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Transcript: The Vice-Presidential Debate

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    Transcript: The Vice-Presidential Debate October 2, 2008 The New York Times http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/debates/transcripts/vice-
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      Transcript: The Vice-Presidential Debate
      October 2, 2008
      The New York Times
      http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/debates/transcripts/vice-
      presidential-debate.html


      [Link to video of this debate available at above website.]


      Following is a transcript of the vice-presidential debate between
      Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Gov. Sarah Palin in St. Louis, as
      recorded by CQ Transcriptions:


      GWEN 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.

      (APPLAUSE)

      PALIN: Nice to meet you.

      BIDEN: It's a pleasure.

      PALIN: Hey, can I call you Joe?

      BIDEN: (OFF-MIKE)

      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 (NYSE:FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) 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...

      (LAUGHTER)

      ... 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?

      PALIN: Darn right it was the predator lenders, who tried to talk
      Americans into thinking that it was smart to buy a $300,000 house if
      we could only afford a $100,000 house. There was deception there, and
      there was greed and there is corruption on Wall Street. And we need
      to stop that.

      Again, John McCain and I, that commitment that we have made, and
      we're going to follow through on that, getting rid of that corruption.

      PALIN: One thing that Americans do at this time, also, though, is
      let's commit ourselves just every day American people, Joe Six Pack,
      hockey moms across the nation, I think we need to band together and
      say never again. Never will we be exploited and taken advantage of
      again by those who are managing our money and loaning us these
      dollars. We need to make sure that we demand from the federal
      government strict oversight of those entities in charge of our
      investments and our savings and we need also to not get ourselves in
      debt. Let's do what our parents told us before we probably even got
      that first credit card. Don't live outside of our means. We need to
      make sure that as individuals we're taking personal responsibility
      through all of this. It's not the American peoples fault that the
      economy is hurting like it is, but we have an opportunity to learn a
      heck of a lot of good lessons through this and say never again will
      we be taken advantage of.

      IFILL: Senator?

      BIDEN: Well Gwen, two years ago Barack Obama warned about the sub
      prime mortgage crisis. John McCain said shortly after that in
      December he was surprised there was a sub prime mortgage problem.
      John McCain while Barack Obama was warning about what we had to do
      was literally giving an interview to "The Wall Street Journal" saying
      that I'm always for cutting regulations. We let Wall Street run wild.
      John McCain and he's a good man, but John McCain thought the answer
      is that tried and true Republican response, deregulate, deregulate.

      So what you had is you had overwhelming "deregulation." You had
      actually the belief that Wall Street could self-regulate itself. And
      while Barack Obama was talking about reinstating those regulations,
      John on 20 different occasions in the previous year and a half called
      for more deregulation. As a matter of fact, John recently wrote an
      article in a major magazine saying that he wants to do for the health
      care industry deregulate it and let the free market move like he did
      for the banking industry.

      So deregulation was the promise. And guess what? Those people who say
      don't go into debt, they can barely pay to fill up their gas tank. I
      was recently at my local gas station and asked a guy named Joey Danco
      (ph). I said Joey, how much did it cost to fill your tank? You know
      what his answer was? He said I don't know, Joe. I never have enough
      money to do it. The middle class needs relief, tax relief. They need
      it now. They need help now. The focus will change with Barack Obama.

      IFILL: Governor, please if you want to respond to what he said about
      Senator McCain's comments about health care?

      PALIN: I would like to respond about the tax increases. We can speak
      in agreement here that darn right we need tax relief for Americans so
      that jobs can be created here. Now, Barack Obama and Senator Biden
      also voted for the largest tax increases in U.S. history. Barack had
      94 opportunities to side on the people's side and reduce taxes and 94
      times he voted to increase taxes or not support a tax reduction, 94
      times.

      Now, that's not what we need to create jobs and really bolster and
      heat up our economy. We do need the private sector to be able to keep
      more of what we earn and produce. Government is going to have to
      learn to be more efficient and live with less if that's what it takes
      to reign in the government growth that we've seen today. But we do
      need tax relief and Barack Obama even supported increasing taxes as
      late as last year for those families making only $42,000 a year.
      That's a lot of middle income average American families to increase
      taxes on them. I think that is the way to kill jobs and to continue
      to harm our economy.

      IFILL: Senator?

      BIDEN: The charge is absolutely not true. Barack Obama did not vote
      to raise taxes. The vote she's referring to, John McCain voted the
      exact same way. It was a budget procedural vote. John McCain voted
      the same way. It did not raise taxes. Number two, using the standard
      that the governor uses, John McCain voted 477 times to raise taxes.
      It's a bogus standard it but if you notice, Gwen, the governor did
      not answer the question about deregulation, did not answer the
      question of defending John McCain about not going along with the
      deregulation, letting Wall Street run wild. He did support
      deregulation almost across the board. That's why we got into so much
      trouble.

      IFILL: Would you like to have an opportunity to answer that before we
      move on?

      PALIN: I'm still on the tax thing because I want to correct you on
      that again. And I want to let you know what I did as a mayor and as a
      governor. And I may not answer the questions that either the
      moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the
      American people and let them know my track record also. As mayor,
      every year I was in office I did reduce taxes. I eliminated personal
      property taxes and eliminated small business inventory taxes and as
      governor we suspended our state fuel tax. We did all of those things
      knowing that that is how our economy would be heated up. Now, as for
      John McCain's adherence to rules and regulations and pushing for even
      harder and tougher regulations, that is another thing that he is
      known for though. Look at the tobacco industry. Look at campaign
      finance reform.

      IFILL: OK, our time is up here. We've got to move to the next
      question. Senator Biden, we want to talk about taxes, let's talk
      about taxes. You proposed raising taxes on people who earn over
      $250,000 a year. The question for you is, why is that not class
      warfare and the same question for you, Governor Palin, is you have
      proposed a tax employer health benefits which some studies say would
      actually throw five million more people onto the roles of the
      uninsured. I want to know why that isn't taking things out on the
      poor, starting with you, Senator Biden.

