The first and only vice presidential debate of the 20202 election cycle is in the books with Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris concluding their face-off in Utah. While the event was less chaotic than President Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s debate, there was a pesky insect that was all the rage on Twitter as the debate rolled on.
With USA Today’s Susan Page serving as moderator, the debate was typical political fodder with most of the answers from Pence and Harris sounding similarly to prepared statements fit for the campaign trail. Beyond that, Pence, not the bully that Trump was, definitely overtalked and went past his time while also shaking his head in disapproval at some of Harris’ statements.
A particularly testy moment came with Harris firing back at Pence several times the phrase “I’m speaking” in a nearly exasperated tone, this after he attempted to interrupt her. Page, while not quite as powerless to control the debate as Chris Wallace in the first presidential debate, regained a semblance of control eventually.
The pair debated over Trump’s coronavirus pandemic response, police reform efforts, climate change, and the current push to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. While Pence didn’t exactly duck all of Page’s questions, he never really connected on his responses at the same time. The vice president also flat out avoided a question regarding a peaceful transfer of power should Trump lose at the polls.
Along the way, Harris smirked and smiled through it all, which is getting the meme treatment as expected. However, the big winner of the night was a fly that landed atop Pence’s head. Social media swiftly got their jokes in formation and there was a relentless barrage of tweets and Twitter accounts cropping up in the wake of the infamous insect’s on-camera appearance.
The Biden campaign seized on the moment as well, showing the former vice president with what appeared to be an edited photo with a fly swatter in his hand just 10 minutes after the debate concluded. The campaign also made a clever fly-related URL that redirected to a voter registration site, cleverly using the humorous moment to their advantage.
As expected, responses from Trump supporters and conservative pundits have Pence handily winning the square off, while other media outlets believe that neither candidate swayed undecided voters in either direction due to sometimes canned responses lacking urgency and verve.
We’ve scoured Twitter for all the reactions, jokes, and the like below for your viewing. If you care to share, let us know in the comments who won the debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris.