Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), rated the most far-left senator last year, made numerous false or misleading statements during the debate last night against Vice President Mike Pence.
The 90-minute debate in Salt Lake City came after President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden squared off in their first debate last week. The debate between Pence and Harris was significantly more civil with fewer interruptions from both candidates and less interference from the moderator.
Many of the “fact-checks” that were published after the debate focused almost exclusively on comments that Pence made and most ignored comments that Harris made. For example, ABC News published a fact-check report that evaluated 12 statements made by Pence, but only one statement made by Harris. CBS News evaluated six statements made by Pence and only three made by Harris. Other fact checks that were available online were done in a similar way.
However, Harris made dozens of false or misleading statements during the debate—the Trump campaign, for example, counted at least 24.
The following are five false or misleading statements that were made by Harris during the debate:
1. HARRIS: “The president said [coronavirus] was a hoax.”
2. HARRIS: “The American people know that Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact. That is a fact.”
Biden, and Harris, have both repeatedly expressed support for getting rid of fracking. Biden has said that there would be “no” place in his administration for fossil fuels in his administration and he would make sure they are “eliminated.” Biden also is on video saying, “I guarantee you we’re going to end fossil fuels.”
Harris, on the other hand, said during a CNN town hall that “there’s no question I’m in favor of banning fracking.”
3. HARRIS: “Joe Biden is the one who, during the Great Recession, was responsible for the Recovery Act that brought America back. And now, the Trump-Pence Administration wants to take credit when they rode the coattails of Joe Biden’s success for the economy that they had at the beginning of their term. Of course, now the economy is a complete disaster, but Joe Biden on the one hand did that. On the other hand, you have Donald Trump who has reigned over a recession that is being compared to the Great Depression.”
It is true that the economy was generally trending the right way under the Obama administration after the administration had the slowest economic recovery since World War II. However, when Biden claimed in the first debate that the Obama administration left the Trump administration a “booming economy” and Trump “caused the recession,” The New York Times rated the statement as “false.”
The New York Times reported:
The economy was not “booming” in the final year of Mr. Biden’s time as vice president, and Mr. Trump did not “cause” the pandemic recession. When President Barack Obama and Mr. Biden left office, the economy was healthy, though growth had dipped below 2 percent in 2016 in part because of a contraction in business investment stemming in part from a plunge in oil prices rippling through America’s energy industry. Unemployment had fallen steadily.
Under Mr. Trump, economic growth accelerated from 2016, spurred by the fiscal stimulus of tax cuts and increased government spending and continued monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve. The first three years of Mr. Trump’s presidency were similar, in terms of economic and job growth, to the first three years of Mr. Obama’s second term.
The coronavirus pandemic plunged the United States into recession this spring. Mr. Biden and others have criticized Mr. Trump’s response to it, blaming him for deaths from the virus and a contraction in economic activity. But there is no evidence Mr. Trump’s actions caused the recession: every major wealthy country in the world has experienced a sharp economic contraction along with its outbreak of the virus.
4. HARRIS: “[The Obama-Biden Administration] created within the White House an office that basically was responsible for monitoring pandemics. [The Trump-Pence Administration] got rid of it.”
This is misleading. USA Today noted that the notion that Trump got rid of the whole thing is not accurate. “The Directorate of Global Health Security and Biodefense was disbanded under Trump’s then-national security adviser John Bolton,” the newspaper reported. “But Trump didn’t fire its members. Some resigned, and others moved to different units on the National Security Council.”
5. HARRIS: “And on the other side, there were neo-Nazis carrying Tiki torches, shouting racial epithets, anti-Semitic slurs. And Donald Trump when asked about it said, ‘There were fine people on both sides.'”
This is a lie that has repeatedly been debunked. Trump specifically condemned “neo-Nazis and white nationalists,” saying, “they should be condemned totally.”
🚨JOE BIDEN IS LYING🚨
After Charlottesville, President Trump said, "I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally."pic.twitter.com/qCOhDu0x3r
— Abigail Marone 🇺🇸 (@abigailmarone) September 30, 2020