      BIDEN: Well Gwen, where I come from, it's called fairness, just
      simple fairness. The middle class is struggling. The middle class
      under John McCain's tax proposal, 100 million families, middle class
      families, households to be precise, they got not a single change,
      they got not a single break in taxes. No one making less than
      $250,000 under Barack Obama's plan will see one single penny of their
      tax raised whether it's their capital gains tax, their income tax,
      investment tax, any tax. And 95 percent of the people in the United
      States of America making less than $150,000 will get a tax break.

      Now, that seems to me to be simple fairness. The economic engine of
      America is middle class. It's the people listening to this broadcast.
      When you do well, America does well. Even the wealthy do well. This
      is not punitive. John wants to add $300 million, billion in new tax
      cuts per year for corporate America and the very wealthy while giving
      virtually nothing to the middle class. We have a different value set.
      The middle class is the economic engine. It's fair. They deserve the
      tax breaks, not the super wealthy who are doing pretty well. They
      don't need any more tax breaks. And by the way, they'll pay no more
      than they did under Ronald Reagan.

      IFILL: Governor?

      PALIN: I do take issue with some of the principle there with that
      redistribution of wealth principle that seems to be espoused by you.
      But when you talk about Barack's plan to tax increase affecting only
      those making $250,000 a year or more, you're forgetting millions of
      small businesses that are going to fit into that category. So they're
      going to be the ones paying higher taxes thus resulting in fewer jobs
      being created and less productivity.

      Now you said recently that higher taxes or asking for higher taxes or
      paying higher taxes is patriotic. In the middle class of America
      which is where Todd and I have been all of our lives, that's not
      patriotic. Patriotic is saying, government, you know, you're not
      always the solution. In fact, too often you're the problem so,
      government, lessen the tax burden and on our families and get out of
      the way and let the private sector and our families grow and thrive
      and prosper. An increased tax formula that Barack Obama is proposing
      in addition to nearly a trillion dollars in new spending that he's
      proposing is the backwards way of trying to grow our economy.

      IFILL: Governor, are you interested in defending Senator McCain's
      health care plan?

      PALIN: I am because he's got a good health care plan that is
      detailed. And I want to give you a couple details on that. He's
      proposing a $5,000 tax credit for families so that they can get out
      there and they can purchase their own health care coverage. That's a
      smart thing to do. That's budget neutral. That doesn't cost the
      government anything as opposed to Barack Obama's plan to mandate
      health care coverage and have universal government run program and
      unless you're pleased with the way the federal government has been
      running anything lately, I don't think that it's going to be real
      pleasing for Americans to consider health care being taken over by
      the feds. But a $5,000 health care credit through our income tax
      that's budget neutral. That's going to help. And he also wants to
      erase those artificial lines between states so that through
      competition, we can cross state lines and if there's a better plan
      offered somewhere else, we would be able to purchase that. So
      affordability and accessibility will be the keys there with that
      $5,000 tax credit also being offered.

      IFILL: Thank you, governor. Senator?

      BIDEN: Gwen, I don't know where to start. We don't call a
      redistribution in my neighborhood Scranton, Claymont, Wilmington, the
      places I grew up, to give the fair to say that not giving Exxon Mobil
      (NYSE:XOM) another $4 billion tax cut this year as John calls for and
      giving it to middle class people to be able to pay to get their kids
      to college, we don't call that redistribution. We call that fairness
      number one. Number two fact, 95 percent of the small businesses in
      America, their owners make less than $250,000 a year. They would not
      get one single solitary penny increase in taxes, those small
      businesses.

      BIDEN: Now, with regard to the -- to the health care plan, you know,
      it's with one hand you giveth, the other you take it. You know how
      Barack Obama -- excuse me, do you know how John McCain pays for his
      $5,000 tax credit you're going to get, a family will get?

      He taxes as income every one of you out there, every one of you
      listening who has a health care plan through your employer. That's
      how he raises $3.6 trillion, on your -- taxing your health care
      benefit to give you a $5,000 plan, which his Web site points out will
      go straight to the insurance company.

      And then you're going to have to replace a $12,000 -- that's the
      average cost of the plan you get through your employer -- it costs
      $12,000. You're going to have to pay -- replace a $12,000 plan,
      because 20 million of you are going to be dropped. Twenty million of
      you will be dropped.

      So you're going to have to place -- replace a $12,000 plan with a
      $5,000 check you just give to the insurance company. I call that
      the "Ultimate Bridge to Nowhere."

      IFILL: Thank you, Senator.

      Now...

      (LAUGHTER)

      ... I want to get -- try to get you both to answer a question that
      neither of your principals quite answered when my colleague, Jim
      Lehrer, asked it last week, starting with you, Senator Biden.

      What promises -- given the events of the week, the bailout plan, all
      of this, what promises have you and your campaigns made to the
      American people that you're not going to be able to keep?

      BIDEN: Well, the one thing we might have to slow down is a commitment
      we made to double foreign assistance. We'll probably have to slow
      that down.

      We also are going to make sure that we do not go forward with the tax
      cut proposals of the administration -- of John McCain, the existing
      one for people making over $250,000, which is $130 billion this year
      alone.

      We're not going to support the $300 billion tax cut that they have
      for corporate America and the very wealthy. We're not going to
      support another $4 billion tax cut for ExxonMobil.

      And what we're not going to also hold up on, Gwen, is we cannot
      afford to hold up on providing for incentives for new jobs by an
      energy policy, creating new jobs.

      We cannot slow up on education, because that's the engine that is
      going to give us the economic growth and competitiveness that we need.

      And we are not going to slow up on the whole idea of providing for
      affordable health care for Americans, none of which, when we get to
      talk about health care, is as my -- as the governor characterized --
      characterized.

      The bottom line here is that we are going to, in fact, eliminate
      those wasteful spending that exist in the budget right now, a number
      of things I don't have time, because the light is blinking, that I
      won't be able to mention, but one of which is the $100 billion tax
      dodge that, in fact, allows people to take their post office box off-
      shore, avoid taxes.

      I call that unpatriotic. I call that unpatriotic.

