Thursday, October 2, 2008

Transcript of Palin, Biden debate

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The vice presidential candidates, Democratic Sen. Joe Biden and Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, are debating in St. Louis, Missouri, Thursday night.
Gwen Ifill of PBS is the debate moderator. Here is a transcript of that debate, which is still going on:

IFILL: Good evening from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. I'm Gwen Ifill of "The NewsHour" and "Washington Week" on PBS. Welcome to the first and the only 2008 vice presidential debate between the Republican nominee, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, and the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden of Delaware.
The Commission on Presidential Debates is the sponsor of this event and the two remaining presidential debates. Tonight's discussion will cover a wide range of topics, including domestic and foreign policy matters.
It will be divided roughly into five-minute segments. Each candidate will have 90 seconds to respond to a direct question and then an additional two minutes for rebuttal and follow-up. The order has been determined by a coin toss.
The specific subjects and questions were chosen by me and have not been shared or cleared with anyone on the campaigns or on the commission. The audience here in the hall has promised to remain very polite, no cheers, applause, no untoward outbursts, except right at this minute now, as we welcome Governor Palin and Senator Biden.
PALIN: Nice to meet you.
BIDEN: It's a pleasure.
PALIN: Hey, can I call you Joe?
PALIN: Thank you.
Thank you, Gwen. Thank you. Thank you.
IFILL: Welcome to you both.
As we have determined by a coin toss, the first question will go to Senator Biden, with a 90-second follow-up from Governor Palin.
The House of Representatives this week passed a bill, a big bailout bill -- or didn't pass it, I should say. The Senate decided to pass it, and the House is wrestling with it still tonight.
As America watches these things happen on Capitol Hill, Senator Biden, was this the worst of Washington or the best of Washington that we saw play out?
BIDEN: Let me begin by thanking you, Gwen, for hosting this.
And, Governor, it's a pleasure to meet you, and it's a pleasure to be with you.
I think it's neither the best or worst of Washington, but it's evidence of the fact that the economic policies of the last eight years have been the worst economic policies we've ever had. As a consequence, you've seen what's happened on Wall Street.
If you need any more proof positive of how bad the economic theories have been, this excessive deregulation, the failure to oversee what was going on, letting Wall Street run wild, I don't think you needed any more evidence than what you see now.
So the Congress has been put -- Democrats and Republicans have been put in a very difficult spot. But Barack Obama laid out four basic criteria for any kind of rescue plan here.
He, first of all, said there has to be oversight. We're not going to write any check to anybody unless there's oversight for the -- of the secretary of Treasury.
He secondly said you have to focus on homeowners and folks on Main Street.
Thirdly, he said that you have to treat the taxpayers like investors in this case.
And, lastly, what you have to do is make sure that CEOs don't benefit from this, because this could end up, in the long run, people making money off of this rescue plan.
And so, as a consequence of that, it brings us back to maybe the fundamental disagreement between Governor Palin and me and Senator McCain and Barack Obama, and that is that the -- we're going to fundamentally change the focus of the economic policy.
We're going to focus on the middle class, because it's -- when the middle class is growing, the economy grows and everybody does well, not just focus on the wealthy and corporate America.
IFILL: Thank you, Senator.
Governor Palin?
PALIN: Thank you, Gwen. And I thank the commission, also. I appreciate this privilege of being able to be here and speak with Americans.
You know, I think a good barometer here, as we try to figure out has this been a good time or a bad time in America's economy, is go to a kid's soccer game on Saturday, and turn to any parent there on the sideline and ask them, "How are you feeling about the economy?"
And I'll bet you, you're going to hear some fear in that parent's voice, fear regarding the few investments that some of us have in the stock market. Did we just take a major hit with those investments?
Fear about, how are we going to afford to send our kids to college? A fear, as small-business owners, perhaps, how we're going to borrow any money to increase inventory or hire more people.
The barometer there, I think, is going to be resounding that our economy is hurting and the federal government has not provided the sound oversight that we need and that we deserve, and we need reform to that end.
Now, John McCain thankfully has been one representing reform. Two years ago, remember, it was John McCain who pushed so hard with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform measures. He sounded that warning bell.
People in the Senate with him, his colleagues, didn't want to listen to him and wouldn't go towards that reform that was needed then. I think that the alarm has been heard, though, and there will be that greater oversight, again thanks to John McCain's bipartisan efforts that he was so instrumental in bringing folks together over this past week, even suspending his own campaign to make sure he was putting excessive politics aside and putting the country first.
IFILL: You both would like to be vice president.
