Washington,D.C.(RUSHPRNEWS)10/03/2008–U.S. vice presidential candidates Sarah Palin, a Republican, and Democrat Joe Biden have clashed over the economy and Iraq in their only scheduled debate, reported the Voice of American (VOA).Â The current economic crisis was the early focus in the much-anticipated 90-minute debate in St. Louis, Missouri.
Palin said she has a long record of reform and of cutting taxes as a former mayor and current state governor. She also described her running mate, Senator John McCain, as a “maverick” reformer. But Biden said McCain was out of touch two weeks ago when he said the fundamentals of the U.S. economy were strong.
On foreign policy, Palin said the Democrats would wave the flag of surrender by setting a timeline to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. Biden said McCain has been “dead wrong” on the conduct of the war and Obama was right to oppose the conflict.
Palin and Biden sharply disagreed on the role of the vice president, and the role the current vice president, Dick Cheney, has played. Palin says she agrees with Cheney’s position that the vice president must have flexibility in both executive and legislative matters.
She said she looks forward to presiding over the U.S. Senate and supporting the policies of a McCain administration. She also said she also wants to lead several administration initiatives, including the pursuit of energy independence, government reform and support for families with special needs children.
Biden said he believes that Cheney is the “most dangerous vice president in U.S. history.” He said Cheney has sought to aggrandize the power of the executive. He also said the vice president’s only authority in the legislative branch is to vote in the Senate only in the event of a tie.
Palin is a relative newcomer to the national stage. The Alaska Governor energized party conservatives after becoming Senator McCain’s running mate, but critics question whether the first-term governor has enough experience possibly to serve as president.
Biden has more than three decades of experience in Washington. But the Delaware lawmaker is prone to verbal blunders, and recently mangled U.S. history during an interview.
Recent voter opinion polls show Obama with a significant lead over McCain. At least three separate national surveys show Obama ahead of McCain by between seven to nine percent