      IFILL: Governor?

      BIDEN: That's what I'm talking about.

      IFILL: Governor?

      PALIN: Well, the nice thing about running with John McCain is I can
      assure you he doesn't tell one thing to one group and then turns
      around and tells something else to another group, including his plans
      that will make this bailout plan, this rescue plan, even better.

      I want to go back to the energy plan, though, because this is -- this
      is an important one that Barack Obama, he voted for in '05.

      Senator Biden, you would remember that, in that energy plan that
      Obama voted for, that's what gave those oil companies those big tax
      breaks. Your running mate voted for that.

      You know what I had to do in the state of Alaska? I had to take on
      those oil companies and tell them, "No," you know, any of the greed
      there that has been kind of instrumental, I guess, in their mode of
      operation, that wasn't going to happen in my state.

      And that's why Tillerson at Exxon and Mulva at ConocoPhillips
      (NYSE:COP) , bless their hearts, they're doing what they need to do,
      as corporate CEOs, but they're not my biggest fans, because what I
      had to do up there in Alaska was to break up a monopoly up there and
      say, you know, the people are going to come first and we're going to
      make sure that we have value given to the people of Alaska with those
      resources.

      And those huge tax breaks aren't coming to the big multinational
      corporations anymore, not when it adversely affects the people who
      live in a state and, in this case, in a country who should be
      benefiting at the same time. So it was Barack Obama who voted for
      that energy plan that gave those tax breaks to the oil companies that
      I then had to turn around, as a governor of an energy-producing
      state, and kind of undo in my own area of expertise, and that's
      energy.

      IFILL: So, Governor, as vice president, there's nothing that you have
      promised as a candidate that you would -- that you wouldn't take off
      the table because of this financial crisis we're in?

      PALIN: There is not. And how long have I been at this, like five
      weeks? So there hasn't been a whole lot that I've promised, except to
      do what is right for the American people, put government back on the
      side of the American people, stop the greed and corruption on Wall
      Street.

      And the rescue plan has got to include that massive oversight that
      Americans are expecting and deserving. And I don't believe that John
      McCain has made any promise that he would not be able to keep, either.

      IFILL: Senator?

      BIDEN: Again, let me -- let's talk about those tax breaks. Barack
      Obama -- Obama voted for an energy bill because, for the first time,
      it had real support for alternative energy. (OOTC:AEGC)

      When there were separate votes on eliminating the tax breaks for the
      oil companies, Barack Obama voted to eliminate them. John did not.

      And let me just ask a rhetorical question: If John really wanted to
      eliminate them, why is he adding to his budget an additional $4
      billion in tax cuts for ExxonMobils of the world that, in fact,
      already have made $600 billion since 2001?

      And, look, I agree with the governor. She imposed a windfall profits
      tax up there in Alaska. That's what Barack Obama and I want to do.

      We want to be able to do for all of you Americans, give you back
      $1,000 bucks, like she's been able to give back money to her folks
      back there.

      But John McCain will not support a windfall profits tax. They've made
      $600 billion since 2001, and John McCain wants to give them, all by
      itself -- separate, no additional bill, all by itself -- another $4
      billion tax cut.

      If that is not proof of what I say, I'm not sure what can be. So I
      hope the governor is able to convince John McCain to support our
      windfall profits tax, which she supported in Alaska, and I give her
      credit for it.

      IFILL: Next question, Governor Palin, still on the economy. Last
      year, Congress passed a bill that would make it more difficult for
      debt-strapped mortgage-holders to declare bankruptcy, to get out from
      under that debt. This is something that John McCain supported. Would
      you have?

      PALIN: Yes, I would have. But here, again, there have -- there have
      been so many changes in the conditions of our economy in just even
      these past weeks that there has been more and more revelation made
      aware now to Americans about the corruption and the greed on Wall
      Street.

      We need to look back, even two years ago, and we need to be
      appreciative of John McCain's call for reform with Fannie Mae, with
      Freddie Mac, with the mortgage-lenders, too, who were starting to
      really kind of rear that head of abuse.

      And the colleagues in the Senate weren't going to go there with him.
      So we have John McCain to thank for at least warning people. And we
      also have John McCain to thank for bringing in a bipartisan effort
      people to the table so that we can start putting politics aside, even
      putting a campaign aside, and just do what's right to fix this
      economic problem that we are in.

      It is a crisis. It's a toxic mess, really, on Main Street that's
      affecting Wall Street. And now we have to be ever vigilant and also
      making sure that credit markets don't seize up. That's where the Main
      Streeters like me, that's where we would really feel the effects.

      IFILL: Senator Biden, you voted for this bankruptcy bill. Senator
      Obama voted against it. Some people have said that mortgage- holders
      really paid the price.

      BIDEN: Well, mortgage-holders didn't pay the price. Only 10 percent
      of the people who are -- have been affected by this whole switch from
      Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 -- it gets complicated.

      But the point of this -- Barack Obama saw the glass as half- empty. I
      saw it as half-full. We disagreed on that, and 85 senators voted one
      way, and 15 voted the other way.

      But here's the deal. Barack Obama pointed out two years ago that
      there was a subprime mortgage crisis and wrote to the secretary of
      Treasury. And he said, "You'd better get on the stick here. You'd
      better look at it."

      John McCain said as early as last December, quote -- I'm
      paraphrasing -- "I'm surprised about this subprime mortgage crisis,"
      number one.

      Number two, with regard to bankruptcy now, Gwen, what we should be
      doing now -- and Barack Obama and I support it -- we should be
      allowing bankruptcy courts to be able to re-adjust not just the
      interest rate you're paying on your mortgage to be able to stay in
      your home, but be able to adjust the principal that you owe, the
      principal that you owe.

      That would keep people in their homes, actually help banks by keeping
      it from going under. But John McCain, as I understand it -- I'm not
      sure of this, but I believe John McCain and the governor don't
      support that. There are ways to help people now. And there -- ways
      that we're offering are not being supported by -- by the Bush
      administration nor do I believe by John McCain and Governor Palin.

      IFILL: Governor Palin, is that so?

