Palin, Biden Square Off on Economy, Iraq, Climate

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2008 9:05 PM CDT
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., left, and Republican vice presidential candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin shake hands before the debate.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – Joe Biden and Sarah Palin squared off tonight in a cordial but high-stakes debate, largely sticking to party talking points as they defended their running mates. On the economy, Biden sought to link John McCain to Bush's policies and called him "out of touch" on the issue and on the concerns of everyday Americans, CNN reports. "A maverick he is not." Palin, who reached out to "hockey moms" and "Joe six-packs" and sprinkled her responses with folksy phrases, characterized McCain as a reformer who tried to sound an early alarm about the crisis.

She also blamed Wall Street greed and corruption. "Darn right it was the predator lenders," she said. The two candidates differed on the cause of climate change, with Biden stating that man is to blame and Palin attributing it partly to "cyclical temperature changes." Palin called Obama's Iraq strategy a "white flag of surrender," while Biden called McCain "dead wrong" about the fundamental issues related to the war.