Here we go. Moderator comments in bold.

1st Question about the $700 billion bailout.‚  Good or bad?

Biden: Last eight years have been bad.‚  No checks without oversight, focus on Main Street, treat taxpayers like investors, make sure CEO’s don’t benefit. Those are Obama’s conditions.

Palin: Talking about fear with Main Street America.‚  McCain has represented reform.‚  Talks about McCain’s warning about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a few years ago.‚  Greater oversight by John McCain. Put county first by suspending campaign.

Biden: I am bipartisan.‚  Flaunts his foreign policy knowledge. Talks about how McCain said economy fundamentals were strong.‚  Points out he’s out of touch.

Palin: McCain was talking about the American workforce. Talks about how she has gotten job done in Alaska. Says Obama can’t work across the aisle. Says she thinks Americans are craving something new (her and McCain).

Sub-prime lending meltdown.‚  Who was at fault?

Palin: The predator lenders, telling Americans they could afford what they couldn’t.‚  Saying she and McCain will get rid of that corruption.‚  Says people need to come together and demand from the federal government, strict oversight.‚  Only spend what we have.‚  It’s not the American people’s fault.

Biden: Obama warned about the sub-prime mortgage problem two years ago, McCain said he was surprised there was a problem.‚  McCain thought the old republican response: deregulation, was the answer.‚  He thought Wall Street could regulate itself.‚  Middle-class need relief now.

Palin: Obama and Biden voted for largest tax increases in country’s history. Government has to learn to be more efficient.‚  We do need tax relief, Obama supported increasing taxes for people making around 42,000 a year.

Biden: Obama did not vote to raise taxes, the vote was a budget procedure vote, McCain was the same vote.‚  McCain, using the same standard, voted to raise taxes over 450 times. Notice Palin did not answer the deregulation question.

Palin: I want to address the taxes.‚  I decreased tax in Alaska.

Why is raising taxes for people making $250,000 not class warfare?

Biden:‚  It’s called fairness. No one making less than $250,000 will see a cent of their tax raised.‚  95% of the people in America will get a tax break.‚  The economic engine of the country is the middle-class.‚  John wants to lower taxes for the richer.

Palin; Says his tax break will negatively effect small-businesses.‚  Saying government should lessen tax burden and let private sector handle it.‚  Obama’s tax break and spending ideas are the backwards way to fix this country.‚  McCain is proposing a $5000 tax credit to purchase health care.‚  Erase artificial lines through states, if there’s a better plan somewhere else, you can purchase it.

Biden:Taking money from Exxon, giving it to families is fairness. In regard to the health care plan, McCain will tax everyone who has a health care plan through their employer, to give the people a $5000 plan, which will go straight to the insurance company.‚  Then you have to replace a $12000 plan. 20 million people will be dropped; the ultimate bridge to nowhere.

What promises will you not be able to keep because of problems in economy?

Biden: To not go through with the McCain tax cut programs.‚  Can’t afford to slow on education and new job creation.‚  Can’t slow up on affordable health care.‚  We will eliminate wasteful spending.

Palin: Obama voted for the bill that gave the oil companies big tax breaks.‚  Says she took on big oil companies in Alaska.‚  Talking a lot about what she did in Alaska, not really addressing what Biden said.‚  Just the one claim about the tax breaks and oil companies. Moderator has to repeat question.‚  She said she hasn;t promised much except what’s right for Americans. McCain can keep all promises.

Biden: Obama voted because it was the first time they talked about alternative fuel. Wants to implement a windfall profits tax and give people $1000 back.‚  Hopes Palin can convince McCain‚  to support the profits tax.

Would you have supported the proposed economic reform?

Biden: Obama say the glass as half-empty I saw it as half-full.‚  Obama pointed out though a while back about the sub-prime mortgage crisis.‚  We should be allowing bankruptcy courts to adjust the principal that you owe.‚  Helps to stabilize banks.

Palin: Talking about energy again.‚  We need to consider the need to allow this nation to become energy independent.‚  Off-shore drilling.‚  Wants to free us from foreign oil dependence, energy independence is the key to our economic future.

Climate change.‚  What is true and what is false about the causes of climate change?

Palin; We see the effects more so in Alaska. Doesn’t want to argue about the causes.‚  Attributes it partly to cyclical temperature changes. Goes back to energy independence.