      PALIN: That is not so, but because that's just a quick answer, I want
      to talk about, again, my record on energy versus your ticket's energy
      ticket, also.

      I think that this is important to come back to, with that energy
      policy plan again that was voted for in '05.

      When we talk about energy, we have to consider the need to do all
      that we can to allow this nation to become energy independent.

      It's a nonsensical position that we are in when we have domestic
      supplies of energy all over this great land. And East Coast
      politicians who don't allow energy-producing states like Alaska to
      produce these, to tap into them, and instead we're relying on foreign
      countries to produce for us.

      PALIN: We're circulating about $700 billion a year into foreign
      countries, some who do not like America -- they certainly don't have
      our best interests at heart -- instead of those dollars circulating
      here, creating tens of thousands of jobs and allowing domestic
      supplies of energy to be tapped into and start flowing into these
      very, very hungry markets.

      Energy independence is the key to this nation's future, to our
      economic future, and to our national security. So when we talk about
      energy plans, it's not just about who got a tax break and who didn't.
      And we're not giving oil companies tax breaks, but it's about a heck
      of a lot more than that.

      Energy independence is the key to America's future.

      IFILL: Governor, I'm happy to talk to you in this next section about
      energy issues. Let's talk about climate change. What is true and what
      is false about what we have heard, read, discussed, debated about the
      causes of climate change?

      PALIN: Yes. Well, as the nation's only Arctic state and being the
      governor of that state, Alaska feels and sees impacts of climate
      change more so than any other state. And we know that it's real.

      I'm not one to attribute every man -- activity of man to the changes
      in the climate. There is something to be said also for man's
      activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our
      planet.

      But there are real changes going on in our climate. And I don't want
      to argue about the causes. What I want to argue about is, how are we
      going to get there to positively affect the impacts?

      We have got to clean up this planet. We have got to encourage other
      nations also to come along with us with the impacts of climate
      change, what we can do about that.

      As governor, I was the first governor to form a climate change sub-
      cabinet to start dealing with the impacts. We've got to reduce
      emissions. John McCain is right there with an "all of the above"
      approach to deal with climate change impacts.

      We've got to become energy independent for that reason. Also as we
      rely more and more on other countries that don't care as much about
      the climate as we do, we're allowing them to produce and to emit and
      even pollute more than America would ever stand for. So even in
      dealing with climate change, it's all the more reason that we have
      an "all of the above" approach, tapping into alternative sources of
      energy and conserving fuel, conserving our petroleum products and our
      hydrocarbons so that we can clean up this planet and deal with
      climate change.

      IFILL: Senator, what is true and what is false about the causes?

      BIDEN: Well, I think it is manmade. I think it's clearly manmade.
      And, look, this probably explains the biggest fundamental difference
      between John McCain and Barack Obama and Sarah Palin and Joe Biden --
      Governor Palin and Joe Biden.

      If you don't understand what the cause is, it's virtually impossible
      to come up with a solution. We know what the cause is. The cause is
      manmade. That's the cause. That's why the polar icecap is melting.

      Now, let's look at the facts. We have 3 percent of the world's oil
      reserves. We consume 25 percent of the oil in the world. John McCain
      has voted 20 times in the last decade-and-a-half against funding
      alternative energy sources, clean energy sources, wind, solar,
      biofuels.

      The way in which we can stop the greenhouse gases from emitting. We
      believe -- Barack Obama believes by investing in clean coal and safe
      nuclear, we can not only create jobs in wind and solar here in the
      United States, we can export it.

      China is building one to three new coal-fired plants burning dirty
      coal per week. It's polluting not only the atmosphere but the West
      Coast of the United States. We should export the technology by
      investing in clean coal technology.

      We should be creating jobs. John McCain has voted 20 times against
      funding alternative energy sources and thinks, I guess, the only
      answer is drill, drill, drill. Drill we must, but it will take 10
      years for one drop of oil to come out of any of the wells that are
      going to begun to be drilled.

      In the meantime, we're all going to be in real trouble.

      IFILL: Let me clear something up, Senator McCain has said he supports
      caps on carbon emissions. Senator Obama has said he supports clean
      coal technology, which I don't believe you've always supported.

      BIDEN: I have always supported it. That's a fact.

      IFILL: Well, clear it up for us, both of you, and start with Governor
      Palin.

      PALIN: Yes, Senator McCain does support this. The chant is "drill,
      baby, drill." And that's what we hear all across this country in our
      rallies because people are so hungry for those domestic sources of
      energy to be tapped into. They know that even in my own energy-
      producing state we have billions of barrels of oil and hundreds of
      trillions of cubic feet of clean, green natural gas. And we're
      building a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline which is North
      America's largest and most you expensive infrastructure project ever
      to flow those sources of energy into hungry markets.

      Barack Obama and Senator Biden, you've said no to everything in
      trying to find a domestic solution to the energy crisis that we're
      in. You even called drilling -- safe, environmentally-friendly
      drilling offshore as raping the outer continental shelf.

      There -- with new technology, with tiny footprints even on land, it
      is safe to drill and we need to do more of that. But also in
      that "all of the above" approach that Senator McCain supports, the
      alternative fuels will be tapped into: the nuclear, the clean coal.

      I was surprised to hear you mention that because you had said that
      there isn't anything -- such a thing as clean coal. And I think you
      said it in a rope line, too, at one of your rallies.

      IFILL: We do need to keep within our two minutes. But I just wanted
      to ask you, do you support capping carbon emissions?

      PALIN: I do. I do.

      IFILL: OK. And on the clean coal issue?

      BIDEN: Absolutely. Absolutely we do. We call for setting hard
      targets, number one...

      IFILL: Clean coal.

      BIDEN: Oh, I'm sorry.

      IFILL: On clean coal.

      BIDEN: Oh, on clean coal. My record, just take a look at the record.
      My record for 25 years has supported clean coal technology. A comment
      made in a rope line was taken out of context. I was talking about
      exporting that technology to China so when they burn their dirty
      coal, it won't be as dirty, it will be clean.

