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Among the many zingers fired like cannonballs at Democrat vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris during the 2020 vice presidential debate Wednesday night was one pertaining to her and presidential nominee Joe Biden’s coronavirus plans.
The first question posed to Harris by debate moderator Susan Page was how she and Biden intend to handle the coronavirus pandemic if they win the election.
Harris replied by calling the Trump administration’s otherwise well-praised response “the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country,” and by trotting out the oft-heard “president said it was a hoax” canard.
Page of course didn’t fact-check this lie.
The senator then highlighted her and Biden’s so-called plan.
“[O]ur plan is about what we need to do around a national strategy for contact tracing, for testing, for administration of the vaccine, and making sure that it will be free for all. That is the plan that Joe Biden has and that I have, knowing that we have to get a hold of what has been going on, and we need to save our country,” she said.
“And Joe Biden is the best leader to do that. And frankly, this administration has forfeited their right to reelection based on this.”
“The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country,” Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris says on the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic #VPdebate pic.twitter.com/wrCM797V4s
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) October 8, 2020
After the senator finished speaking, Page then asked incumbent Vice President Mike Pence a loaded question about why “the US death toll, as a percentage of our population, higher than that of almost every other wealthy country?”
He replied by rightly noting that far more people would have died had President Donald Trump not banned travel from China, and by pointing out that this move — which was widely panned by Democrats — bought the administration “invaluable time to stand up the greatest national mobilization since World War Two.”
How? By providing the administration extra time to begin working on a vaccine and set up widespread testing and contract tracing. Sound familiar?
“The reality is, when you look at the Biden plan, it reads an awful lot like what President Trump and I and our task force has been doing every step of the way,” Pence continued.
“And quite frankly, when I look at their plan that talks about advancing testing, creating new PPE, developing a vaccine, it looks a little bit like plagiarism, which is something Joe Biden knows a little bit about.”
Biden has a reputation of being a “lying, dog-faced” plagiarist.
Naughty Joe? Biden accused of plagiarism after DNC speech https://t.co/HHOtJTtMm7
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 23, 2020
He allegedly plagiarized deceased former Canadian political figure John Gilbert “Jack” Layton while speaking at this year’s Democrat National Convention.
He even reportedly plagiarized himself, per se, by using some of the same words near-verbatim that he’d used during the 2008 Democrat National Convention.
This is unbelievable. Same exact speech. pic.twitter.com/doY5R6QqKA
— Power Tie (@realPowerTie) August 22, 2020
Because of these examples, Pence’s zinger packed a punch.
See some of the response on social media below:
The winning moment: “When you read the Biden plan it reads a lot like what Trump and I have been doing every step of the way,” Pence said, “It looks a little bit like plagiarism, something Joe Biden knows a little bit about.” #VPDebates2020 pic.twitter.com/zxpxN5Rvsp
— James Hirsen (@thejimjams) October 8, 2020
Plagiarism! @Mike_Pence here to play tonight!
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) October 8, 2020
“Looks a little bit like plagiarism, something Joe Biden knows something about.” – Pence WOW #VPdebate
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) October 8, 2020
Mike Pence drops the plagiarism charge on Biden at the end of his question when saying that Biden’s plan is basically what they’re already doing.
Pence bringing out the claws early.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 8, 2020
What made all of Pence’s zingers particularly devastating, according to Jim Geraghty of National Review, is their amazingly genteel delivery.
“Pence was remarkably effective, and he does it in a way that seems to lull his opponents into underestimating him. When Pence makes an attack, it either comes across as a gentle jab — ‘it sounds like plagiarism,’ — or he makes it sound like a compliment while subtly reminding the audience of his opponent’s flaws — ‘I salute Joe Biden’s 47 years in public service,'” Geraghty notes.
Indeed, every time Pence “attacked” Harris, he did so in ways that cannot legitimately be accused of being rude, brash or uncouth.
Pence holds rambling Kamala’s feet to the fire on court-packing, before moderator gives her a pass https://t.co/vsnUI3LGIu
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 8, 2020
Of course, for those who live in a fantasy world, anything is possible:
Pence is rude and overbearing. Women voters REALLY hate these guys
— Jennifer ‘Vote Early’ Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) October 8, 2020
Vice President Pence routinely runs over his time, keeps talking, and ignores Susan Page’s polite admonitions that his time is up. He’s not nuts; he’s not like Trump. But he’s rude to Susan Page and Kamala Harris in his own smarmy and unctuous way.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) October 8, 2020
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