Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., left, responds to a question during the debate with Republican presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, right, at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008. (AP Photo/Rick Wilking, Pool)
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Under intense scrutiny, Republican vice
presidential candidate Sarah Palin stood her ground Thursday night
against a vastly more experienced Joe Biden, debating the economy,
energy and global warming, then challenging him on Iraq,
"especially with your son in the National Guard."
The Alaska governor also noted that Biden had once said
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama wasn't ready to be
commander in chief, "and I know again that you opposed the move
that he made to try to cut off funding for the troops and I respect
you for that."
Biden responded that McCain, too, had voted against funding, and
said the Republican presidential candidate had been "dead wrong on
the fundamental issues relating to the conduct of the war."
The clash over Iraq was the most personal, and pointed, of the
90-minute debate in which Palin repeatedly cast herself as a
non-Washington politician, part of a "team of mavericks" that was
ready to bring change to a country demanding it.
From the opening moments of the debate, Biden sought to make
McCain out as a straight-ahead successor to an unpopular President
Bush. "He voted four out of five times for George Bush's budget,
which put us a half-trillion dollars in debt and over $4 trillion
in debt since he got here," he said of McCain.
Palin merely accused Biden of reciting the past rather than
looking to the future. "Americans are cravin' that straight talk"
that McCain offers, she said.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)