      But here's the bottom line, Gwen: How do we deal with global warming
      with continued addition to carbon emissions? And if the only answer
      you have is oil, and John -- and the governor says John is for
      everything.

      Well, why did John vote 20 times? Maybe he's for everything as long
      as it's not helped forward by the government. Maybe he's for
      everything if the free market takes care of it. I don't know. But he
      voted 20 times against funding alternative energy sources.

      IFILL: The next round of -- pardon me, the next round of questions
      starts with you, Senator Biden. Do you support, as they do in Alaska,
      granting same-sex benefits to couples? BIDEN: Absolutely. Do I
      support granting same-sex benefits? Absolutely positively. Look, in
      an Obama-Biden administration, there will be absolutely no
      distinction from a constitutional standpoint or a legal standpoint
      between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple.

      The fact of the matter is that under the Constitution we should be
      granted -- same-sex couples should be able to have visitation rights
      in the hospitals, joint ownership of property, life insurance
      policies, et cetera. That's only fair.

      It's what the Constitution calls for. And so we do support it. We do
      support making sure that committed couples in a same-sex marriage are
      guaranteed the same constitutional benefits as it relates to their
      property rights, their rights of visitation, their rights to
      insurance, their rights of ownership as heterosexual couples do.

      IFILL: Governor, would you support expanding that beyond Alaska to
      the rest of the nation?

      PALIN: Well, not if it goes closer and closer towards redefining the
      traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman. And
      unfortunately that's sometimes where those steps lead.

      But I also want to clarify, if there's any kind of suggestion at all
      from my answer that I would be anything but tolerant of adults in
      America choosing their partners, choosing relationships that they
      deem best for themselves, you know, I am tolerant and I have a very
      diverse family and group of friends and even within that group you
      would see some who may not agree with me on this issue, some very
      dear friends who don't agree with me on this issue.

      But in that tolerance also, no one would ever propose, not in a
      McCain-Palin administration, to do anything to prohibit, say,
      visitations in a hospital or contracts being signed, negotiated
      between parties.

      But I will tell Americans straight up that I don't support defining
      marriage as anything but between one man and one woman, and I think
      through nuances we can go round and round about what that actually
      means.

      But I'm being as straight up with Americans as I can in my non-
      support for anything but a traditional definition of marriage.

      IFILL: Let's try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay
      marriage?

      BIDEN: No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side
      what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically
      the decision to be able to be able to be left to faiths and people
      who practice their faiths the determination what you call it.

      The bottom line though is, and I'm glad to hear the governor, I take
      her at her word, obviously, that she think there should be no civil
      rights distinction, none whatsoever, between a committed gay couple
      and a committed heterosexual couple. If that's the case, we really
      don't have a difference.

      IFILL: Is that what your said?

      PALIN: Your question to him was whether he supported gay marriage and
      my answer is the same as his and it is that I do not.

      IFILL: Wonderful. You agree. On that note, let's move to foreign
      policy.

      (LAUGHTER)

      IFILL: You both have sons who are in Iraq or on their way to Iraq.
      You, Governor Palin, have said that you would like to see a real
      clear plan for an exit strategy. What should that be, Governor?

      PALIN: I am very thankful that we do have a good plan and the surge
      and the counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq that has proven to work, I
      am thankful that that is part of the plan implemented under a great
      American hero, General Petraeus, and pushed hard by another great
      American, Senator John McCain.

      I know that the other ticket opposed this surge, in fact, even
      opposed funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Barack Obama
      voted against funding troops there after promising that he would not
      do so.

      PALIN: And Senator Biden, I respected you when you called him out on
      that. You said that his vote was political and you said it would cost
      lives. And Barack Obama at first said he would not do that. He turned
      around under political pressure and he voted against funding the
      troops. We do have a plan for withdrawal. We don't need early
      withdrawal out of Iraq. We cannot afford to lose there or we're going
      to be no better off in the war in Afghanistan either. We have got to
      win in Iraq.

      And with the surge that has worked we're now down to presurge numbers
      in Iraq. That's where we can be. We can start putting more troops in
      Afghanistan as we also work with our NATO allies who are there
      strengthening us and we need to grow our military. We cannot afford
      to lose against al Qaeda and the Shia extremists who are still there,
      still fighting us, but we're getting closer and closer to victory.
      And it would be a travesty if we quit now in Iraq.

      IFILL: Senator?

      BIDEN: Gwen, with all due respect, I didn't hear a plan. Barack Obama
      offered a clear plan. Shift responsibility to Iraqis over the next 16
      months. Draw down our combat troops. Ironically the same plan that
      Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq and George Bush are now
      negotiating. The only odd man out here, only one left out is John
      McCain, number one. Number two, with regard to Barack Obama not quote
      funding the troops, John McCain voted the exact same way. John McCain
      voted against funding the troops because of an amendment he voted
      against had a timeline in it to draw down American troops. And John
      said I'm not going to fund the troops if in fact there's a time line.
      Barack Obama and I agree fully and completely on one thing. You've
      got to have a time line to draw down the troops and shift
      responsibility to the Iraqis.

      We're spending $10 billion a month while Iraqis have an $80 billion
      surplus. Barack says it's time for them to spend their own money and
      have the 400,000 military we trained for them begin to take their own
      responsibility and gradually over 16 months, withdrawal. John McCain -
      - this is a fundamental difference between us, we'll end this war.
      For John McCain, there's no end in sight to end this war, fundamental
      difference. We will end this war.

      IFILL: Governor?

      PALIN: Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq and that is not
      what our troops need to hear today, that's for sure. And it's not
      what our nation needs to be able to count on. You guys opposed the
      surge. The surge worked. Barack Obama still can't admit the surge
      works.

      We'll know when we're finished in Iraq when the Iraqi government can
      govern its people and when the Iraqi security forces can secure its
      people. And our commanders on the ground will tell us when those
      conditions have been met. And Maliki and Talabani also in working
      with us are knowing again that we are getting closer and closer to
      that point, that victory that's within sight.

