- Vice President Mike Pence interrupted Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, twice as many times during Wednesday’s debate, CBS News found.
- Pence interrupted Harris 10 times, while she interrupted him 5 times.
- The debate was the first and only vice presidential debate for the 2020 campaign.
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Vice President Mike Pence interrupted Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, twice as many times during Wednesday’s debate, CBS News found.
Pence, the Republican vice presidential nominee, interrupted Harris ten times, while Harris interrupted him only five times, according to the CBS News count.
“Mr. Vice President, I am speaking,” Harris said after Pence interrupted one of her responses on the coronavirus pandemic.
Women on Twitter, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, pointed out the imbalanced gender dynamics at play during the debate. Pence not only interrupting Harris but the moderator Susan Page (while dodging questions).
As Business Insider’s Marguerite Ward pointed out after last week’s presidential debate between two men — which was characterized by chaotic crosstalk — for some women watching the interruptions were reminiscent of what they go through in the workplace. And research backs it up, as Ward writes:
“In addition, a 2014 study by George Washington University found that men interrupted women 33% more than they did men. Women were significantly less likely to interrupt men.
“And a 2017 Northwestern University study looking at over a decade’s worth of transcripts of the US Supreme Court found that the trend of men interrupting women continued even at the highest position of law in the US.
“In that study, men interrupting women accounted for 32% of interruptions, while female justices interrupting others (men and women included) accounted for 4% of interruptions.”
According to CNN, Harris spoke for only 3 seconds less than Pence throughout the debate: while Pence spoke for 36 minutes and 27 seconds, Harris reportedly spoke for 36 minutes and 24 seconds.
CBS News, however, found that Harris spoke for 35 minutes and 20 seconds compared to Pence’s 38 minutes and two seconds.
Pence and Harris faced off in the only vice presidential debate of the 2020 campaign season, which focused heavily on President Donald Trump’s administration’s handling of the coronavirus. The debate also touched the economy, climate change, healthcare, and racial justice.
Pence told Harris to “stop playing politics with people’s lives” after she said she criticized Trump’s administration handling of the pandemic.
“The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country,” Harris said. “And here are the facts … 210,000 dead people in our country in just the last several months … one in five businesses are closed. We’re looking at frontline workers who have been treated like sacrificial workers.”