Home / News / World /  Harris tilts at Trump over virus; Pence targets taxes

Senator Kamala Harris condemned the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic as the worst failure in US government history, but evaded answers on the Democrats’ positions on the environment and the Supreme Court.

“The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country," the California Democrat said of Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“This administration has forfeited their right to re-election," she said in the running mates’ only debate of the campaign.

The vice presidential debate bore almost no resemblance to the chaotic matchup between Trump and Biden last week. Trump repeatedly interrupted his opponent, prompting Biden to twice call the president a “clown" and tell him to shut up.

But repeatedly, Harris— the first Black and Indian-American woman to be nominated to join a major party ticket—told Pence “I’m speaking" when he interrupted her. Biden holds a large lead among women voters in public polling, one of Trump’s most serious vulnerabilities.

About an hour into the debate, moderator Susan Page of USA Today noted that Pence had spoken more than Harris, as she stopped him from taking time he wasn’t allotted under the debate rules.

After defending the administration’s response to the virus, Pence put Harris on the defensive with attacks on Biden’s tax and environment plans and the accusation that Biden would try to add justices to the Supreme Court.

“From day one, Joe Biden is going to raise your taxes," Pence said. Harris interjected: “That’s not true."

“Joe Biden will not raise taxes on anyone who makes less than $400,000 a year," she said

Pence also charged that Biden supports the “Green New Deal," which aims to wean the US off fossil fuels, a plan that Harris has co-sponsored in the Senate. Biden seeks to “abolish fossil fuels and ban fracking," he said.

“President Trump and I will keep America growing," he said.

Page noted that Biden’s website calls the “Green New Deal" a “crucial framework" on his website and asked Harris to explain what the Biden-Harris administration’s stance would be on the plan. She didn’t directly answer, instead saying that Trump and Pence “don’t believe in science."

“Joe’s plan is about saying we’re going to deal with it, but we’re also going to create jobs," she said.

She also did not directly respond to Pence’s charge that Biden would seek to add justices to the Supreme Court.

Voters, Pence said, “would like to know if you and Joe Biden are going to pack the Supreme Court if you don’t get your way in this nomination."

Harris said “let’s talk about packing" and criticized Trump’s selections for the court without answering the question.

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