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US elections 2020: Covid, China and climate dominate V-P debate

US elections 2020: Covid, China and climate dominate V-P debate
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US elections 2020: Covid, China and climate dominate V-P debate

Highlights

Washington: The issues of Covid-19, China and climate change along with the Supreme Court nominee and race dominated the only vice-presidential debate ...

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Washington: The issues of Covid-19, China and climate change along with the Supreme Court nominee and race dominated the only vice-presidential debate with both Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris sticking to their known campaign positions on each of these pressing topics.

While there were no surprises on policy issues from either side, there were far less interruptions and tense moments between Pence, 61, who comes from Indiana and his Democrat challenger Harris, 55, who is from California.

Pence, who entered the debate as an underdog, was seen vigorously defending the actions of the Trump Administration during the past nearly four years. And at times he successfully challenged his opponent with questions like the one on Green New Deal and Supreme Court to which she had no answer.

Harris, who created yet another history, by becoming the first person of Indian descent to be on the stage of a vice presidential debate, charmed with her smiling face throughout responding to answers to her opponent with facts and figures with the same assertiveness as she started her career as a district attorney in San Francisco.

"This administration has forfeited their right to re-election," she asserted at the start of the 90-minute debate in Salt Lake City of Utah on Wednesday night moderated by journalist Susan Page from USA Today newspaper.

"Biden wants to go back to the economic surrender to China that when we took office, half of our international trade deficit was with China alone," Pence fired back during the debate, which moved from one segment to the other every 10 minutes.Harris slammed the Trump Administration for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, describing it as "greatest failure" of any presidential administration in the history of the United States.

"The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country. And here are the facts, 210,000 dead people in our country in just the last several months. Over 7 million people who have contracted this disease. One in five businesses are closed," she said. Pence, who is heading the White House coronavirus task force, differed asserting that Trump's plan saved hundreds of thousands of American lives, because with that time they were able to reinvent testing.

"The reality is, when you look at the Biden plan, it reads an awful lot like what President Trump and I and our task force have been doing every step of the way. Harris also accused President Trump of "betraying our friends and embracing dictators" as she attacked his "unilateral approach" to his foreign policy that led to America pulling out of the landmark Iran nuclear deal and making the country less safer.

Trump administration has "stood strong with our allies," Pence responded. "We've strengthened our alliances and stood strong against those who would do us harm," Pence said, strongly defending his boss.

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