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.
Pence’s #VPDebate mansplaining gave us a key insight. See how Pence talked over Harris and Page; imagine him in White House #Covid Task Force meetings where scientists said they were belittled or ignored for speaking hard truths. This arrogance is how Trump and Pence FAILED us.— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) October 8, 2020
I saw a tweet saying: No one will remember this debate— Danica Woolley- Beauty/Wellness (@Daily_Danica) October 8, 2020
Correction: Every strong, assertive woman who speaks her mind and is talked over, dismissed, condescended to, interrupted and called bossy and bitchy WILL REMEMBER this debate!#imspeaking #KamalaWonTheDebate #VPDebate pic.twitter.com/KBbPy8Vbhw
If you found yourself last night screaming at #Pence to just shut up after being repeatedly told by the too polite moderator to stop ("thank you Mr. Vice President") and got angry and wanted to go personally administer an electric shock to him...please RT!#VPDebate pic.twitter.com/JFpp9NeGVN— George Papadopoulos (@feeonlyplanner) October 8, 2020
Every time I tried to yell at my TV during last night’s #VPDebate Mike Pence interrupted me.— Abraxsys (@Abraxsys) October 8, 2020
Kamala Harris very first line about Trump's failed handling of Covid was everything- you could've turned off your TV then: “The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country.” #VPDebate— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) October 8, 2020
If you had any doubts #KamalaHarris was a good prosecutor, it ended last night at the #VPDebate . She represented 210,000 victims of #COVID19 . She faced the man defending the killer and she delivered a closing argument that ended the trial...and a Presidency. #KamalaHarrisVP pic.twitter.com/7Q38aE0qWW— The Voice Of Reason (@portarican_RT) October 8, 2020
Close up of that fly on Pence's head at the debate last night. pic.twitter.com/xkSQHHVvZ4— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) October 8, 2020
BREAKING: Audacious Fly commits to appear at 2nd Trump-Biden debate pic.twitter.com/biWgU3nTEd— Joanie Loves Fauci (@MrErikJackson) October 8, 2020
#Flygate: A fly kicked Pence ass.— Secret Society Sally (@Kats_GA) October 8, 2020
Pete: Buttigieg kicked FOX ass.
2nd Biden- Trump debate: trump kicked his own ass rather than let Biden do it again.
The score is Biden/Harris:2, Trump/Pence: 0— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 8, 2020
The next debate is now going to be virtual, but Trump is a baby and won’t do it, so the final score looks like it will stay 2:0.
Mike Pence is a sexist. He talked over the moderator at the debate. He flouted the rules he agreed to. He was rude & disrespectful to Harris, to the debate moderator & to women voters. He acted like a privileged male. He hasn't been adequately criticized. It's a double standard.— J Whitfield Larrabee (@jwlarrabee) October 8, 2020
The CNN poll showed that humans preferred Kamala Harris. Flies clearly preferred Mike Pence.— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) October 8, 2020
Its amusing watching all these Serious Journos™ complain about the one or two questions Kamala Harris didn't answer when MIKE PENCE REFUSED TO ANSWER EVERY FUCKING QUESTION THE MODERATOR ASKED HIM MAYBE YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO THAT YOU BIASED ASSHOLES— Ragnarok Lobster (@eclecticbrotha) October 8, 2020