Pence will come 'under extreme pressure' over COVID-19 response in VP debate, pollster predicts

'He's going to be under extreme pressure to answer tough questions about our nation's response to the virus,' Anderson said

Vice President Mike Pence will be under "extreme pressure to answer tough questions" during Wednesday's vice presidential debate about the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Fox News contributor Kristen Soltis Anderson told the "Fox News Rundown" podcast.

The Salt Lake City debate between Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is the first major event of the 2020 campaign to take place since President Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and spent three nights at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center over the weekend.

"The page has turned to focus squarely on COVID-19 rather than on issues like the economy," Anderson told host Lisa Brady, "and with Vice President Pence as the head of the president's coronavirus task force, that means that he's going to be under extreme pressure to answer tough questions about our nation's response to the virus, especially considering that it has made its all the way to the door of the White House."

With polls indicating that last week's first debate between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden helped the former vice president, Anderson posited that Harris is "unlikely to do anything terribly risky" on Wednesday night.

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"They [the Biden campaign] are in the position where they want to do as little as possible to change this race," she said. "They want to keep things exactly as they are as long as they can."

With that in mind, Anderson said, "the number one mistake for Harris to avoid is letting herself get pulled into saying things that will make it easier to peg the Biden-Harris ticket as far to the left. Kamala Harris needs to avoid giving any ammunition to the Trump campaign to make the case that Joe Biden is actually very far to the left, socialist, etc., and because her record is further to the left than Biden's is, she presents that risk."

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As for Pence, Anderson reiterated that the vice president must "make sure that he can capably handle the questions on COVID-19, because that issue is such a weakness for the Trump campaign at this point.

"He, as the chair of that task force, needs to be ready to rebut any arguments that they think are unfair and to try to make the case as best as he can for the president's job at tackling this virus."

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