ABC News’ Ron Claiborne reports: Seemingly brimming with confidence, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she is ready to go head-to-head with Democratic Sen. Joe Biden in the vice presidential debate this week.
"I guess it’s my turn now and I do look forward to Thursday and debating Senator Biden," she told a roaring crowd at a joint campaign rally Monday in Columbus, Ohio with Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.
Palin told the audience "I’ll do my part in St. Louis this week” in her debate against Sen. Biden, while mocking his age and experience, and his sports prognostication skills to the Ohio State Buckeye-friendly audience.
"I’m looking forward to meeting him too," Palin said. "I’ve never met him before. But, I’ve been hearing about his senate speeches since I was in like second grade. I have to admit though he is a great debater and looks pretty doggone confident like he’s sure he’s gonna win. But, then again this is the same Senator Biden who said the other day that the University of Delaware would trounce the Ohio State Buckeyes. Wrong!"
The allusion to Biden’s 36 years in the U.S. Senate was an odd remark coming from the running mate of McCain, 72, a man who has been in Congress for the past 26 years and whose age has been cited as a concern of many voters, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.
Palin, 44, has been facing criticism in recent days for seeming unsteady and halting answering questions in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric.
Palin will reportedly spend Tuesday and Wednesday in intense preparation for the debate.
McCain’s top advisers, Steve Schmidt and campaign manager Rick Davis, are working with her to get her ready for a debate at which some political analysts say she must do well to dispel questions about her experience and familiarity with national and international policy.