times for going over his allotted time, but the clash had little in the way of surprises.
The Democrat's main point of attack was over the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, lambasting the coronavirus task force, of which Pence is the head, saying that the "administration have forfeited their right to reelection." Pence was able to respond quickly saying: "Our nation has gone through a very challenging time this year. But I want the American people to know that from the very first day President Donald Trump has put the health of America first." However, the Republican vice president was not as able to swat away an unexpected intruder that caused perhaps the biggest stir of the night. Pence seemed unaware of a fly that landed on his head during the debate, but many of those watching were all too aware of the insect stealing the show. Vice President Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala D. Harris confronted one another at the first and only vice-presidential debate on Oct. 7.