Biden:I think it is clearly man made.‚  If you don’t understand what the cause is, you can;t solve it.‚  The cause is man made, that’s the cause.‚  We consume so much oil, and McCain has voted against funding clean energy alternatives, the ways we can stop emitting greenhouse gases.‚  Obama wants to fund these programs.‚  Export clean coal technology to help clean out planet.‚  McCain’s only answer: drill drill drill.

Palin: Says people want to drill at home. Obama and Biden have said no to everything in domestic ways to end oil dependence.

Biden: Oil can’t help reverse global warming. Voted 20 times against funding alternative energy programs.

Support same-sex couples benefits?

Biden: Yes. Same-sex couples should have many benefits.‚  We do support making sure committed same-sex couples are granted the same CONSTITUTIONAL rights.

Palin: Not if it changes the definition of the mand and woman traditional couple.‚  I am tolerant.‚  Does not support marriages though.

Do you support gay marriage?

Biden: No. No civil rights distinction though.

Palin: No.

Foreign Policy.‚  Exit strategy plan.

Palin: Obama opposed funding the troops in the surge. We can’t have an early withdrawal, we have to win.‚  We can start moving troops to Afghanistan.‚  We cant afford to lose against Al Qaeda. Would be a travesty to quit.

Biden: I didn’t hear a plan. Everyone wants to come home except McCain.‚  McCain voted against funding because there was a time line to end the war.‚  There has to be a time line in funding so we can shift responsibility over to Iraq, who have an $80 billion surplus.‚  They have to starts paying.‚  We will end this war.‚  For McCain, there is no end in sight.

Palin: Your plan is a white flag of surrender. You said Obama wasn’t ready to become president (when he was running). Obama opposed funding to troops.

Biden: John McCain voted against funding, didn’t like the timeline to end the war in the amendment.

Greatest threat: nuclear Iran or unstable Pakistan?

Biden: Both are great. Pakistan has nuclear weapons.‚  They can hit Israel.‚  Iran getting a nuclear weapon would make them very unstable. McCain thinks the main threat is still in Iraq.‚  That’s wrong. A stable government needs to be implemented in Pakistan. That’s where Bin Laden lives, Pakistan.

Palin: Both are bad.‚  A nuclear Iran is bad, they cannot be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons.‚  Israel is in danger from Iran and Ahmadinejad.‚  Obama said he will meet with him without preconditions, that’s dangerous.

Secretaries of State advocate communication with leaders of dictating countries.‚  Do you agree?

Palin: We can’t meet with people who want to destroy what we believe in.‚  Diplomacy is important, but diplomacy is hard work by serious people.‚  Sanctions are necessary.

Biden: Obama never said he’d sit down with Ahmadinejad.‚  Ahmadinejad doesn’t even control the weapons, the theocracy does.‚  Secretaries of State have been telling us to talk to them.‚  McCain doesn’t want to talk to them. If we don’t go the extra mile in diplomacy, how will allies help us.‚  McCain even said he wouldn’t sit down with the government of Spain, a NATO ally.

Two-state solution?

Palin: We need protect Israel.‚  We will support Israel, building our embassy in Jerusalem.‚  They have a track record of forging peace agreements.‚  We have to commit.‚  McCain and I would commit.

Biden: No one in the Senate has been a better friend to Israel than me.‚  I wouldn’t have joined the ticket if Obama didn’t share my view.‚  Bush insisted on the elections on the West Bank, Obama and I said no. Bush’s doctrine has allowed Hezbollah to gain more power.‚  We will change these policies, with diplomacy that understands that we must back Israel.

Palin: There have been blunders, but people will get sick of Biden and Obama pointing fingers.‚  Starts talking about partisanship? And change.

Biden: How different is McCain’s policy than Bush’s?‚  On Iran?‚  On Israel? On Afghanistan?‚  On Pakistan?‚  It may be, but so far it’s the same as Bush’s.‚  We will make significant change.

Nuclear weapons.‚  Should there be a trigger if nuclear weapons are put into play?

Palin: We use it as a deterrent.‚  We need to put sanctions on country’s like North Korea. Starts talking about what Biden said about McCain’s stance on Afghanistan, saying it would be different than W’s.

Biden: Fact is, commanding general said today that the surge principle in Iraq ill not work in Afghanistan.‚  We spend more in Iraq in 3 weeks than we have in near seven years in Afghanistan.‚  In regards to weapons, McCain has opposed the nuclear test ban treaty, which allows inspections.‚  Obama, first thing he did, reached across the aisle and said we need to do something to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists.

Palin: Conditions are different in Iraq and Afghanistan so clearly the same plan won’t work.‚  The same fundamentals will though.

Biden: Afghanistan will get more attention in our government.