Senator Biden, how, as vice president, would you work to shrink this gap of polarization which has sprung up in Washington, which you both have spoken about here tonight?
BIDEN: Well, that's what I've done my whole career, Gwen, on very, very controversial issues, from dealing with violence against women, to putting 100,000 police officers on the street, to trying to get something done about the genocide in -- that was going on in Bosnia.
And I -- I have been able to reach across the aisle. I think it's fair to say that I have almost as many friends on the Republican side of the aisle as I do the Democratic side of the aisle.
But am I able to respond to -- are we able to stay on the -- on the topic?
IFILL: You may, if you like.
BIDEN: Yes, well, you know, until two weeks ago -- it was two Mondays ago John McCain said at 9 o'clock in the morning that the fundamentals of the economy were strong. Two weeks before that, he said George -- we've made great economic progress under George Bush's policies.
Nine o'clock, the economy was strong. Eleven o'clock that same day, two Mondays ago, John McCain said that we have an economic crisis.
That doesn't make John McCain a bad guy, but it does point out he's out of touch. Those folks on the sidelines knew that two months ago.
IFILL: Governor Palin, you may respond.
PALIN: John McCain, in referring to the fundamental of our economy being strong, he was talking to and he was talking about the American workforce. And the American workforce is the greatest in this world, with the ingenuity and the work ethic that is just entrenched in our workforce.
That's a positive. That's encouragement. And that's what John McCain meant.
Now, what I've done as a governor and as a mayor is (inaudible) I've had that track record of reform. And I've joined this team that is a team of mavericks with John McCain, also, with his track record of reform, where we're known for putting partisan politics aside to just get the job done.
Now, Barack Obama, of course, he's pretty much only voted along his party lines. In fact, 96 percent of his votes have been solely along party line, not having that proof for the American people to know that his commitment, too, is, you know, put the partisanship, put the special interests aside, and get down to getting business done for the people of America.
We're tired of the old politics as usual. And that's why, with all due respect, I do respect your years in the U.S. Senate, but I think Americans are craving something new and different and that new energy and that new commitment that's going to come with reform.
I think that's why we need to send the maverick from the Senate and put him in the White House, and I'm happy to join him there.
IFILL: Governor, Senator, neither of you really answered that last question about what you would do as vice president. I'm going to come back to that...
... throughout the evening to try to see if we can look forward, as well.
Now, let's talk about -- the next question is to talk about the subprime lending meltdown.
Who do you think was at fault? I start with you, Governor Palin. Was it the greedy lenders? Was it the risky home-buyers who shouldn't have been buying a home in the first place? And what should you be doing about it?
From her debate playbook, as described by McCain officials:
- Throw Biden’s own words back at him.
“There’s going to be a lot of opportunities to use Joe Biden’s words against him - and not his gaffes,” an official said. “When he says raising taxes is patriotic, that’s a policy position. That’s what he believes. She’s going to use those against him.”
(On ABC’s “Good Morning America” last month, in explaining the need for the wealthiest Americans to pay more taxes, Biden said: “It's time to be patriotic ... time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut.”)
- Highlight past Biden foreign-policy positions as a way to undermine his core strength.
“He’s a celebrated foreign policy expert, but he has been wrong … dating back to the Reagan administration,” the official said. “There are opportunities there for her to jump in.” - Highlight places where Biden and Barack Obama have differed, including primary-season statements about Obama’s readiness to lead and his positions on Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.
“He voted for the Iraq war, and Obama said that was poor judgment,” the official. “There are a lot of wedge positions between Obama and Biden.”

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Q&A Transcript: Slate Bloggers Preview the Debate
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Source: Washington Post
NewsDateTime: 4 hours ago

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Transcript of Palin, Biden debate
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The vice presidential candidates, Democratic Sen. Joe Biden and Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, are debating in St. Louis, Missouri, Thursday night. Gwen Ifill of PBS is the debate moderator. Here is a transcript of that ...
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NewsDateTime: 10/2/2008

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One example that was provided was Biden’s reference to North Korea as “a paper tiger” on CBS’s “The Early Show” in 2006. (“I would rather have seen it do exactly what it did, demonstrate to the whole world that it is in fact a paper tiger.”)
Another example noted by the campaign was voting for defense cuts during the Reagan administration, and voting against the first Gulf war in 1991. ( points out that he voted with the majority of Senate Democrats on the resolution.)

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