HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In their first and only debate before the election, vice presidential candidates Mike Pence and Kamala Harris squared off Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.
Sitting 12 feet apart and separated by a Plexi-glass barrier, the candidates touched on a number of major issues including the economy, the U.S. Supreme Court, criminal justice reform, and Covid-19.
Vice President Pence defended the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak.
“They said if the President didn’t take the unprecedented step of shutting down roughly half of the American economy than we could lose 2.2 million Americans,” Pence said. “That’s the reality.”
While U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris went on the attack.
“Whatever the Vice President is claiming the administration has done, clearly, it hasn’t worked when you are looking at 210,000 dead bodies in our country,” Harris said.
While not as out of control as last week’s debate between President Trump and Joe Biden, the conversation remained tense and there were plenty of barbs from both candidates.
Local supporters of the Biden-Harris ticket say she had a clear advantage when discussing the issues.
“She is somebody that likes to get into the details and I think that showed,” Democratic Party of Hawaii chair Tyler Dos Santos-Tam.
“I think that Vice President Pence tried to get her off that by distorting Vice President Biden’s plans regarding taxes. As she said repeatedly, they are not going to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 and that’s something the American people can hold them to.”
Those in the GOP say Pence did an exceptional job of outlining the Trump Administration’s record.
“Keeping America safe, fighting or negotiating and pressuring NATO to pull their weight financially and to stem dictators,” said Hawaii Trump Victory Campaign chair Al Frenzel. “I think the combination of all that, the President’s strength among national security and keeping America first.”
President Trump and Biden are scheduled to face off next Thursday in Miami.