(CNSNews.com) - At their debate in Utah Wednesday night, Vice President Mike Pence strongly refuted Sen. Kamala Harris's comment that the Trump administration "lost" the "trade war" with China.
"You lost that trade war. You lost it," Harris charged. "What ended up happening is because of a so-called trade war with China, America lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs. Farmers have experienced bankruptcy because of it. We are in a manufacturing recession because of it."
Pence seized the opportunity to respond, although the debate moderator tried to cut him off as he made his point:
"Well, I’d love to respond," Pence said. "Look, lost the trade war with China? Joe Biden never fought it. Joe Biden has been a cheerleader for Communist China over the last several decades.
"And again, Senator Harris, you’re entitled to your opinion. You’re not entitled to your own facts. When Joe Biden was vice president, we lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs. And President Obama said they were never coming back. He said, we needed a magic wand to bring them back.
"In our first three years after we cut taxes--rolled back regulation, unleashed American energy, this administration saw 500,000 manufacturing jobs created, and that’s exactly the kind of growth we’re going to continue to see as we bring our nation through this pandemic."
Pence, plowing through the moderator's attempts to cut him off, told Harris, "You're passing new mandates, your Paris Climate Accord. It’s going to kill jobs this time, just like it killed jobs--"
Harris asked if she could respond, and she came out with this: "Joe Biden is responsible for saving America’s auto industry, and you voted against it. So let’s set the record straight. Thank you."
Asked to describe "our fundamental relationship with China -- competitors? adversaries? enemies?" Pence eventually said, "President Trump has stood up to China. We're going to continue to stand strong."
He noted that China has been "taking advantage of America for decades in the wake of Joe Biden’s cheerleading for China."
"We want to improve the relationship, but we’re going to level the playing field and we’re going to hold China accountable for what they did to America with the coronavirus," Pence said.
[Pence did not bring up the fact that Joe Biden's son Hunter earned millions of dollars from side deals in China when (and only because) his father was serving as vice president. "Foreigners knew they were buying influence by association," as the Wall Street Journal put it.]
Harris, given her two minutes on China, said: "The Trump administration’s perspective and approach to China has resulted in the loss of American lives, American jobs, and America’s standing."
Harris said the "trade war" resulted in the loss of over 300,000 manufacturing jobs -- "a manufacturing recession, and the American consumer paid thousands of dollars more for goods because of that failed war that they called it.
"Then let’s talk about standing," Harris continued. "Pew, a reputable research firm, has done an analysis that shows that leaders of all of our formerly allied countries have now decided that they hold in greater esteem and respect Xi Jinping, the head of the Chinese Communist Party, than they do Donald Trump -- the President of the United States, the commander in chief of the United States. This is where we are today because of a failure of leadership by this administration."