US vice-presidential candidates' first and only debate

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US vice-presidential candidates' first and only debate

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The two US vice-presidential candidates have gone head to head in their first and only TV showdown.

Millions of Americans were expected to tune in to the eagerly awaited duel between experienced Democrat, Senator Joe Biden, and rookie Repubican, Sarah Palin.

And, with so much at stake, it was Biden who struck first, attacking John McCain over the US financial crisis:

“It was 2 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: ‘We’ve made great economic progress under George Bush’s policies.’ At 9 o’clock, the economy was strong, 11 O’clock that same day, two Mondays ago, John McCain said: ‘We have an economic crisis.’ That doesn’t make John McCain a bad guy but it does point out he’s out of touch.’‘

The debate was seen as crucial for Palin after recent poll ratings showed concerns about her relative inexperience.

And not to be outdone, she attacked Barack Obama over tax.

“Now, Barack Obama and Senator Biden also voted for the largest tax increases in US 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.’‘

With Obama leading in the polls, Republicans were looking for Palin to pull off a commanding performance.

Despite clashing over several issues, it will be American voters who will decide who gained the advantage.