IN THE HEADLINES
Obama tries to turn reports of job loss last month against McCain ... Though polls favor Biden over Palin, McCain lauds his running mate's performance in debate ... Biden sends his son's Delaware guard unit off for Iraq with 'love and pride' ... McCain and Obama lament job losses, cite different answers to problem ...
Obama turns bad job news on McCain
ABINGTON, Pa. (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama is trying to turn bad news about new job losses against presidential rival John McCain.
The government's jobs report released Friday showed employers cut 159,000 jobs last month, the most in more than five years and the ninth straight month of jobs loss.
Obama has told an audience in Abington, Pa., that the policies McCain and running mate Sarah Palin are promoting "are killing jobs in America every single day."
He criticized McCain for recently saying the economy is fundamentally strong and has made great progress under President Bush. He encouraged voters to change the direction from Republican leadership in the White House that he said hasn't worked.
Palin says debate went well as polls favor Biden
Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin on Friday played up her debate performance as polls showed voters judging her Democratic rival, Joe Biden, to be the winner of the only vice presidential face-off of the campaign.
"It was a lot of fun. It was a great opportunity to get to speak directly to Americans," Palin said in an interview with Fox News. McCain told supporters at a town-hall meeting in Pueblo, Colo.: "You know, I almost felt a little sorry last night for my old friend Joe Biden. She did a magnificent job."
Two quick polls indicated that Biden fared better in the debate. A CBS News/Knowledge Networks Poll found that 46 percent of uncommitted voters who watched the debate thought Biden won, with 21 percent siding with Palin. A CNN poll found respondents judging Biden the winner by a margin of 51 percent to 36 percent but calling Palin more likable by 54 percent to Biden's 36 percent.
In the 90-minute forum broadcast Thursday night from Washington University in St. Louis, Palin was under intense pressure to show basic competence on issues facing the next president after a series of embarrassing television interviews called into question her readiness for high office. For the most part she appeared confident and folksy, but she also sidestepped certain questions, pivoting at times to talking points and generalities.
Biden largely avoided direct challenges to Palin and instead worked to undermine McCain, who has sought throughout the campaign to distance himself from an unpopular president.
Biden sends son, Delaware troops off for Iraq
DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden told his son and other Delaware National Guard troops on Friday that his heart was "full of love and pride" as they prepared to leave for an assignment in Iraq.
"We take comfort in the knowledge that you are the best-trained, best-prepared group of citizen soldiers that our country to this day has ever sent into harm's way," Biden told members of the 261st Signal Brigade at a ceremony outside the state Capitol.
Biden's son Beau, Delaware's attorney general, serves as a captain and a lawyer in the 261st. The unit leaves Sunday for Fort Bliss, Texas, where it will train for about six weeks before heading to Iraq.
The normally loquacious senator spoke only briefly, telling his audience at the outset that his son had advised him: "Dad, keep it short. We're in formation."
"As you serve and look out for your brothers and sisters in arms, your families here at home promise you that we'll look out for one another," Biden said.
Biden's Republican rival, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, gave a similar farewell talk in Alaska last month to the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, which includes her oldest son, Track, a 19-year-old private. She told the unit that its yearlong assignment to northern Iraq would be a "defense of America, in America's cause. And it's a righteous cause."
Democrat Barack Obama has a 7-percentage-point lead over Republican John McCain - 49 percent to 42 percent - among registered voters, according to the latest Gallup Poll daily tracking update.
Barack Obama talked to voters in Abington, Pa.
Joe Biden attended a deployment ceremony in Delaware.
John McCain held a town-hall style meeting in Pueblo, Colo.
Sarah Palin raised campaign cash in Texas.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"The Sarah Palin in those interviews is a little bit annoyed. Because it's like, no matter what you say, you're going to get clobbered." - Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, on her recent interviews with CBS' News anchor Katie Couric.
STAT OF THE DAY:
Just 25 percent of likely voters believe Sarah Palin has the right experience to be president, a recent AP-Gfk poll found. That's down from 41 percent just after the GOP convention in early September.