Moderator Susan Page reveals “big” topic missed during VP debate

FAN Editor

Vice presidential debate moderator Susan Page thinks there are still important issues left unheard after Tuesday’s match-up between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris. 

“There were big topics we missed, and immigration was certainly one of them,” Page said Friday on CBSN.

Page said she chose nine topics for the debate based on the questions of “What do voters want to hear?” and “What can help a voter make up their mind?”

“The order of the debate got adjusted on the fly because we were talking about the economy, and climate change came up…which I planned to do later in the debate,” the USA Today Washington bureau chief said. “Then we got toward the end of the debate, and it became clear we had to drop a topic, and immigration was, unfortunately, the topic that dropped off.”

Though exchanges were notably more civil than President Trump’s chaotic face-off with Joe Biden, Page notes some of the candidate’s responses “were not even on the topic at hand” during the 90-minute debate. 

“Neither candidate responded directly to my question, which was: have you talked to Joe Biden and Donald Trump about presidential succession,” Page said.

Pence was also accused of dodging questions about the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, while Harris, like Biden, avoided disclosing whether the Democratic ticket supported packing the Supreme Court. 

Page called the “failure” of the candidates to answer certain questions “informative.”

Some viewers noted Pence spoke for more time than Harris, and said Pence frequently interrupted Harris when she was speaking.

Page said she only observed Pence “occasionally” talking over Harris, though she noted he did “talk on past his own time limits.”

“The one time that they were really talking over each other, I scolded them in a way my mother would have been appalled,” Page recounted. “I held up my hands…as if I was a cop at an intersection just to get them to stop.”

Though viewers did not see her gestures to calm the debaters, a fly that landed on Pence’s head toward the end of the debate captured the attention of people all over social media. Page, however, never noticed it.

“You’ll be surprised, I was pretty focused and I did not see the fly and I walked off the debate stage afterward and all anybody was talking about was the fly,” she said. “And I said, ‘What fly?'”

Full 2020 vice presidential debate 01:29:46

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