Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris will square off in Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City, Utah. Pence soundly won his 2016 vice presidential debate against Clinton running mate Tim Kaine, and based on his level of preparation, he will be equally formidable on tonight’s stage.
Chief of Staff to the Vice President Marc Short told reporters during a press call this afternoon that Pence has been prepping for the debate for six to eight weeks, partially with the help of former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who played the role of Kaine during practice rounds for the 2016 debate. Short indicated that several other individuals have also been stepping in to imitate Sen. Harris this time around.
The debate does not have set topics like last week’s presidential debate, but is supposed to focus 50 percent on domestic policy and 50 percent on foreign policy. Pence is prepared to talk about the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus, Harris’s ‘radical left’ policies, her inconsistent and hypocritical record throughout her political career, and her support of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. The Trump campaign also indicated that they will contrast the Trump administration’s focus on law and order with the Biden campaign’s response to the nationwide riots. The Spectator asked the campaign how they intend to thread the needle between attacking Harris’s ‘tough on crime’ record as a prosecutor vs the Trump administration’s strong actions to quell disorder. Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller pointed out that Harris has a history of throwing the book at minor offenders while letting the most violent criminals off the hook, whereas Trump has done the opposite.
‘One of the things that we found in looking through [Harris’s prosecutorial record] is that she was overly aggressive in prosecuting small, minor offenses that disproportionately impacted black men in particular, but also…when it came to more capital cases and where we saw some pretty vicious homicides and some other pretty horrific felonies, that she did not go for the full punishment that could have been there,’ Miller said.
Miller also pointed out that while Biden has recently had a ‘road to Damascus type conversion’ in embracing law enforcement, his campaign has signed on to the Bernie-Biden policy agreement where they commit to ‘reimagine’ policing and ‘redirect’ police funding.
‘I would actually…kind of turn it around and say I’m looking forward to Sen. Harris playing a game of political twister,’ Miller said.
Another point of hypocrisy on Harris’s record that Pence intends to exploit is the fact that she attacked Biden’s race record during the Democratic primary, particularly his opposition to busing and friendships with segregationists, but later went on to join his ticket.
The Trump campaign noted that they expect Harris to be a tough debate challenger due to her experience as a prosecutor, but expect that Pence’s unflappable demeanor may give him the edge.
Former Gov. Scott Walker asserted, ‘I think tonight you’re going to see the same patient delivery we saw four years ago, but I think with a little bit more emotion’, further explaining that some of Harris’s attacks on Pence and the Trump administration may be viewed as an attack on the American people.
Not to pass up an opportunity for a bit of trolling, the campaign also confirmed they are leaving a ticket for Tupac Shakur to attend the debate, as Sen. Harris recently referred to the deceased rapper as the ‘best rapper alive’. It’s unclear if Harris simply had a slip of the tongue or was playing up a popular piece of hip-hop folklore in which fans speculate that Shakur’s death is a hoax.