October 8, 2020
If there’s one thing Americans learned from Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, it’s that there was a lot more separating the candidates than those plexiglass screens! It’d be tough to find two people more unalike in character, style, substance, and demeanor than the pair sharing the stage in Salt Lake City last night. But in a debate of startling contrasts, there were still important distinctions to be made. Distinctions between — not just Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) — but between the two prevailing visions for this country. And when those questions did arise, viewers couldn’t help but notice: the barriers may have been transparent, but Kamala Harris rarely was.
After the first presidential debate, a dumpster fire of inaudible cross-talk and one-sided moderating, last night’s event at least gave voters a chance to hear a somewhat civil discussion (even though Harris did seem determined to alienate as many people as possible with her smug disrespect and split-screen condescension). Mike Pence was everything Americans have come to expect from him — disciplined, calm, focused, and reassuring. But he was also some things that people didn’t see coming — aggressive, assertive, with a killer instinct when needed. He was poised, and as the night went on, the vice president was what voters needed most — persistent.
When moderator Susan Page wouldn’t demand the answers to questions she herself asked, Pence made very sure the Democrats took ownership of the radical agenda they’re selling. When Kamala dodged questions about the Green New Deal or outright lied about fracking and Joe Biden’s tax plan, the vice president got right to the bottom line. “She just told you, on Day One, Joe Biden’s going to raise your taxes,” he said looking straight into the camera. Things got even more desperate for the Democrat on matters like the Supreme Court, where Harris’s only defense for her past behavior with Brett Kavanaugh or Amy Coney Barrett was to feign outrage over the insinuation that she, as a person “of faith” would “knock” someone for their beliefs. But this was no insinuation. Thanks to a little thing called the congressional record, there’s plenty of evidence that not only has the senator attacked Barrett, but several others in her wake. The Left never should have stooped to that level, NRO’s Alexandria Desanctis argued — nor should they get away with pretending like they haven’t.
But it was Harris’s non-answer on the court that may have been her biggest disaster of the night. “People are voting right now. They’d like to know if you and Joe Biden are gonna pack the Supreme Court if you don’t get your way in [stopping Barrett’s] nomination.” “I’m answering now,” Harris replied, then stopped, thinking better of it. Her silence, Pence told voters, said volumes. “If you haven’t figured it out yet,” he told the American people, “the straight answer is they are going to pack the Supreme Court if they somehow win this election.” Of course, Harris can’t admit that for the same reason she can’t be honest about the rest of the Biden-Sanders agenda — the American people oppose it.
In the Washington Examiner/YouGov poll that came out this week, voters — by a 47-34 percent margin — think Democrats should leave the Supreme Court numbers alone. “Your party,” Pence said, “is openly advocating adding seats to the Supreme Court which has had nine seats for 150 years… This is a classic case of if you can’t win by the rules, you’re going to change the rules.”
Speaking of terrifying changes, like reinstating the Iran deal and cozying up with China, Kamala thinks we should pattern the next administration on her job as attorney general in California. “… [T]he work that I did is a model of what our nation needs to do…” Let’s see. As the Golden State’s AG, she a) attacked pro-lifer David Daleiden for daring to expose the truth about Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts ring; b) demanded that California pregnancy centers affirm and promote abortion; c) targeted businesses with moral objections to paying for abortifacients; and d) fought to stop other states from raising the safety standards for women in abortion clinics. (Not to mention, as Pence deftly pointed out, her abysmal record as prosecutor.)
If she wants to add to that her “model” resume in the Senate, we could also throw in her support for legal infanticide, late-term abortion, taxpayer-funded abortion, the freedom-crushing Equality Act, transgender bathroom, shower, and locker room mandates, legal prostitution, and her contempt for school choice, girls’ sports, religious liberty, the Hyde amendment, constitutionalist judges, and so much more. Add that all up and the next administration would be, as Newsweek said of Harris now, “more liberal than Bernie Sanders.”
Maybe, for other vice presidential candidates, her record wouldn’t matter so much. But in a race where the man at the top of her ticket is plagued by questions about his age and mental fitness, it might matter more than it ever has. “There’s a very good chance,” Laura Ingraham said soberly, “that if Biden wins, the woman you saw tonight will become the next president of the United States.” So while the pundits trip over themselves to say Wednesday night’s debate didn’t matter, the reality is, they’re wrong. Whether Biden is incapacitated by illness or just by his deal with the radical Left, this will be Harris’s administration one way or another. And Americans need to take a good, hard look at what that means.
To see the differences between the two tickets for yourself, don’t miss FRC Action’s “Biden and Harris on the Issues.”
Tony Perkins’s Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.