On Iraq, Delaware Democratic Senator Biden said,"We will end this war." Alaska Republican Governor Palin responded that Biden and Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama want to run up the "white flag of surrender" in Iraq. She also accused Illinois Senator Obama of voting against the troops in Iraq. Biden argued that Republican presidential nominee McCain has been consistently wrong on Iraq. Palin criticized Biden for supporting the war before opposing it. She said Arizona Senator McCain knows "how to win a war." Governor Palin has a son in Iraq while Senator Biden has a son preparing to deploy to Iraq.
Senator Biden blamed the current financial crisis on President Bushs economic policies and said McCain is "out of touch." The veteran senator also accused McCain of favoring policies of de-regulation that Biden argued are greatly responsible for the meltdown in financial markets. Palin accused Biden and Illinois Senator Obama of favoring huge tax increases. he said average Americans should look at greed and corruption on Wall Street and say, "never again." Palin argued that she and McCain are proven reformers who will shake up Washington, calling McCain the "maverick of the Senate." Biden scoffed at that, and said McCain is "no maverick" on issues of importance to struggling families.
Palin criticized Biden for recent remarks that paying higher taxes in an economic crisis is "patriotic." Biden accused McCain of favoring more tax breaks for "corporate America and the very wealthy."
Asked about the role of a vice president, Biden ripped Vice President Dick Cheney as the "most dangerous" VP, perhaps in U.S. history.
On a couple of occasions, Palin accused Biden and Obama of constantly looking backward and playing "the blame game." Palin argued that she and McCain are focused on the future.
The 90-minute debate at Washington University was moderated by PBS Gwen Ifill.
Republican Palin is the first-term governor of Alaska. Democrat Biden, who has been in the Senate for more than three decades, chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Presidential nominees McCain and Obama have two more debates scheduled, October 7th and October 15th.