How the Squad Reacted to the Vice Presidential Debate

The first and only vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris took place on Wednesday night as the California Democrat made history by becoming the first woman of color to take to the VP debate stage.

The four members of the progressive Democratic "Squad" were watching last night and shared their thoughts on Twitter. The congresswomen didn't seem to be impressed with the vice president.

Commentators accused both candidates of dodging questions at the debate and Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez highlighted what they saw as Pence avoiding key issues, while Rep. Ilhan Omar raised the topic of faith.

"Pence didn't come to debate, he came to play dodge ball. He dodged on COVID-19 response, dodged on pre-existing conditions, dodged on abortion, dodged on peaceful transfer of power. #MikePence dodged everything but that fly," Pressley tweeted.

She was referring to a fly that briefly landed on the vice president's head and quickly became a viral moment.

Ocasio-Cortez also thought Pence was dodging questions, while Omar seemed to blame the moderator, Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today.

"Why is it that Mike Pence doesn't seem to have to answer any of the questions asked of him in this debate?" Ocasio-Cortez asked.

"Pence demanding that Harris answer *his* own personal questions when he won't even answer the moderator's is gross, and exemplary of the gender dynamics so many women have to deal with at work," Ocasio-Cortez added.

"This man doesn't know how to answer a single question and the moderator keep thanking him for it," Omar tweeted.

Omar also highlighted a discussion about faith. Pence was speaking about Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who is a devout Roman Catholic. Republicans have accused some Democrats of anti-Catholic bigotry.

Harris and Pence at the Debate
Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence applaud after their debate at the University of Utah on October 7, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is the only scheduled debate between the two before the general election on November 3. The members of the Squad weren't impressed with Pence. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images

"And we particularly hope that we don't see the kind of attacks on her Christian faith that we saw before. I mean, the Democrat chairman of the Judiciary Committee before, when Judge Barrett was being confirmed for the court of appeals, expressed concern that the dogma of her faith lived loudly in her," Pence said, referring to remarks by Senator Dianne Feinstein.

"The President ran on banning people from the country based solely on their Muslim faith," Omar tweeted. "This man has no right to lecture anyone about respecting people's faith. PS not all people of faith believe the government should make decisions over what women do with their bodies."

Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib had a slightly different response to the debate. She tweeted about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which has been ongoing since 2014. Flint is in her congressional district.

"From Detroit to Flint to the world, we all deserve to drink clean water," Tlaib said. This was in response to Pence's claim that, "Our water is among the cleanest in the world."

Ocasio-Cortez also had some criticism for Harris, tweeting: "Fracking is bad, actually" after the senator said Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wasn't interested in banning it.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, shows polling on who won the debate.

Vice President Debate Statista
CNN/SSRS polling on vice presidential debate performance. Statista

This article was updated to include an infographic.

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