Live Blogging & Twittering Vice-Presidential Debate
I'll be live blogging and Twittering the vice-presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden tonight. Should make for a great night of comedy. Earlier today, McCain gave up on Michigan and pulled his advertising and is relocating staff. He also said Obama was up in the polls because...wait for it..."life isn't fair." Someone change Angry Johnny's diaper and give him some apple sauce...he's a cranky baby today. See you back here at 9 p.m. eastern.
It's 9 p.m....here we go...coo coo ca choo, Mrs. Palin...
Moderator Gwen Ifill of PBS is laying out the ground rules.
Palin just asked on the open mic if she could call Biden "Joe" in the debate, right after she said "nice to meet you." Oh, boy...
Biden says Obama laid out four basic criteria to help in the bailout plan...he's getting right to it. Focus on homeowners, main street, treat taxpayers like investors.
Palin going folksy, talking about going to soccer game and asking the parents about their economy fears. Says economy is hurting and feds haven't provided oversight. Says McCain is representing reform, pushed on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae reforms. He suspended his campaign and went back to DC. Oh, give me a break.
Biden hammers McCain on the fundamentals of economy being strong, then changeing his tune. Doesn't make McCain a bad guy, but he's out of touch.
Palin says McCain was talking about American workforce being strong. They're mavericks! Obama only votes along party lines, doesn't reach across the aisle. Americans are craving something new and different. Send a maverick from the senate.
Palin: "Darn right it was the predator lenders who talked folks into buying a $300,000 home when they could only afford a $100,000." Joe Six Pack and the hockey moms need to band together.
Biden says Obama warned about sub prime problem two years ago, but McCain didn't see it. We let Wall Street run wild, but McCain thought the answer was deregulate. McCain on 20 occasions voted for deregulation. Biden making good points on gas prices.
Palin: "Darn right we need tax relief!"
Palin says Obama trying to raise taxes on middle class, which is a total lie. It's been proven over and over again this is a total lie.
Biden says Palin didn't answer the question about deregulation. Palin says she may not answer the questions the way Joe or Gwen want. Bitch. It's a debate! Follow the rules!
Palin talking about the great work she did in Alaska? Really?
Biden says no tax increase for those making less than $250,000. It's simple fairness. The economic engine of the country is the middle class. McCain wants to give $300 billion to corporations and the wealthy.
Palin says Biden is forgetting businesses paying higher taxes. Means less jobs and productivity. Palin recalls Biden gaffe about it being "patriotic" to pay taxes. Her and Todd are middle class. Obama proposing trillion dollars in new taxes. McCain's healthcare plan is strong. $5,000 tax credit for people to get healthcare. Obama wants government run health care. Since government isn't working well, do we want them running our healthcare?
Biden says 95 percent of small businesses make less than $250,000 a year, so no increase. McCain pays for that $5,000 tax credit by taxing as income anyone who has healthcare through their employers. Goes straight to the insurance company. 20 million would lose insurance. I call that ultimate bridge to nowhere!
Biden says Obama may have to slow down plans based on economy. Won't support the tax cut for wealthy or more cuts for big oil. We cannot afford to hold up on jobs, education, and affordable healthcare. Bottom line is we will eliminate wasteful spending.
Palin says McCain doesn't say one thing to one group and something to another. Says Obama voted for energy plan that gave big oil more cuts. But she stuck it to the big oil guys in Alaska...bless their heart. She's only been at this five weeks, so she's not really promised anything. I think that about sums it up.
Biden wants to know why McCain is wanting to give more money to big oil? Says Palin did the right thing in Alaska, but McCain won't support windfall profit tax. Wants to give big oil $4 billion tax cut. Hopes Palin can talk McCain into doing it.
Palin back on McCain and says America should thank him for warning them about the economy crisis. What?
Palin switches back to energy. We have to allow America to become energy dependent. East Coast politicians don't allow Alaska to drill. We're circulating $700 million to foreign countries for oil. Energy independence is key to our economic future and security. It's not about tax breaks.
