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News of the Day: Pence echoes Trump in sidestepping pledge to peaceful power transfer

Harris and Pence debate.
Harris and Pence debate.

Possibly one of the greatest concerns of last night’s vice presidential debate came toward the end when Vice President Mike Pence did not commit to a peaceful transfer of power. 

Indeed, both Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris gave plenty of walk-around answers over the course of the night. However, Pence’s answer is specifically concerning because he would not pledge to a routine step in democracy. It also falls in line with Trump’s answer to a similar question at last week’s debate

“If it’s a fair election, I’m 100 percent on board,” Trump said. “But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that.” 

Page’s question began by noting Trump’s refusals. Should Vice President Joe Biden be elected and Trump won’t abide by a peaceful power transfer, she asked, “what would be your role?” 

In his response, Pence alleged voter fraud and that the Democrats have been trying to overturn the 2016 results for the last three and a half years. “First and foremost, I think we’re going to win this election,” he said. “President Donald Trump has launched a movement of everyday Americans from every walk of life… And that movement has only grown stronger in the last four years.” 

Harris used her time to call on viewers to vote early. She explained that the election decides “the course of our country for the next 4 years” and “we will not let anyone subvert our democracy.”

In addition to transfer of power, the undisclosed debate topics included the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of the vice president, the economy, climate change, China relations, the Supreme Court, racial justice and political divisiveness. Harris and Pence supported their respective ticket’s platforms and attacked one another’s political records. 

Unlike last week’s debates, the candidates sat down at desks and wore lapel microphones, instead of standing at the typical podium-supporting microphone. Harris and Pence were each protected by a plexiglass barrier, as well. These changes come following the positive COVID-19 diagnosis of the Trumps and a list of other White House staffers. 

Arguably the night’s most buzzworthy moment came when a fly sat on Pence’s head for approximately two minutes, leading to an onslaught of memes and jokes on social media and late night television. 

For a full fact check of Pence’s power transfer response, you can check here and for a fact check of the debate, you can check here.

Haley Bosselman
Haley Bosselman is the editor-in-chief of Culturas. She grew up in Orange County and moved to Los Angeles after earning her bachelor's degree in journalism from Arizona State University. In May 2020, Haley completed the Master of Science in journalism program at the University of Southern California. She's written a lot about music, but is geared toward any culture-related storytelling.
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