The Vice Presidential Debate


Barbara Vaudreuil

Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence participate in the vice presidential debate on Oct. 7, 2020.

Barbara Vaudreuil, Writer

There are two sides to every story.  In recent politics in particular, there’s more scrutiny than ever to appeal to each side.  On Wednesday, October 7th, at 9:00 PM, the Vice Presidential Debate took place between California senator Kamala Harris and standing vice president Mike Pence.


Topics such as coronavirus, the Black Lives Matter movement, and abortion laws have been discussed in depth by the two candidates, and two OHS sophomores, Kylie McGlinchey and Samantha Hartz, have a few words on the subject:


“[Senator Kamala Harris] was strong and very confident [and] knew what she was talking about… Pence wasn’t answering questions and was trying to mix religion with the government,” explained McGlinchey. 


She continued, “Personally, I am an advocate for the BLM movement, and I very much hated that he never said what happened to Breonna Taylor was wrong… he said there is no justice to be served.”


In addition to what McGlinchey expressed, the subject of Black Lives Matter and defunding  the police did appear in the debate, with both candidates taking very different stands.


Pence explained, in response to a mediated question about Breonna Taylor’s death, that “this presumption that you hear consistently from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris that America is systematically racist, that [Biden] believes that law enforcement has an implicit bias against minorities, is a great insult to the men and women who work in law enforcement.”


Senator Harris took an opposing point to Pence, explaining how Biden’s policies would “…eliminate the use of choke holds and require a national registry for police officers who break the law.”


Both candidates had trouble seeing eye to eye on this subject, though one interview did uncover an agreement, specifically with the policies that Harris promised to introduce if Biden is elected.


“Since people don’t like defunding the police,” explains McGlinchey, describing Senator Harris’s policies, “she thinks that [the] police should get more money to have better training,” 


Beyond policies relating to the Black Lives Matter movement, however, was another topic which was covered during the debate:  “The thing that bothers me is men talking about the issue of abortion… they aren’t the ones who should make the decision.  Every woman and situation is different,” adds Hartz, an AP Government student.  


She expanded, saying, “It’s cruel to consider taking away an option from someone who might really need it.”


The subject of abortions arose during the debate when Pence took a jab at Harris, stating that, “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support taxpayer funding of abortion all the way up to the moment of birth, late-term abortion.”


These claims were proven to be false, as neither Biden nor Harris had any intention of supporting late-term abortion, let alone “abortion all the way up to the moment of birth.”


“He made it very clear that if they’re elected, they will do everything they can to get rid of [abortions],” adds McGlinchey.


So far, the debate has shown nothing but colliding winds as the two candidates appear deeply divided on almost every issue, including the global pandemic, COVID-19.


“[Obama] created within the White House an office that basically was responsible for monitoring pandemics… [Trump] got rid of it,” explained Harris.


She continued to describe how, “Literally in the midst of a public health pandemic, where more than 210,000 people have died, Donald Trump is in court right now trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, and I’ve said it before and it bears repeating, this means that there will be no more protections for people with preexisting conditions.”  


Harris’ statement, while powerful, needs fact checking as the elimination of numerous national deputy security officers took place in response to an oversized staff, not because of Covid.


These words sink deep into the hearts of viewers as the number, this time derived from facts and studies, reveals how many died during the pandemic with President Trump as the standing president.


“For Biden… his plan to provide free COVID testing will help get a better understanding of the virus and help to end the pandemic,” comments Sammy.


The Vice Presidential debate was an entertaining showing, and many can agree that it went much smoother and better than the Presidential debate.