Moderator Susan Page on Pence interrupting her during VP debate: ‘I don’t know that I’ve seen him in that kind of setting with a male moderator’

GettyImages 1279067000

GettyImages 1279067000

Senator Kamala Harris of California and Vice President Mike Pence.

Alex Wong/Getty Images


  • Susan Page, who moderated Wednesday’s debate, reflected on Vice President Mike Pence continually interrupting her as she attempted to ask the candidates questions.
  • When asked about the interruptions in a YouTube video by USA Today on Thursday, Page, who heads USA Today’s Washington bureau, pointed out the vice president behaved similarly in the last vice presidential debate in 2016.
  • “Of course, he participated in the vice presidential debate four years ago with a woman moderator, and he did similar things with that debate as well where he talked on and talked over her,” Page said during the video.
  • “I don’t know that I’ve seen him in that kind of setting with a male moderator,” she continued.
  • A post-debate analysis by CBS News found that Pence interrupted Harris twice as often as she did to him during the debate. Pence interrupted Harris 10 times, while she interrupted him five times.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

USA Today’s Susan Page reflected on moderating Wednesday’s debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris and being interrupted by the vice president.

Spectators watching noticed Pence continually interrupting Page during the debate, and the moderator constantly reiterating, “Thank you, Mr. Vice President,” to rein in his responses.

When asked about the interruptions in a YouTube video by USA Today on Thursday, Page said she didn’t “know the answer to that,” but noted the vice president behaved similarly in the last vice presidential debate in 2016.

“Of course, he participated in the vice presidential debate four years ago with a woman moderator, and he did similar things with that debate as well where he talked on and talked over her,” Page said during the video. “I don’t know that I’ve seen him in that kind of setting with a male moderator.”

Page, who heads USA Today’s Washington bureau, pointed out that both candidates had light indicators to signal when they ran out of time to talk, during which she would interject their responses to stop them from speaking.

Page faced criticism Wednesday night, with some saying that she had failed to keep Harris and Pence within their allotted speaking times. During a particularly heated moment in the debate when the vice president asked for more time, Page shut him down.

“Your campaigns agreed to the rules for tonight’s debate with the Commission of Presidential Debates,” she responded on Wednesday. “I’m here to enforce them, which involves moving from one topic to another, giving roughly equal time to both of you, which I’m trying hard to do.”

A post-debate analysis by CBS News found that Pence interrupted Harris twice as often as she did to him during the debate. Pence interrupted Harris 10 times, whereas she interrupted him five times.

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Mike Pence
Kamala Harris
Vice President
vice president debate

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