On Wednesday night, Kamala Harris and Mike Pence went head-to-head at The University of Utah in Salt Lake City for the vice presidential debate.
Harris came out tops after taking down Pence on numerous occasions.
These are 9 of most memorable moments.
1. Harris accused the Trump-Pence administration of forfeiting their right to a second term
Harris started out strong. One of her first interactions with Mike Pence was a scathing attack on the Trump-Pence administration for knowing about covid-19 in late January but covering it up. She said: “They knew and they covered it up.”Harris then proceeded to criticise Pence and Trump for not having a plan on how to address the pandemic. She ended this answer with the powerful line: “This administration has forfeited their right to re-election.”
2. A stand-out line from Harris on the administration's handling of the pandemic
Following a characteristic Pence non-answer on the handling of the pandemic, Harris came back with a zinger. She said: “Whatever the vice president is claiming the president has done clearly hasn’t worked when you’re looking at over 210,000 dead bodies in our country.”
3. Harris attacked Pence for his work on the Covid-19 taskforce
Harris went after Pence for being the head of the Covid-19 taskforce and covering up the severity of the pandemic. After being briefly interrupted, she firmly told Pence: “I’m speaking.”
Then, in an incredibly powerful moment, Harris asked the audience a series of rhetorical questions about how calm they were in a series of relatable and difficult situations during the lockdown. It packed a punch.
4. Pence stumbled in response to an attack on Trump's tax returns
When discussing transparency, Harris made an effective pivot to president Trump’s taxes. She brought up Trump’s debt and posed this question to the audience: “What is influencing the president’s decision?”
Pence responded with another evidently pre-rehearsed non-answer.
5. Harris called out Pence for interrupting her
Following the shambolic first presidential debate which was rife with interruption, Harris sternly disciplined Pence for interrupting her. She told him: “If you don’t mind letting me finish, we can then have a conversation.”
6. Harris ensured Pence's would-be zinger fails to pack a punch
Pence had the potential for a zinger. He said: “You’re entitled to your own opinion but you’re not entitled to your own facts.” Instead of allowing him the chance to relish in that line, Harris smirked and retorted: “Good line.”
This simple but effective response took the steam out of a strong Pence response.
7. Harris set the record straight
Harris proved her prosecutorial chops by cross-examining Pence on the environment and jobs. She said: “Joe Biden is responsible for saving America’s auto industry and you voted against it. So, let’s set the record straight.” Punchy.
8. Pence got schooled – literally – by Kamala Harris
Pence was subjected to a history lesson from Harris. Despite Pence’s attempt to interrupt, she shut him down. She then proceeded to educate the vice president on Abraham Lincoln on filling Supreme Court seats close to an election. It was patronising but in just the right way.
9. Harris refused to be lectured
Harris saved the best for last. She eviscerated Pence by stating: “I will not sit here and be lectured by the vice president on what it means to enforce the laws of this country.”
She described her experience of personally prosecuting against crimes and pivoted towards calling out Trump for not condemning white supremacists. It was Harris at her best.
According to a CNN post-debate poll, Harris was seen as the winner of the debate. 59 per cent said she won, to 38 per cent that backed Pence.