      Now, you said regarding Senator McCain's military policies there,
      Senator Biden, that you supported a lot of these things. In fact, you
      said in fact that you wanted to run, you'd be honored to run with him
      on the ticket. That's an indication I think of some of the support
      that you had at least until you became the VP pick here.

      You also said that Barack Obama was not ready to be commander in
      chief. And I know again that you opposed the move he made to try to
      cut off funding for the troops and I respect you for that. I don't
      know how you can defend that position now but I know that you know
      especially with your son in the National Guard and I have great
      respect for your family also and the honor that you show our
      military. Barack Obama though, another story there. Anyone I think
      who can cut off funding for the troops after promising not to is
      another story.

      IFILL: Senator Biden?

      BIDEN: John McCain voted to cut off funding for the troops. Let me
      say that again. John McCain voted against an amendment containing $1
      billion, $600 million that I had gotten to get MRAPS, those things
      that are protecting the governor's son and pray god my son and a lot
      of other sons and daughters.

      He voted against it. He voted against funding because he said the
      amendment had a time line in it to end this war. He didn't like that.
      But let's get straight who has been right and wrong. John McCain and
      Dick Cheney said while I was saying we would not be greeted as
      liberators, we would not - this war would take a decade and not a
      day, not a week and not six months, we would not be out of there
      quickly. John McCain was saying the Sunnis and Shias got along with
      each other without reading the history of the last 700 years. John
      McCain said there would be enough oil to pay for this. John McCain
      has been dead wrong. I love him. As my mother would say, god love
      him, but he's been dead wrong on the fundamental issues relating to
      the conduct of the war. Barack Obama has been right. There are the
      facts.

      IFILL: Let's move to Iran and Pakistan. I'm curious about what you
      think starting with you Senator Biden. What's the greater threat, a
      nuclear Iran or an unstable Afghanistan? Explain why.

      BIDEN: Well, they're both extremely dangerous. I always am focused,
      as you know Gwen, I have been focusing on for a long time, along with
      Barack on Pakistan. Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Pakistan
      already has deployed nuclear weapons. Pakistan's weapons can already
      hit Israel and the Mediterranean. Iran getting a nuclear weapon would
      be very, very destabilizing. They are more than - they are not close
      to getting a nuclear weapon that's able to be deployed. So they're
      both very dangerous. They both would be game changers.

      But look, here's what the fundamental problem I have with John's
      policy about terror instability. John continues to tell us that the
      central war in the front on terror is in Iraq. I promise you, if an
      attack comes in the homeland, it's going to come as our security
      services have said, it is going to come from al Qaeda planning in the
      hills of Afghanistan and Pakistan. That's where they live. That's
      where they are. That's where it will come from. And right now that
      resides in Pakistan, a stable government needs to be established. We
      need to support that democracy by helping them not only with their
      military but with their governance and their economic well-being.

      There have been 7,000 madrasses built along that border. We should be
      helping them build schools to compete for those hearts and minds of
      the people in the region so that we're actually able to take on
      terrorism and by the way, that's where bin Laden lives and we will go
      at him if we have actionable intelligence.

      IFILL: Governor, nuclear Pakistan, unstable Pakistan, nuclear Iran?
      Which is the greater threat?

      PALIN: Both are extremely dangerous, of course. And as for who coined
      that central war on terror being in Iraq, it was the General Petraeus
      and al Qaeda, both leaders there and it's probably the only thing
      that they're ever going to agree on, but that it was a central war on
      terror is in Iraq. You don't have to believe me or John McCain on
      that. I would believe Petraeus and the leader of al Qaeda.

      An armed, nuclear armed especially Iran is so extremely dangerous to
      consider. They cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons period.
      Israel is in jeopardy of course when we're dealing with Ahmadinejad
      as a leader of Iran. Iran claiming that Israel as he termed it, a
      stinking corpse, a country that should be wiped off the face of the
      earth. Now a leader like Ahmadinejad who is not sane or stable when
      he says things like that is not one whom we can allow to acquire
      nuclear energy, nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, the Castro
      brothers, others who are dangerous dictators are one that Barack
      Obama has said he would be willing to meet with without preconditions
      being met first.

      And an issue like that taken up by a presidential candidate goes
      beyond naivete and goes beyond poor judgment. A statement that he
      made like that is downright dangerous because leaders like
      Ahmadinejad who would seek to acquire nuclear weapons and wipe off
      the face of the earth an ally like we have in Israel should not be
      met with without preconditions and diplomatic efforts being
      undertaken first.

      IFILL: Governor and senator, I want you both to respond to this.
      Secretaries of state Baker, Kissinger, Powell, they have all
      advocated some level of engagement with enemies. Do you think these
      former secretaries of state are wrong on that?

      PALIN: No and Dr. Henry Kissinger especially. I had a good
      conversation with him recently. And he shared with me his passion for
      diplomacy. And that's what John McCain and I would engage in also.
      But again, with some of these dictators who hate America and hate
      what we stand for, with our freedoms, our democracy, our tolerance,
      our respect for women's rights, those who would try to destroy what
      we stand for cannot be met with just sitting down on a presidential
      level as Barack Obama had said he would be willing to do. That is
      beyond bad judgment. That is dangerous.

      No, diplomacy is very important. First and foremost, that is what we
      would engage in. But diplomacy is hard work by serious people. It's
      lining out clear objectives and having your friends and your allies
      ready to back you up there and have sanctions lined up before any
      kind of presidential summit would take place.

      IFILL: Senator?

      BIDEN: Can I clarify this? This is simply not true about Barack
      Obama. He did not say sit down with Ahmadinejad.

      BIDEN: The fact of the matter is, it surprises me that Senator McCain
      doesn't realize that Ahmadinejad does not control the security
      apparatus in Iran. The theocracy controls the security apparatus,
      number one.

      Number two, five secretaries of state did say we should talk with and
      sit down.

      Now, John and Governor Palin now say they're all for -- they have a
      passion, I think the phrase was, a passion for diplomacy and that we
      have to bring our friends and allies along.