Palin says Alaska is the only arctic state and says it's not only man but cyclical changes in the climate. We need to clean up this planet and encourage other countries to help. She reduced emissions in Alaska. McCain is with her on this.
Biden says climate problem is manmade. She and McCain doesn't understand the cause of climate change so they have no answers. McCain voted 20 times in last decade against diversifying energy sources -- solar, wind, etc. We can export the technology for clean coal. The answer is not drill, drill...would take 10 years for any oil to come out of those new wells.
Palin: Drill, baby, drill. People want it. It's safe to drill and McCain supports alternative fuel. She mispronounces nuclear...just like Bush!!! She just called him Senator O'Biden. HA!
Biden support same sex benefits to couples!!!! I love him! It's only fair.
Palin says she won't support if it redefines marriage as one man and one woman. I am tolerant. I have a diverse family and group of friends, they don't agree with me on this issue. McCain/Palin would not prohibit contracts, visitation in hospital. I don't support gay marriage.
Biden says he doesn't support "gay marriage". Okay, I like him less now.
Ifill says "Hooray, you both agree on something. Let's move on to foreign policy."
Palin says Obama opposed surge and wouldn't fund troops. Biden called Obama out about it. We do have a plan for withdrawing from Iraq. Surge has worked. Now we can start putting more troops in Afghanistan.
Biden says Palin didn't offer a plan. Obama has one...drawing down troop numbers. McCain is odd man out. As for Obama not funding the troops, McCain also voted against them. He wouldn't vote on time line, so no funds for troops. You've got to have a time line to draw down troops and shift responsibility to Iraqis. They have billions to spend. We will end the war. For McCain there is no end in sight.
Palin says Obama's plan is a white flag of surrender. Wait...the Taliban is working with us? She's losing it. Says Biden didn't support Obama not funding the troops, doesn't know how he can support him now.
Biden hammers on McCain and Dick Cheney getting into the war to start with. McCain didn't vote for troop funding. McCain has been dead wrong on the fundamental conduct of the war. That's the facts.
Biden says Iran and N. Korea are both dangerous, McCain continues to say front of the war is in Iraq. He's wrong. The front is in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We need to support democracy in Pakistan so they will help fight Al-Qaida. They are rebuilding along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Palin says generals were right about Iraq. Iran wants to wipe Israel off the face off the earth. Can't allow them to acquire nuclear energy or weapons. Obama wants to meet with dictators. It goes beyond naivete and poor judgement.
Palin says she met with Kissinger and she and McCain would try diplomacy. She says dictators have no respect for women's rights!!!!???? What about her?!
Biden says five former secretary of states said we have to sit down and talk with leaders. Our friends and allies want it. But McCain won't sit down and talk with adversary. McCain said he wouldn't even sit down with Spain, a NATO ally because they pulled troops out of Iraq.
Biden is hammering McCain beautifully. It's like Palin isn't even there.
Biden says he's been a good friend of Israel. Obama shares his passion. Bush's policy in Israel has been an abject failure. Bush insisted on elections and Hamas won. When we kicked Hezbolah out of Lebanon, we said move NATO forces in, Bush refused and they are now a legitimate government in Lebanon. Freedom is not the only thing on the march in middle east, Iran is.
Palin says Bush's policy hasn't been a failure. We're putting government back on the side of the people. McCain is a maverick, blah, blah, blah. Change is coming. She's out of her mind.
Biden wants to know how is McCains policy going to be different than Bush's. YES!!! McCain is just following Bush. Obama will make significant change.
Palin dodges back to Afghanistan and says McCain's policies won't be same as Bush's. Use surge policy in Afghanistan. We're fighting terrorists and building schools and not bombing civilians...although they are!
Biden says commanding general in Afghanistan says surge won't work there! Talked to him today. Need more government building. We've spent more money in Iraq in three weeks than the entire seven years we've been in Afghanistan!!!
