Why Pence's Debate Behavior Has The Internet Seeing Red

Sure, no one was screaming at each other or directly insulting each other, so tonight's vice presidential debate was arguably less infuriating than last week's presidential debate, but that doesn't mean viewers were happy with all of the behavior they witnessed. Specifically, folks across the internet are up in arms over Vice President Mike Pence's repeated interruptions of Senator Kamala Harris and his apparent inability to respect his two-minutes-per-response time limit. Moderator Susan Page actually had to pause the debate for a moment to reprimand Pence, reminding him that both sides agreed to the rules and that it is her job to enforce them, asking him to please respect them so they can move forward (via The Hill).

And the internet wasn't having it. One Twitter user yelled, simply, "PLS STOP INTERRUPTING HER," and shortly thereafter continued, "May I gently suggest a countdown clock on the screen ... And a mic mute button on the moderator's desk." Countless others echoed this sentiment, posting, "I haven't yelled this much at my TV since the superbowl two years ago," and tweeting, "He's the most mansplaining mansplainer that ever mainsplained."

Mike Pence wouldn't stop interrupting at the VP debate

Early in the debate, Harris, in an attempt to finish her response to her question while she still had time left in her allotted two minutes, said calmly to Pence repeatedly, "Mr. Vice President, I am speaking." Immediately the hashtag #IAmSpeaking began trending on Twitter as countless women recognized a common struggle. One woman tweeted, "This VP debate mirrors the experiences of so many women in the workplace: the women in the room getting interrupted, spoken over, condescended to, and having men taking credit for work they didn't do. #Iamspeaking." Another posted, "The story of all women 'I am speaking' Seriously men. Check yourself. And check your entitlement #IAmSpeaking," and a third found inspiration in Kamala's response to Pence, saying, "Going to channel my inner Kamala whenever someone tries to interrupt me from now on #IAmSpeaking."

While at no point was Pence directly disrespectful of Harris, and indeed commended her for making history with her nomination, it's clear his unwillingness to allow her due speaking time left a bad taste in the mouths of many viewers.