As the candidates for the vice-presidential seat faced off, Kamala Harris and Mike Pence took the podium to present their platform and stand on current issues in a more disciplined and more straightforward way than the chaotic presidential debate that took place last week.

However, despite the debate's calmer tone, both candidates did not back down, sending sparks flying from both sides of the stage, which even the sheets of plexiglass separating them could not contain.

The contest was held amid a small audience in Utah, and its first focus was the coronavirus pandemic. After which the debate moved to other topics such as policy issues, jobs, the economy, and the relationship between China and the US.

Despite the fact that the only people present on stage were the vice-presidential hopefuls and moderator Susan Page, the debate also widely tackled presidential nominees: President Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Debate Highlights

Coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic also invaded the vice-presidential face-off, but not in an infectious way. The disease that has taken more than 210,000 lives in the US was the first topic in the debate, The Washington Post reported.

Talking about the pandemic, Harris spoke about the high death toll in the US and targeted the White House for its "failed" response. She also claimed that the administration covered up the outbreak despite knowing that it was already severely affecting the country.

On the other hand, Pence rushed to the administration's defense, stating that they did not mishandle it. He also noted that an administration under Biden would not have done any better if put in the same scenario.

Moreover, Pence stated that since the start of the pandemic, Trump has always placed the Americans' health and well-being first. He also noted that despite the challenges that were faced by the US at the time, the administration has been helping the country bounce back.

Read also: President Trump's COVID-19 Diagnosis Inspired Almost a Quarter More Americans to Wear Mask

Questions About Age of their Runningmates Avoided

According to CNBC, when asked about the growing concerns about the presidential candidates' ages, the vice-presidential bets both dodged the questions and did not answer directly.

Trump and Biden, who are 74 and 77 years old, respectively, are two of the oldest candidates to run for the US presidency.

It can be recalled that the Trump campaign once made Biden's age a central attacking point. On the other hand, Trump's health status has been questioned after he was diagnosed with COVID-19. Thus, the role a vice president might play when a president becomes unable to lead had come into focus.

While the VP face-off seemed calmer and more controlled, there were also moments when they mirrored some of the things that happened during the heated debate between Trump and Biden.

At one point, Harris called out Trump's attitude towards the military, prompting Pence to rebut despite being rebuked by the moderator. ABC reported.

Page attempted to move on to the next topic. However, Pence insisted that he should be given time to respond. When Page tried to cut in, Pence kept on talking, which was nostalgic for the "interruption-fest," which was the presidential debate.

Related article: Pence, Harris to Face-off on Vice Presidential Debate, Here's What You Need to Know