Vice President Mike Pence will make a campaign stop Oct. 8 in Phoenix following last night’s vice presidential debate, which took place in Salt Lake City.
Watch his remarks live in the video player above.
Seated behind plexiglass shields, Pence and his Democratic challenger, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., turned the only vice presidential debate of 2020 into a dissection of the administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with Harris labeling it “the greatest failure of any presidential administration.”
Pence, who leads the White House Coronavirus Task Force, vigorously defended the administration’s overall response to a pandemic that has killed 210,000 Americans.
The meeting, which was far more civil than last week’s chaotic faceoff between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, came on the heels of an outbreak of coronavirus linked to the White House, hitting the highest levels of the U.S. government.
With less than four weeks until Election Day, the debate was one of the final opportunities for Trump and Pence to reset a contest that could be slipping away.
Harris condemned the police killings of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and George Floyd in Minnesota and spoke about the protests against racial injustice in policing that followed, which Trump has portrayed as “riots” as he calls for law-and-order.
“We are never going to condone violence but we must always fight for the values that we hold dear,” Harris said.
Pence said his heart breaks for Taylor’s family but he trusts the U.S. justice system.
The candidates also clashed on taxes — or specifically, Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns four years after repeatedly promising to do so. The New York Times reported last month that the president pays very little personal income tax but owes hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.
“It’d be really good to know who the president owes money to,” Harris said.
Pence refused to answer directly if he would support a peaceful transfer of power if the president lost to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“First and foremost, I think we’re going to win this election,” Mr. Pence said. The vice president countered that, “Trump has launched a movement of everyday Americans from every walk of life,” that will carry him through to a second victory.
Pence never got around to saying what he would do if Trump declined to accept a losing result.