Columbus locals react to 2020 Vice Presidential debate


COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Following the Oct. 7 Vice Presidential debate between Republican VP Mike Pence and Democratic Challenger Sen. Kamala Harris, News 3 spoke with local Republican and Democratic leaders to hear their thoughts on the candidates’ performances.

The matchup between Pence and Harris covered policy and planning, but stayed focused heavily on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Supreme Court nominees, following the recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.. Just days earlier, President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and multiple officials in the president’s circle tested positive for the coronavirus.

Pence, no stranger to the debate stage after rising to VP nominee status in 2016, defended the president and their policies over the last four years, and their plans for continuing to deal with the pandemic and its economic effects.

Muscogee County Chairman of the Republican Party Alton Russell defended Pence’s performance and took aim at what Pence, and he also, considered plagiarized pandemic response plans during the debate.

“I think his defense, which is unnecessary to defend if you remember he said that it sounds like the Biden-Harris plan for the COVID-19 virus is the same thing that they have been doing since January,” Russell said. “…and like he said, it sounds like plagiarism, you know, which Biden is famous for but I thought it was really good.”

On the flip side, Muscogee County Democratic Party Chairman Laura Walker said Sen. Harris’s debate performance was well done, and was particularly focused on Harris’s points about the COVID-19’s pandemic and the economy, particularly how small businesses are hurting.

Walker also took aim at the current administration’s pandemic response and planning, and its effect on American lives.

“I thought Senator Harris did an amazing job but the focus is on the COVID pandemic and how this administration’s lack of an organized response has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths,” said Walker. “One out of five businesses, small businesses are closing, our economy is close to collapse, and we still have many people who are being affected still now.”

A second presidential debate is still being planned for a virtual performance, though President Trump rejected a remote debate despite his COVID-19 positive diagnosis.

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