The US Republican party’s nominee for vice-president has come out fighting against her critics, calling them “the Washington elite” who are out of touch with everyday life in the country.

Sarah Palin touted her small-town roots and spoke glowingly about her family but also found time to take a swipe at Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, as she accepted her party’s nomination on Wednesday.

In the highly anticipated speech to the Republican convention in St Paul, Minnesota, Palin portrayed herself as a Washington outsider and came out swinging against Obama and members of the news media who have raised questions about her qualifications.

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