Candidates Spar On Energy, Taxes, War, The Future

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A confidant Republican Sarah Palin used the one and only vice presidential debate to try to cast Democrats as living in the past with their criticism of President Bush.

Palin and Democrat Joe Biden sparred over taxes, energy policy and the Iraq war in a high-profile debate yesterday. Analysts say Palin was using the debate to reclaim her identity as a feisty reformer after a series of embarrassing interviews.

Palin accused Biden and Barack Obama of being tax-raisers who would risk defeat in Iraq and the broader war on terror.

She suggested there was "too much finger-pointing backwards" at Bush for the Democrats to stake a claim to being the party of the future.

Biden worked to undermine GOP presidential candidate John McCain and his maverick image. The Delaware senator repeatedly noted that McCain had sided with Bush on crucial issues.

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