      Our friends and allies have been saying, Gwen, "Sit down. Talk. Talk.
      Talk." Our friends and allies have been saying that, five secretaries
      of state, three of them Republicans.

      And John McCain has said he would go along with an agreement, but he
      wouldn't sit down. Now, how do you do that when you don't have your
      administration sit down and talk with the adversary?

      And look what President Bush did. After five years, he finally sent a
      high-ranking diplomat to meet with the highest-ranking diplomats in
      Iran, in Europe, to try to work out an arrangement.

      Our allies are on that same page. And if we don't go the extra mile
      on diplomacy, what makes you think the allies are going to sit with
      us?

      The last point I'll make, John McCain said as recently as a couple of
      weeks ago he wouldn't even sit down with the government of Spain, a
      NATO ally that has troops in Afghanistan with us now. I find that
      incredible.

      IFILL: Governor, you mentioned Israel and your support for Israel.

      PALIN: Yes.

      IFILL: What has this administration done right or wrong -- this is
      the great, lingering, unresolved issue, the Israeli-Palestinian
      conflict -- what have they done? And is a two-state solution the
      solution?

      PALIN: A two-state solution is the solution. And Secretary Rice,
      having recently met with leaders on one side or the other there,
      also, still in these waning days of the Bush administration, trying
      to forge that peace, and that needs to be done, and that will be top
      of an agenda item, also, under a McCain-Palin administration.

      Israel is our strongest and best ally in the Middle East. We have got
      to assure them that we will never allow a second Holocaust, despite,
      again, warnings from Iran and any other country that would seek to
      destroy Israel, that that is what they would like to see.

      We will support Israel. A two-state solution, building our embassy,
      also, in Jerusalem, those things that we look forward to being able
      to accomplish, with this peace-seeking nation, and they have a track
      record of being able to forge these peace agreements.

      They succeeded with Jordan. They succeeded with Egypt. I'm sure that
      we're going to see more success there, also.

      It's got to be a commitment of the United States of America, though.
      And I can promise you, in a McCain-Palin administration, that
      commitment is there to work with our friends in Israel.

      IFILL: Senator?

      BIDEN: Gwen, no one in the United States Senate has been a better
      friend to Israel than Joe Biden. I would have never, ever joined this
      ticket were I not absolutely sure Barack Obama shared my passion.

      But you asked a question about whether or not this administration's
      policy had made sense or something to that effect. It has been an
      abject failure, this administration's policy.

      In fairness to Secretary Rice, she's trying to turn it around now in
      the seventh or eighth year.

      Here's what the president said when we said no. He insisted on
      elections on the West Bank, when I said, and others said, and Barack
      Obama said, "Big mistake. Hamas will win. You'll legitimize them."
      What happened? Hamas won.

      When we kicked -- along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of
      Lebanon, I said and Barack said, "Move NATO forces in there. Fill the
      vacuum, because if you don't know -- if you don't, Hezbollah will
      control it."

      Now what's happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government
      in the country immediately to the north of Israel.

      The fact of the matter is, the policy of this administration has been
      an abject failure.

      And speaking of freedom being on the march, the only thing on the
      march is Iran. It's closer to a bomb. Its proxies now have a major
      stake in Lebanon, as well as in the Gaza Strip with Hamas.

      We will change this policy with thoughtful, real, live diplomacy that
      understands that you must back Israel in letting them negotiate,
      support their negotiation, and stand with them, not insist on
      policies like this administration has. IFILL: Has this
      administration's policy been an abject failure, as the senator says,
      Governor?

      PALIN: No, I do not believe that it has been. But I'm so encouraged
      to know that we both love Israel, and I think that is a good thing to
      get to agree on, Senator Biden. I respect your position on that.

      No, in fact, when we talk about the Bush administration, there's a
      time, too, when Americans are going to say, "Enough is enough with
      your ticket," on constantly looking backwards, and pointing fingers,
      and doing the blame game.

      There have been huge blunders in the war. There have been huge
      blunders throughout this administration, as there are with every
      administration.

      But for a ticket that wants to talk about change and looking into the
      future, there's just too much finger-pointing backwards to ever make
      us believe that that's where you're going.

      Positive change is coming, though. Reform of government is coming.
      We'll learn from the past mistakes in this administration and other
      administrations.

      And we're going to forge ahead with putting government back on the
      side of the people and making sure that our country comes first,
      putting obsessive partisanship aside.

      That's what John McCain has been known for in all these years. He has
      been the maverick. He has ruffled feathers.

      But I know, Senator Biden, you have respected for them that, and I
      respect you for acknowledging that. But change is coming.

      IFILL: Just looking backwards, Senator?

      BIDEN: Look, past is prologue, Gwen. The issue is, how different is
      John McCain's policy going to be than George Bush's? I haven't heard
      anything yet.

      I haven't heard how his policy is going to be different on Iran than
      George Bush's. I haven't heard how his policy is going to be
      different with Israel than George Bush's. I haven't heard how his
      policy in Afghanistan is going to be different than George Bush's. I
      haven't heard how his policy in Pakistan is going to be different
      than George Bush's.

      It may be. But so far, it is the same as George Bush's. And you know
      where that policy has taken us.

      We will make significant change so, once again, we're the most
      respected nation in the world. That's what we're going to do.

      IFILL: Governor, on another issue, interventionism, nuclear weapons.
      What should be the trigger, or should there be a trigger, when
      nuclear weapons use is ever put into play?

      PALIN: Nuclear weaponry, of course, would be the be all, end all of
      just too many people in too many parts of our planet, so those
      dangerous regimes, again, cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear
      weapons, period.

      Our nuclear weaponry here in the U.S. is used as a deterrent. And
      that's a safe, stable way to use nuclear weaponry.

      But for those countries -- North Korea, also, under Kim Jong-il -- we
      have got to make sure that we're putting the economic sanctions on
      these countries and that we have friends and allies supporting us in
      this to make sure that leaders like Kim Jong-il and Ahmadinejad are
      not allowed to acquire, to proliferate, or to use those nuclear
      weapons. It is that important.

      Can we talk about Afghanistan real quick, also, though?

