Republican Sarah Palin told a rally of several thousand people Monday that Barack Obama would not only raise their taxes as president but also spend the money in a way that could hurt the economy.

“What that means is government taking your money and spreading it out wherever politicians see fit. That’s not good for the economy,” she said.

The government’s job is to collect taxpayer dollars and decide how to spend them. Obama has said he would cut taxes for people who make less than $250,000 a year.

Still, Palin, Republican John McCain’s running mate, drew loud cheers by touting McCain’s war record, his long Senate service and the GOP campaign’s emphasis on helping small businesses.

“Barack Obama claims that he will cut income taxes for 95 percent of Americans. But the problem with that claim is, 40 percent pay no income taxes at all. So how do you cut income taxes for people who don’t pay them?” she said.

The crowd whooped in laughter.

Obama said he was talking about “working Americans,” and the figure he cited — 95 percent — is essentially correct, according to the Tax Policy Center, which calculated the figures.

“I didn’t hear anything brand new, but we heard again what we wanted to hear,” said Kelly Rotenberry, 47, who works in customer service and drove about 25 miles to hear Palin speak.

Some women who attended said Palin has work to do appeal to Colorado women.

“It’s really going to be a fight,” said Ronda Ellis, 34, a registered nurse who noted many of her fellow nurses are bothered by Palin’s opposition to abortion rights. “A lot of them feel like, as a woman, how could she oppose this?”

A recent Quinnipiac University poll suggests a majority of likely female voters in Colorado say Palin is not qualified to be vice president. Just 37 percent said they had a favorable impression of her. That poll was conducted Oct. 8-12 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

Still, Palin’s got her supporters.

“She’s one of us,” said Mimi Hailes, 51. “She’s a Christian, and she’s got my values, and I’ve got her values, and that’s important to me.”

At the rally, Palin didn’t mention negative campaign calls placed by the McCain campaign in Colorado. On Sunday, she told a Denver television station she wasn’t fond of the calls.

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