VP Debate aims for civility after a chaotic presidential debate


“White House” by Diego Cambiaso is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The people of the United States tuned in last Wednesday to watch the Vice Presidential Debate. Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence debated over the economy, jobs, climate change, as well as race and the justice system, while USA Today’s Susan Page served as moderator. 

Page began the debate stating, “Americans deserve a discussion that is civil.” 

Senator Harris was interrupted by Vice President Pence, however it was unlike last week’s Presidential debate that it was more organized and contained. Harris responded to interruptions with the now iconic line, “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking.” 

Both Harris and Pence criticized each other, after returning to previous topics, rather than discussing future policy. It is a common judgement that questions were asked, but not answered. 

The debate ended with a question submitted from an eighth-grade student, who asked about political conflict and why leaders can’t get along with each other. Pence related to the relationship between the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Antonin Scalia. “One very liberal, one very conservative. But what’s been learned since her passing was the two of them and their families were the very closest friends.”

Harris answered the same question by referencing Charlottesville, and mentioning Biden’s motivation to run, “you have to know Joe’s story to know that Joe has known pain, he has known suffering, and he has known love.”