On Wednesday night, the vice-presidential candidates joined one another in their respective socially-distanced chairs onstage for their first debate of 2020. In ways, hopes were high that they would really get down to substance, as Trump had derailed the first presidential debate, turning it into romper room fuckery. And in ways they certainly did, maintaining at least a modicum of stability. But just ahead of the debate, former presidential candidate and current Joe Biden surrogate Peete Buttigieg destroyed Pence in an interview with Fox News, and it's a clip that is worth a rewatch.
For those unaware, Buttigieg has been actually standing in for Pence in Kamala Harris' debate prep. Wednesday night, he explained that process to Rachel Maddow.
"As we saw in 2016, Mike Pence is someone who is comfortable saying things that are utterly false with a completely straight face," he said. "It's one of the reasons that he's actually a very effective debater. And we wanted to make sure that we're prepared for that." And if his Fox News interview, also conducted on Wednesday, is any indication, Buttigieg has perfected the straight face.
While appearing on the conservative news outlet — where he reiterated that Pence can deliver "outrageous talking points with a straight face" — he was asked about Harris' record.
"When you run for president, you have a record on all of these issues," host Martha MacCallum said. "We've seen that record and her stance on them changing over time. So there's no doubt she's going to be asked about that tonight. Can you give some insight into what she might say to justify why she was for Medicare for All then and is not for it now for example?" Buttigieg's answer came with a smile.
"Well there's a classic parlor game of trying to find a little daylight between running mates," he began. "If people want to play that game then we could look into why an Evangelical Christian like Mike Pence wants to be on a ticket with a president who has been caught with a porn star, or how he feels about the immigration policy before he decided to team up with Donald Trump. If folks want to play that game, we could do it all night but I think what most Americans want to hear about is are our families going to be better protected than they have been by this president whose failed to secure America in the face of one of the most dangerous things to happen to our country."
The second of pause that follows, is just as sweet as the reply. Watch the full spot below.