Sarah Palin's main strategy was to stick to her set of "talking points" even when they had no relevance to the questions she was asked. It's a common, if deplorable, tactic that allows the responder to stay off areas where she doesn't have a clue.
It can get you into trouble, though, if your attempt to turn the discussion gets you caught in a lie, which is what happened when the topic turned to federal bankruptcy laws. Biden stated that he believed that homeowners facing foreclosures on their first homes should have the right to petition for relief from the principals they owe. He stated:
"[W]e should be allowing bankruptcy courts to be able to re-adjust not just the interest rate you're paying on your mortgage to be able to stay in your home, but be able to adjust the principal that you owe, the principal that you owe," said Biden. "That would keep people in their homes, actually help banks by keeping it from going under.
"But John McCain, as I understand it," he continued, "I'm not sure of this, but I believe John McCain and the governor don't support that. There are ways to help people now. And there -- ways that we're offering are not being supported by -- by the Bush administration nor do I believe by John McCain and Governor Palin."
PBS' Gwen Ifill turned to Palin and asked, "Governor Palin, is that so?"
"That is not so," said Palin, "but because that's just a quick answer."
The Alaska governor then quickly changed the subject to energy. (source: ABC News)
So, Governor Palin, in her haste to get away from a topic she was either unpreped to answer or just didn't want to answer, made a false statement about her campaigns position. When ABC asked the McCain campaign if the governor was right, they had to that Palin "misstated" McCain's position.
Occasionally, I would be caught in a position where I didn't want to get blamed for something I did. I would say whatever parents would want to hear to get me ought of trouble. Later, when the truth came out, my mother's term for my "misstatement" was "Lying."