Problems around the world.

Biden: We helped Bosnia, they are stable. I said going to war without a real plan would’ve ben a serious mistake.‚  McCain said it’d be OK.‚  We need to help Darfur, we do.‚  We should set the example.

Palin: Before this election you opposed Obama’s war strategy.‚  On Darfur, we are in a position to help, I agree with you there. We should do all we can.

Should there be a line drawn on when we should go in?

Biden: Yes.‚  When a country engages in genocide, there has to be.‚  I never supported McCain’s stance on the war.‚  I said we would have a civil fight, we would be tied down for a decade. McCain’s strategy has been absolutely wrong.

Palin: Talks about McCain’s history and how it will help his war strategy as president.

If something did happen, how would a Biden administration be different than an Obama admin? The difference between a Palin admin and a McCain admin?

Biden: God forbid it did happen, but if it did, I’d carry out Obama’s policies. In essence, I agree with ever major initiative he has suggested.

Palin: Heaven forbid this happens for either party.‚  We are a team of mavericks, we don’t agree on everything.‚  But I would continue the good work he has been committed to, putting the government back on the side of the people. Bring the Wasilla reality into D.C.

Biden: Ask anyone where I come from, (small town) if I McCain’s policies differ from Bush’s.‚  Obama will change it.

Palin: She said doggonit? Education has to take more of a center stage.‚  My kids go to public school, so I am concerned.

Palin, you said you needed someone needed to explain to you what the VP does, Biden you said you would never be VP.

Palin: That was just a joke, in both of our parts.‚  We need to be supportive of the president’s policies.‚  We need to help the leaders and help them in their policies.

Biden: Obama asked me to be the point person for the legislative initiatives in congress.‚  Every major decision made, I’ll be in the room giving him my advice.‚  I won’t be afraid to tell him if I disagree.‚  I will play a very constructive role.

Conventional wisdom, Palin lack experience, Biden lacks discipline. What is your Achilles heel really?

Palin: We are an ordinary family, we’ve gone through normal problems.‚  America represents a perfect ideal, McCain and I agree with that, and we are a good team.

Biden: I’m not going to change. I will place my own and Obama’s record on fundamental accomplishments aginst McCain’s any day.‚  I know what it’s like as a parent to think whether or not your kid is going to make it.‚  I was a single parent.‚  I understand.‚  These families are looking for help. (Tears up a bit)

Palin: They are looking for change, and that change will come from McCain. McCain has a support base from a diverse background.

Biden: McCain has been no maverick on the things that matter to people’s lives.

Single issue on which you were forced to change your opinion?

Biden: I had been trained to think that a nominee suggested by the president was automatically a good person and a good candidate.‚  It took me about five years to learn that that was not the case.‚  It matters what the judicial philosophy is and it matters.

Palin: There have been times as Gov. and Mayor that we passed budgets that should have been vetoed.‚  I didn’t have enough support to accomplish that.‚  But on major issues, I have not.

Bipartisanship.‚  How do you change the tone in Washington as No.2?

Biden: I was taught to not question the motives of those in the Senate, just their judgement.

Palin: You appoint people based on their qualifications, views and policies not their party.

Closing Statement.

Palin: Thanks everyone.‚  I like to answer the tough questions without filters. I want to assure you that McCain and I will fight for America, economically and in national security.

Biden: Thanks everyone. This is the most important election you’ve voted on in your entire life. There’s a need for fundamental change. Obama and I measure progress based on someone can pay mortgage, send kid to college.‚  I grew up in a neighbourhood about dignity and respect, I was told if I love my country I could accomplish anything.‚  Obama will be the best choice.

Biden won this debate.

Palin stuck with Biden through much except foreign policy, which was to be expected. She did well, she looked better.

On foreign policy, she got leveled. Biden was articulate and perfect. Palin didn’t answer questions and dodged everything she could.

Palin kept talking about tax cuts and energy, no matter what the question was. She didn’t answer a lot of questions. She was folksy, she actually used the term doggonit, trying to distance herself from Washington politicians. Through that language she tried to connect with ordinary America and prop herself up as more of a game changer than Biden.

Biden actually answered questions, nailed McCain on much of his past and propped up Obama as the epitome of change. He didn’t talk too long, he showed off his experience in Washington and in foreign policy affairs. He exemplified the fact that he isn’t a brainless partisan Washington politician.

About The Author

Sachin Seth is the Blast Magazine world news reporter. He writes the Terra blog. You can visit his website at or follow him on twitter @sachinseth

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