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Sarah Palin campaigns at Mo. State Capitol

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin addressed several thousand enthusiastic supporters today on the steps of the Missouri State Capitol building.

Two separate crowd estimates were taken: The U.S. Secret Service says around 20,000 people attended, while the Missouri State Highway Patrol's count came in around 17,000.

Country music singer Hank Williams Junior warmed up the crowd before Palin launched into her speech.

She told the audience that GOP nominee John McCain would do a better job of turning the economy around and tackling the national debt.

"$10 trillion that we're expected to pass on to our children for them to pay off...for us, that's not right and that's not fair, and it won't happen on our watch," Palin said.

Palin also said if elected, they'll impose a spending freeze that will cover all but the most vital functions of government, such as defense and veterans affairs.

And she told the audience that she and McCain would set America on the path of energy independence.

"We're (going to) develop new energy sources and we'll tap into what we've got, the billions of barrels of oil, the hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, and our coal deposits...there is more coal in this free country than there is oil in all of Saudi Arabia," Palin said.

Palin also promised that she and McCain would balance the federal budget by the end of their first term in office.

And she said that they will double the child tax deduction and cut the federal capital gains tax.