John McCain's campaign is out first with a statement on the vice presidential debate.
"Tonight, Governor Palin proved beyond any doubt that she is ready to lead as Vice President of the United States. She won this debate, putting Joe Biden on defense on energy, foreign policy, taxes and the definition of change. Governor Palin laid bare Barack Obama's record of voting to raise taxes, opposing the surge in Iraq, and proposing to meet unconditionally with the leaders of state sponsors of terror. The differences between the Obama-Biden ticket and the McCain-Palin ticket could not have been clearer. The American people saw stark contrasts in style and worldview. They saw Joe Biden, a Washington insider and a 36-year Senator, and Governor Palin, a Washington outsider and a maverick reformer. Governor Palin was direct, forceful and a breath of fresh air," said Jill Hazelbaker, McCain-Palin 2008 Communications Director.
The McCain campaign has already sent out a fund-raising appeal under Palin's signature that bashes the "liberal media."
"In the weeks since I joined John McCain as his running mate, the Obama-Biden Democrats have used their allies in the liberal media to paint us negatively, all in an attempt to sway undecided voters. Tonight's debate gave me the opportunity to bypass the biased media filter and communicate our shared values of reform directly to the voters," she wrote.
"I know millions were watching as I went toe-to-toe against Senator Biden to explain our plans. Reform Republicans will strengthen the economy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and secure our nation from the threat of Islamic extremism."
UPDATE: Early today, Barack Obama's campaign declared victory for Biden.
“Joe Biden won a clear victory tonight because he made a passionate case for change from the disastrous economic and foreign policies of the last eight years, and Sarah Palin defended them. While Governor Palin blindly supports John McCain’s plan for more of the same policies that have devastated Main Street and let Wall Street run wild, Joe Biden spoke clearly and strongly about Barack Obama’s plan for a tax cut for the middle class, health care that is affordable, and an end to the war in Iraq. Tonight, the American people saw why Barack Obama chose Joe Biden, a statesman from Scranton who clearly has the experience and knowledge to be a great Vice President,” Obama-Biden campaign manager David Plouffe said in a statement.
Obama's campaign also focused on healthcare.
“Tonight, the American people heard the disturbing truth about John McCain’s health care plan: that while he would offer tax credits to help families pay for insurance, he would pay for them by taxing health care benefits for the first time in history. The McCain health care tax would come directly out of your pockets, but the tax credit would go directly to the insurance companies. It’s an old Washington bait and switch: he gives you a tax credit with one hand, but raises your taxes with the other. Barack Obama’s health care plan will cut costs, lower premiums for the average family by as much as $2,500, and provide affordable, accessible health insurance for every American,” Obama-Biden spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.
Obama's one-time rival Hillary Clinton weighed in:
“Tonight's debate underscored the stark choice American families face in this election.
“I've known Senator Biden a long time – as Americans saw tonight, he is a strong, passionate and experienced leader. Like Barack Obama, Joe Biden understands both the economic stresses here at home and the strategic challenges in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world.
“We saw yet again that Senator McCain and Sarah Palin will offer only more of the same failed policies of the Bush Administration. America's hardworking Middle Class families deserve better.”
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.