Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate, pointedly refused to answer three of the most important questions she was asked during the vice presidential debate Wednesday night in Salt Lake City. Her evasions left the American people even more confused than before about what the Biden-Harris ticket actually stands for.
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When moderator Susan Page of USA Today asked Harris about Biden’s plans to raise taxes by $4 trillion (and counting), for instance, Harris recited a line that she must have expected to put an end to the discussion, insisting several times that Biden would not raise taxes on people who earn less than $400,000.
Unfortunately, Page neglected to point out that the pledge was incompatible with Biden’s frequently stated intention of repealing President Trump’s tax cuts “on day one.”
Fortunately, Vice President Mike Pence refused to let Harris off the hook, pointing out that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is saving the typical family of four about $2,000 per year on their federal income taxes.
Contrary to Democratic talking points about tax cuts for “the rich” or “the 1 percent,” the Trump tax cuts were carefully engineered to offer broad-based tax relief, with a particular emphasis on reducing the tax burden on blue-collar American workers.
That’s why the TCJA doubled the child tax credit and the standard deduction — neither of which are particularly valuable to high earners, but both of which can make an immense difference in the budget of a middle-income family.
Senator Harris refused to explain the glaring contradiction between her rehearsed answer and her running mate’s well-known commitment to take these valuable tax breaks away from working families.
Her evasiveness continued throughout the debate, reaching a jaw-dropping climax with her preposterous non-answers to repeated questions about the Biden-Harris position on packing the Supreme Court.
The vice president gave Harris several opportunities to give a straightforward answer on whether she and Biden would support a scheme to retaliate for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination by enlarging and stuffing the high court with political appointees.
Rather than simply admitting to her and Biden's support for packing the Court, Harris delivered a rambling diatribe about Abraham Lincoln and complained about the number of Trump appointees (more than 300 so far) confirmed to federal courts over the past four years.
Someone should explain to Harris the difference between a president’s obligation to fill judicial vacancies that arise in the normal course of a president's tenure and a plan to create vacancies so you can fill them and tilt the judiciary's balance in your favor.
Eventually, a discouraged Pence was forced to supply the obvious answer that Harris was desperately trying to evade: A Biden-Harris administration would try to pack the Supreme Court out of anger that fate or Providence has given Donald Trump three legitimate opportunities to appoint Supreme Court Justices who share his and his Party’s judicial philosophy.
Harris wouldn’t even come clean about an issue that involves far more lives than the coronavirus will ever take. Despite her evident eagerness to deliver well-worn lines about giving women “choice,” she was clearly uncomfortable even using the word “abortion.”
More importantly, she adamantly refused to talk about her party’s recent embrace of late-term abortion all the way up until the moment of birth. Most people call that “infanticide” — Kamala Harris calls it “choice.”
It’s appalling that both Biden and Harris continue to conceal their true intentions from the American people. These issues are too important to dodge or dismiss.
Perhaps Harris’ evident discomfort during the debate was a result of her knowing that she was going to have to avoid answering serious questions that matter to voters.
So who won the debate? There will be a lot of discussion about that over the next day or so...
For me, a good general rule in a debate is that if you're smirking, you’re losing.
For this debate, that really says it all.
Andy Puzder was chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants for more than 16 years, following a career as an attorney. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy. He was nominated by President Trump to serve as U.S. labor secretary. In 2018, Puzder authored "The Capitalist Comeback: The Trump Boom and the Left's Plot to Stop It" (Center Street). His latest piece, a Broadside by Encounter Books titled, “Getting America Back to Work” was released on April 28, 2020.