During a Friday night interview with FOX News medical expert Dr. Marc Siegel on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Republican President Donald Trump said that he would welcome the next presidential debate to be held outside rather than virtually so that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden can’t read his answers off of a computer.
“So I have a question and this is my own fantasy, Mr. President. All of this back and forth controversy about the next debate. And if you test negative, and you’ve said you want it to be in person, how would you feel about a debate outside on Miami Beach?” Siegel asked.
“Well, I’d have no trouble with it at all. In fact, when we have rallies outside, we’ve had no problem whatsoever. Outside is better than inside, as you know, with this crazy thing that’s gone on,” Trump answered.
During the first presidential debate, Trump also said his politically rallies, which largely violate city rules requiring masks and social distancing, have never resulted in any COVID-19 outbreaks. However, on Friday, Minnesota state health officials said at least nine attendees of Trump’s September rally in the city of Bemidji later tested positive for COVID-19.
“But, you know, we’ve always had a problem with this commission—this commission’s been ridiculous, frankly,” Trump continued. His comment was a possible allusion to the nonpartisan commission’s desire to impose additional rules, such as cutting off the president’s
There were frustrating interruptions, though not as many as in the first debate. There were dodged questions, animated facial expressions and one candidate running particularly roughshod over the moderator.
And yes, there was a fly on top of Vice President Mike Pence’s head.
That was what excited social media during the sole vice-presidential debate, one in which the tone was markedly more subdued compared with last week’s presidential debate but in which the dynamics remained largely the same: The Republican incumbent showed little regard for the agreed-upon rules, and the Democratic challenger mostly complied.
And, again, a fly landed on Mr. Pence’s head.
So, for posterity, here is how the internet — or how we casually refer to that insular, blue-check-verified version of the proverbial diner in a steel town — reacted to the debate.
About an hour into the debate, a fly suddenly appeared on Mr. Pence’s head, resting motionless yet extremely visible set against his silver hair. It sat there for two minutes and three seconds, enough time to spawn thousands of memes and somehow crash Twitter’s trending topics.
Even a comedian who spent nearly a decade finding humor in the travails of the vice presidency was impressed by the fly’s appearance.
The Biden campaign even turned the fly into its latest get-out-the-vote canvasser and fund-raiser.
The Trump campaign had put out no fly content as of late Wednesday.
The questions prepared by Susan Page, the Washington bureau chief for USA Today, were topical, sharp and specific. They were just rarely answered.
Rather, both candidates (though Mr. Pence more frequently than Ms. Harris) simply used their time to make prepared remarks or attacks, occasionally bantering with each other, but rarely answering the questions.
Mastering the split screen
With the two candidates seated 12 feet
The 2020 vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris was much more composed than last week’s presidential debate but it was no less memeable.
Even before the debate was over, memes — born out of subtle moments — started dominating parts of social media platforms such as TikTok and Twitter.
Harris’ smirk became an instant reaction meme, jokes were lobbed about “RuPaul’s Drag Race” host and drag queen RuPaul’s fracking, and, perhaps the most viral, was the fly that landed atop Pence’s head.
Here are our top memes of the night.
During the debate, Pence said the Democratic ticket would ban fracking, which Harris denied.
But the back-and-forth about fracking reminded Twitter of RuPaul’s interview earlier this year with NPR, during which he talked about owning land in Wyoming and appeared to reference allowing oil companies to frack on that land, according to the Guardian.
As the discussion of fracking was underway at the debate, RuPaul’s name immediately trended on Twitter as social media seized on the moment.
“Pence is trying to get the rupaul vote that’s why he never shuts up about fracking,” one Twitter user wrote.
“RuPaul will not have Kamala take away his fracking rights,” another wrote.
Others posted reaction memes with images of RuPaul looking shocked, with tweets implying that was the drag queen’s reaction to hearing Harris’ answer about fracking.
Some on social media argued that the real winner of the night was Harris’ facial expressions.
As Pence spoke, the senator smiled as she waited for her turn to respond, but Twitter couldn’t help but compare her smirks to other television moments.
Several tweets compared the look Harris gave Pence to a squinting smile made by the “Game of Thrones” character Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke.
A small black fly landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s head for over a minute during the vice presidential debate with Senator Kamala Harris in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday evening, and the internet erupted.
Americans tuning into the debate saw the fly land on the left side of Pence’s head as Harris discussed whether justice was served in the case of Breonna Taylor. Viewers quickly seized on the moment, sharing memes, images and videos of the Republican to social media.
“A fly lands on Vice President Pence during,” C-Span tweeted, alongside a video of the incident.
A fly lands on Vice President Pence during #VPDebate. pic.twitter.com/i0O2K6N9Yy
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 8, 2020
“I couldn’t take my eyes off the fly that perched on Mike Pence’s head during the debate,” former Democratic Coalition chair Jon Cooper tweeted.
I couldnât take my eyes off the fly that perched on Mike Penceâs head during the debate. ð¤ª pic.twitter.com/PsY2FI12DL
— Jon Cooper ðºð¸ (@joncoopertweets) October 8, 2020
“Update: the fly on Pence head has passed away from Covid-19. He was 1 day old,” comedian Dane Cook tweeted.
Update: the fly on Pence head has passed away from Covid-19. He was 1 day old. #VPDebate #Debates2020
— Dane Cook (@DaneCook) October 8, 2020
“The fly on Mike Pence’s head has captured more attention than anything Kamala Harris has said or done this whole debate,” comedian Savanah Hernandez tweeted.
The fly on Mike Pence’s head has captured more attention than anything Kamala Harris has said or done this whole debate.
— Savanah Hernandez (@sav_says_) October 8, 2020
“Pence has a fly
WASHINGTON (AP) — The vice presidential debate featured plexiglass barriers to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. They were no match for the night’s most talked-about intruder — a fly that briefly buzzed around the stage before landing and staying on Mike Pence’s head.
The incident went unmentioned onstage, with the Republican vice president and Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris continuing to focus on the discussion of systemic racism in the justice system.
But as the insect took up residence on Pence’s white hair, the social media firestorm was immediate — and intense. It easily created more, well, buzz than nearly anything else that occurred.
“That’s not on your TV. It’s on his head,” tweeted MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “The fly knows,” tweeted author Stephen King. Others joked about the creature perhaps getting stuck in hair spray — or possibly now being a prime candidate for coronavirus testing.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden immediately got in on the act, tweeting a photo of himself clutching an orange flyswatter under the heading “Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly.” Moments later, he tweeted again, this time highlighting “Flywillvote.com,” which took users to a website set up for his campaign to help supporters make plans to vote.
Pence had spent much of the night shaking his head in response to Harris’ answers. But the vice president didn’t appear to notice the fly’s arrival. Despite his talking and normal body movements, the hot stage lights and those virus-fighting barriers, the fly was unperturbed. It finally flew away on its own.
Wednesday night’s visitor wasn’t the first fly to take center stage at a presidential debate. In 2016, one briefly landed between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s eyes