      IFILL: Certainly.

      PALIN: OK, I'd like to just really quickly mention there, too, that
      when you look back and you say that the Bush administration's policy
      on Afghanistan perhaps would be the same as McCain, and that's not
      accurate.

      The surge principles, not the exact strategy, but the surge
      principles that have worked in Iraq need to be implemented in
      Afghanistan, also. And that, perhaps, would be a difference with the
      Bush administration.

      Now, Barack Obama had said that all we're doing in Afghanistan is air-
      raiding villages and killing civilians. And such a reckless, reckless
      comment and untrue comment, again, hurts our cause.

      That's not what we're doing there. We're fighting terrorists, and
      we're securing democracy, and we're building schools for children
      there so that there is opportunity in that country, also. There will
      be a big difference there, and we will win in -- in Afghanistan, also.

      IFILL: Senator, you may talk about nuclear use, if you'd like, and
      also about Afghanistan.

      BIDEN: I'll talk about both. With Afghanistan, facts matter, Gwen.

      The fact is that our commanding general in Afghanistan said today
      that a surge -- the surge principles used in Iraq will not -- well,
      let me say this again now -- our commanding general in Afghanistan
      said the surge principle in Iraq will not work in Afghanistan, not
      Joe Biden, our commanding general in Afghanistan.

      He said we need more troops. We need government-building. We need to
      spend more money on the infrastructure in Afghanistan.

      Look, we have spent more money -- we spend more money in three weeks
      on combat in Iraq than we spent on the entirety of the last seven
      years that we have been in Afghanistan building that country.

      Let me say that again. Three weeks in Iraq; seven years, seven years
      or six-and-a-half years in Afghanistan. Now, that's number one.

      Number two, with regard to arms control and weapons, nuclear weapons
      require a nuclear arms control regime. John McCain voted against a
      Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty that every Republican has
      supported.

      John McCain has opposed amending the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty with an
      amendment to allow for inspections.

      John McCain has not been -- has not been the kind of supporter for
      dealing with -- and let me put it another way. My time is almost up.

      Barack Obama, first thing he did when he came to the United States
      Senate, new senator, reached across the aisle to my colleague, Dick
      Lugar, a Republican, and said, "We've got to do something about
      keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists."

      They put together a piece of legislation that, in fact, was serious
      and real. Every major -- I shouldn't say every -- on the two at least
      that I named, I know that John McCain has been opposed to extending
      the arms control regime in the world.

      IFILL: Governor?

      PALIN: Well, first, McClellan did not say definitively the surge
      principles would not work in Afghanistan. Certainly, accounting for
      different conditions in that different country and conditions are
      certainly different. We have NATO allies helping us for one and even
      the geographic differences are huge but the counterinsurgency
      principles could work in Afghanistan. McClellan didn't say anything
      opposite of that. The counterinsurgency strategy going into
      Afghanistan, clearing, holding, rebuilding, the civil society and the
      infrastructure can work in Afghanistan. And those leaders who are
      over there, who have also been advising George Bush on this have not
      said anything different but that.

      IFILL: Senator.

      BIDEN: Well, our commanding general did say that. The fact of the
      matter is that again, I'll just put in perspective, while Barack and
      I and Chuck Hagel and Dick Lugar have been calling for more money to
      help in Afghanistan, more troops in Afghanistan, John McCain was
      saying two years ago quote, "The reason we don't read about
      Afghanistan anymore in the paper, it's succeeded.

      Barack Obama was saying we need more troops there. Again, we spend in
      three weeks on combat missions in Iraq, more than we spent in the
      entire time we have been in Afghanistan. That will change in a Barack
      Obama administration.

      IFILL: Senator, you have quite a record, this is the next question
      here, of being an interventionist. You argued for intervention in
      Bosnia and Kosovo, initially in Iraq and Pakistan and now in Darfur,
      putting U.S. troops on the ground. Boots on the ground. Is this
      something the American public has the stomach for?

      BIDEN: I think the American public has the stomach for success. My
      recommendations on Bosnia. I admit I was the first one to recommend
      it. They saved tens of thousands of lives. And initially John McCain
      opposed it along with a lot of other people. But the end result was
      it worked. Look what we did in Bosnia. We took Serbs, Croats and
      Bosniaks, being told by everyone, I was told by everyone that this
      would mean that they had been killing each other for a thousand
      years, it would never work.

      There's a relatively stable government there now as in Kosovo. With
      regard to Iraq, I indicated it would be a mistake to -- I gave the
      president the power. I voted for the power because he said he needed
      it not to go to war but to keep the United States, the UN in line, to
      keep sanctions on Iraq and not let them be lifted.

      I, along with Dick Lugar, before we went to war, said if we were to
      go to war without our allies, without the kind of support we need,
      we'd be there for a decade and it'd cost us tens of billions of
      dollars. John McCain said, no, it was going to be OK.

      I don't have the stomach for genocide when it comes to Darfur. We can
      now impose a no-fly zone. It's within our capacity. We can lead NATO
      if we're willing to take a hard stand. We can, I've been in those
      camps in Chad. I've seen the suffering, thousands and tens of
      thousands have died and are dying. We should rally the world to act
      and demonstrate it by our own movement to provide the helicopters to
      get the 21,000 forces of the African Union in there now to stop this
      genocide.

      IFILL: Thank you, senator. Governor.

      PALIN: Oh, yeah, it's so obvious I'm a Washington outsider. And
      someone just not used to the way you guys operate. Because here you
      voted for the war and now you oppose the war. You're one who says, as
      so many politicians do, I was for it before I was against it or vice-
      versa. Americans are craving that straight talk and just want to
      know, hey, if you voted for it, tell us why you voted for it and it
      was a war resolution.

      And you had supported John McCain's military strategies pretty
      adamantly until this race and you had opposed very adamantly Barack
      Obama's military strategy, including cutting off funding for the
      troops that attempt all through the primary.

      And I watched those debates, so I remember what those were all about.

      But as for as Darfur, we can agree on that also, the supported of the
      no-fly zone, making sure that all options are on the table there<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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