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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke August 19, 2020

No, Mike Pence hasn’t refused to debate Kamala Harris

If Your Time is short

  • We found no evidence that Mike Pence said he won’t debate Kamala Harris. 
  • He has said that he "can’t wait" to debate her.

A vice presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 8 in Salt Lake City. But a recent Facebook post that’s being shared widely claims the current veep, Mike Pence, refuses to debate Sen. Kamala Harris, whom Joe Biden recently named as his running mate. 

"Pence said he won’t debate Kamala!" the post says.   

It was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

We couldn’t find any evidence that Pence said he wouldn’t debate Harris. 

Rather, on Aug. 11, Fox News reported that Pence indicated at a rally in Arizona that day that he was eager to debate the California senator. 

"My message to the Democratic nominee for vice president: Congratulations," he said. "I’ll see you in Salt Lake City."

A couple days later, Pence doubled down on this sentiment during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. 

"I think she is a skilled debater," Pence said, "but I can’t wait to get to Salt Lake and be on the stage with her."

In 2002, Pence told the Hill that he "never eats alone with a woman other than his wife," leading Harris in 2019 to criticize him for limiting one-on-one meetings with women. After Biden tapped Harris as his running mate, a satirical story was shared on social media that said Pence demanded an "on-stage chaperone" for the vice presidential debate. 

But this story is fiction. 

We rate this Facebook post False.


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No, Mike Pence hasn’t refused to debate Kamala Harris

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