Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Vice President...

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Vice President Mike Pence debate Wednesday at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Credit: EPA / Shutterstock / Morry Gash

What happened:

  • While Republican Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic challenger Sen. Kamala Harris sparred on various topics, with heated exchanges, overall they had a far more respectful debate in Salt Lake City than what we saw in Cleveland between the presidential candidates last week.
  • Some takeaways: Both candidates played to type. Pence pressed Harris on whether a Biden administration would "pack" the Supreme Court. And the candidates repeatedly dodged and sidestepped questions from moderator Susan Page.
  • Want to return to specific moments? Here's a full replay:
  • Vice President Mike Pence and his Democratic challenger, California Sen. Kamala Harris, met Wednesday for a debate that offered starkly different visions for a country confronting escalating crises.

Wednesday updates

VP debate more cordial than Trump vs. Biden

The vice presidential debate is much more cordial than last week's raucous presidential debate with frequent interruptions and outbursts.

Democrat Kamala Harris acknowledged Vice President Mike Pence’s phone call to her the day she accepted the Democratic vice presidential nomination, while Pence acknowledged the well wishes from his Democratic rivals toward President Donald Trump after the president was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week.

Harris is the first Black woman on a major party ticket. Pence congratulated her Wednesday night on her historic nomination. — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Candidates tackle pandemic first

The coronavirus pandemic was the first topic at the vice presidential debate.

In Salt Lake City on Wednesday, separated from Vice President Mike Pence by plexiglass barriers, California Sen. Kamala Harris called the Trump administration's response to the growing pandemic "the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country."

Speaking directly to the camera, as Democratic nominee Joe Biden did in his first debate with President Donald Trump, Harris said, "They knew what was happening, and they didn't tell you."

In response, Vice President Mike Pence commended Trump's decision to shut off travel from China, saying the decision "bought us invaluable time" to coordinate the country's response to the pandemic. But Trump's move only cut off some travel from China, and tens of thousands were still allowed to pour into the country.

More than 210,000 Americans have died during the pandemic. Trump is recovering at the White House from his own infection. — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Pence to press 'law and order' message

Republican Mike Pence will press the Trump campaign's "law and order" message at the vice presidential debate against Democrat Kamala Harris.

Pence's guests in the debate hall Wednesday night will include Ann Marie Dorn, the widow of retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn, who was shot to death on June 2 after a violent night of protests.

President Donald Trump and his campaign have seized on the scattered violence that has broken out amid otherwise largely peaceful protests demanding racial justice. Trump has wrongly claimed that such violence has been condoned by his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, and has warned it will continue if Biden wins in November.

Ann Marie Dorn also spoke at the Republican National Convention.

Pence will also be joined by the parents of Kayla Mueller, a humanitarian aid worker who was taken captive and killed by Islamic State militants. — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

State rep, veteran Harris debate guests

Two Utah women will attend Wednesday's vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City as guests of Democrat Kamala Harris.

Angela Romero is a state representative who also works in local government in Salt Lake City, overseeing the Division for Youth and Family programs. The campaign says Romero is focused on supporting families and local businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Deborah Gatrell is a veteran and teacher who is running for a seat on the Salt Lake County Council. She is a Blackhawk pilot who served in the Utah National Guard and was deployed to the Middle East.

The campaign says the two women represent the hard-working Americans that a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration would fight for. — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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