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.
Vice-President Mike Pence endorsed the whole of President Donald Trump’s response to the virus. Since February, more than 7 million Americans have been infected, more than 212,000 have died and last week, the president himself contracted Covid-19.
“From the very first day, President has put the health of America first,” Pence said.
He later insisted that Harris explain Joe Biden’s plans to raise taxes and his position on the Green New Deal, a plan to fight climate change that Republicans say would be economically destructive. He also demanded to know whether she and Biden planned to “pack” the Supreme Court with additional justices, a question the Biden campaign has consistently refused to answer.
While the two candidates were largely cordial, there was friction over police and racial issues.
After Pence called presumptions of systemic racism among police “a great insult to the men and women who serve in law enforcement,” Harris, a former prosecutor, responded sharply. “I will not sit here and be lectured by the vice president about what it means to enforce the laws of this country,” said Harris.