Republican Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic challenger California Senator Kamala Harris squared off Wednesday evening in Salt Lake City, Utah, ahead of the November 3 election. Here are some of key quotes from the debate, which was moderated by USA Today journalist Susan Page.
The coronavirus pandemic
Harris: "On January 28, the vice president and the president were informed about the nature of this pandemic. They were informed that it's lethal. In consequence that it is airborne that it will affect young people, and that it would be contracted, because it is airborne. And they knew what was happening and they didn't tell you."
Asked about the COVID-19 death toll, Pence: "I want the American people to know that from the very first day President Donald Trump has put the health of America first."
Pence: "The reality is when you look at the Biden plan [for dealing with the pandemic] it reads an awful lot like what President Trump and I and our task force have been doing every step of the way. ... it looks a little bit like plagiarism."
Harris: "The American people have had to sacrifice far too much because of the incompetence of this administration."
Harris on vaccine: "If the public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us that we should take it, I'll be the first in line to take it absolutely, but if Donald Trump tells us to take it, I'm not taking it."
Pence: "The fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine — if the vaccine emerges during the Trump administration — I think is unconscionable ... stop playing politics with people's lives."
Harris: "On the issue of the economy I think there couldn't be a more fundamental difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Joe Biden believes you measure the health and the strength of America's economy based on the health and the strength of the American worker and the American family. On the other hand, you have Donald Trump, who measures the strength of the economy based on how rich people are doing."
Pence: "More taxes, more regulation, banning fracking, abolishing fossil fuel, crushing American energy and economic surrender to China is a prescription for economic decline. President Trump and I will keep America growing. The V-shaped recovery that's underway right now will continue with four more years of President Donald Trump."
Pence: "On Day One, Joe Biden's going to raise your taxes."
Harris: "Joe Biden has been very clear: he will not raise taxes on anybody that who makes less than $400,000 a year."
Harris: "You've got to know who your adversaries are and keep them in check. But what we have seen with Donald Trump is that he has betrayed our friends and embraced dictators around the world. Let's take, for example, Russia."
Pence: "Everybody knows that NAFTA cost literally thousands of American factories to close. We saw automotive jobs go south of the border. President Trump fought to renegotiate NAFTA, and the United States, Mexico, Canada agreement is now the law of the land. ... It was a huge win for American farmers, especially dairy in the upper Midwest, but senator you said it didn't go far enough on climate change."
Pence: "Now with regard to climate change, the climate is changing. But the issue is, what's the cause? And what do we do about it? President Trump has made it clear that we're going to continue to listen to the science."
Harris: "We have seen a pattern with this administration, which is they don't believe in science."
Harris: "You lost that trade war, you lost it. What ended up happening is because of a so-called trade war with China, America lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs. Farmers have experienced bankruptcy because of it. We are in a manufacturing recession because of it."
Pence: "Look, lost the trade war with China? Joe Biden never fought it. Joe Biden's been a cheerleader for communist China over the last several decades."
The US military
Harris: "This is about a pattern of Donald Trump's, where he has referred to our men who are serving in our military as suckers and losers. Donald Trump, who went to Arlington Cemetery, and stood above the graves of our fallen heroes and said, ‘What's in it for them?"
Pence: "President Donald Trump not only respects but reveres all of those who served in our armed forces and any suggestion otherwise is ridiculous."