Kamala Harris vs Mike Pence: Vice Presidential debate to kick off tonight

7 October 2020, 19:33 | Updated: 8 October 2020, 00:55

Kamala Harris and Mike Pence are due to go head-to-head tonight
Kamala Harris and Mike Pence are due to go head-to-head tonight. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Kamala Harris and Mike Pence will go head-to-head tonight in the US election's only Vice Presidential debate.

The two candidates will meet in Salt Lake City for the televised event, in which they will be seated 12.25ft apart separated by plexiglass barriers

Anyone in the small audience who refuses to wear a mask will be asked to leave.

The 90-minute debate will be split into 10 minute sections and will kick off at 7pm local time - or 2am in you're in the UK and fancy staying up to watch.

You can listen to the debate live and in full on LBC News - click here to listen.

For Ms Harris, the debate is her highest-profile opportunity to vocalise how Mr Biden would stabilise the US, especially when it comes to resolving the pandemic and addressing racial injustice.

Watch live: Kamala Harris to take on Mike Pence in Vice Presidential debate

Ms Harris will be hoping to win over voters to vote for her on Joe Biden's ticket
Ms Harris will be hoping to win over voters to vote for her on Joe Biden's ticket. Picture: PA

She will be able to explain her views on law enforcement, an area in which she is viewed warily by some progressives, given her past as a prosecutor.

While the debate is likely to cover a range of topics, the virus will be at the forefront.

The vice president is a 61-year-old former Indiana governor and ex-radio host, an evangelical Christian known for his folksy charm and unwavering loyalty to Mr Trump.

Pence has been the VP for the past four years
Pence has been the VP for the past four years. Picture: PA

Ms Harris is a 55-year-old California senator, the daughter of a Jamaican father and an Indian mother. She is also a former prosecutor whose pointed questioning of Mr Trump's appointees and court nominees and cool charm on the campaign trail made her a Democratic star.

She will make history as the first black woman to appear in a vice presidential debate. Democrats hope the historic nature of her candidacy will help energise key groups of likely Democratic voters - African Americans and young people, in particular - who have shown less excitement for Mr Biden.

Tonight's debate will ultimately be a chance for the pair to put themselves forward as a President-in-waiting, if case the worst should happen and whoever is chosen as President becomes incapacitated.

This possibility has become abundantly clear in recent days, following Donald Trump's diagnosis and ultimate hospitalisation due to Covid-19.

The pair will be separated by plexiglass screens due to Covid-19
The pair will be separated by plexiglass screens due to Covid-19. Picture: PA

Trump was flown to Walter Reed Medical Centre after testing positive, and his doctor has since admitted that he had to receive oxygen after experiencing some difficulties breathing.

He is due to go against Democratic rival Joe Biden in the second Presidential debate on the 15th, but Biden has said it should not go ahead if Trump still has coronavirus.

The US president, who is recovering from Covid-19 at the White House, said yesterday he's "looking forward" to going up against his rival on Thursday.

But Mr Biden insists they are "going to have to follow very strict guidelines".

Mr Biden has repeatedly tested negative for the virus, while Mr Trump has faced criticism from him over his "macho" stance and for playing down the seriousness of coronavirus.

Mr Trump returned to the White House on Monday and continues to recover behind closed doors as more of aides tested positive, including one of his closest advisers Stephen Miller.

Trump's doctor, Navy Commander Sean Conley, said in a letter that the president had a "restful" night at the White House and "reports no symptoms".

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