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Harris, Pence clash over COVID-19, economy in Vice Presidential debate

Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence went head to head in the Vice Presidential debate. Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith shares the details.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: We want to get to the issue that we're all talking about, not only on the impact on the markets, but the overall election as we head towards November 3. We want to do that first with Jessica Smith, who is going to break down what we witnessed last night in that debate. Jessica.

JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, Adam, this was a much different debate than what we saw between President Trump and Vice President Biden. There wasn't as much yelling this time around. It was much more civil. Vice President Pence tried to paint Senator Harris as radical and as extreme, while Harris really slammed Pence for the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus.

Obviously, the pandemic was a really big focus last night. It was the first question of the debate, and Senator Harris said that Trump's response is the greatest failure of any administration in history. Let's watch.

KAMALA 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.

And they knew what was happening, and they didn't tell you.

MIKE PENCE: The reality is when you look at the Biden plan, it reads an awful lot like what President Trump and I and our task force have been doing every step of the way. And quite frankly, when I look at their plan that talks about advancing testing, creating new PPE, developing a vaccine, it looks a little bit like plagiarism.

JESSICA SMITH: Now, Senator Harris and Vice President Pence both dodged questions left and right last night. Senator Harris would not answer a question about packing the Supreme Court. Pence didn't answer questions about how the administration will protect people with preexisting conditions or what he would do if the president does not accept election results.

They both refused to answer a question about what they would do if Biden or Trump became incapacitated. Now, it's not clear yet if this is going to be the last debate of the election or not. The Commission on Presidential Debates announced this morning that the next debate between Biden and Trump would be virtual, as President Trump continues to recover from COVID-19.

The Biden campaign accepted those terms, but President Trump said he is not going to participate. He said it was a waste of time. And his campaign said he would do a rally instead. We'll be looking for more details on that one. Adam and Julie.

JULIE HYMAN: Jess, thank you. I also want to ask you about what's going on on the stimulus front in Washington, because the president is still floating options, it sounds like, including just passing something on airlines right now.

JESSICA SMITH: Right. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just came out to speak to reporters right now, so we'll be watching to see what she has to say. But we know she is scheduled to talk with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin later today. They had two phone calls yesterday looking at a standalone bill for airlines.

You'll remember the House voted last week-- didn't vote, they tried to move forward on a bill to help airlines last week, but that failed. President Trump said in an interview today that they are working on something for airlines, also another round of stimulus checks. We have not heard anything about that, though, from Speaker Pelosi or Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.

You'll remember President Trump shut down negotiations last week, then he started to backtrack. But there does seem to be some movement here when it comes to getting relief from airlines. There are a few bills that would give tens of billions of dollars to the airlines if they held off on layoffs through March of next year. So we'll listen to see what Pelosi has to say about her conversation with Mnuchin, and we'll see which bill, if any, that they start to kind of support there or work on throughout the week.