Palin says commanding general didn't say that. Biden says he did. McCain thinks we've succeeded in Afghanistan.
Biden says McCain voted against going into Bosnia, but Biden supported it. Now there's a relatively stable government there. Biden says he gave Bush power to go to Iraq, but we needed support from our allies. I don't have a stomach for genocide. We should impose no-fly zone in Darfur. I've been there, seen the suffering, thousands dying, we need to rally the world. We should provide help. It's genocide.
Palin: "It's so obvious I'm a Washington outsider." Biden voted for the war, but now he's against it. American is craving staight talk. Biden supported McCain's strategy, but not Obama. Palin says she's helped as governor and had money in Sudan and pulled the money out, so it wouldn't be seen as condoning actions in Darfur. Oh, wait...the bill hasn't passed yet to pull out the money. Oops.
Biden says he never supported McCain's strategy in Iraq. Check my website and record. McCain was lockstop with Cheney and the conduct of the war.
Palin says Biden is lying and we'll have proof when the pundits do a factcheck. McCain has won a war, knows what evil is. Yeah, I bet he does.
Biden says reject Bush doctrine. This is the biggest election in decades.
Palin says we're a team of mavericks and we'll agree to disagree. Says she'll push McCain for more drilling of oil. We need a little bit of Wasilla main street brought to Washington to see how Americans are viewing what's happening. Government should get out of the way.
Biden says go to any main street and ask if the policies of the last eight years have made them better off. They've been getting the short end of the stick and McCain wants more of the same. Come walk in my neighborhood.
"Oh, doggoneit, there you go again, Joe, looking back at Bush."
Ifill calls Palin on the comment about not knowing what vice-president does in old interview. Awkward attempt at humor on Palin's part. Palin says she was just trying to make a joke, but she knows what to do.
Biden says he had a long talk with Obama and Obama asked him to help him get things done. Point person on legislative initiatives and will help him govern and offer my advice. Obama said he will disagree with Obama sometimes because that what he wanted.
Palin says we have flexibility as vice-president. It's my executive experience that will be put to good use as veep.
Biden says Cheney most dangerous veep in American history. Article 1 of Constitution defines role of veep and Cheney has overstepped the Constitution. He's not part of the executive branch.
Palin repeating her executive experience will help her. She's the governor a big state and she's got a connection to the heartland of America. She's a mom, son in war, special needs baby to take care of....blah, blah, blah. I share a world view with McCain that America is nation of exceptionalism. We're not perfect as a nation but we stand for freedom and democracy and we're a force for good. They're mavericks. It's a good team.
Biden says he's been a single parent, understands middle class values, but he takes exception to the notion that as a man he don't understand what it's like to sit around the kitchen table and wonder what's going to happen to family.
Palin says McCain is a maverick.
Palin says we've got to win the wars, fix the economy. "McCain is the man we need to leave." Oh, what a slip!
Biden: "McCain is no maverick. He voted for Bush's budget. He's no maverick in healthcare, in education, tax cuts, in war or anything that effects what people talk about the kitchen table." YES, YES, YES!!!!
Ifill asks how to change partisan tone in DC.
Biden says he has been able to work across the aisle and I don't question motives of those I disagree with.
Palin says she appointed diverse people with varying opinions in Alaska. Obama is going to raise taxes.
Palin says she likes to answer tough questions without media filter. Americans have choices. We're going to fight for Americans. We're blessed, proud to be an American. Fight for freedoms...quoting Reagan. McCain is the only person who's ever fought for American public.
Biden: Most important election of our lives. Last eight years have damaged us, need fundamental change. We measure progress on people being able to pay their mortgage, send kids to college and that men and women going to fight in wars are equipped and when they come home best care and education possible.
Biden won this hands down. Palin didn't implode as expected, but she refused to answer questions and constantly returned to the McCain talking points that no one is buying.