The story

Republicans launched their first night of full-scale conventioneering Tuesday by praising party standard-bearer John McCain's experience and attacking Democratic rival Barack Obama.

Republican leaders also strongly defended vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the Alaska governor who was McCain's surprise addition to the ticket last week over better-known contenders like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Palin has won plaudits from many influential conservatives for her opposition to abortion and her pro-business record. Read full article »

CNN's Dana Bash and Scott J. Anderson contributed to this report.

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