The Obama campaign offered no apology Sunday for Vice President Joe Biden’s “chains” remark, refusing even to call it a poor choice of words as Republicans accused the president’s reelection campaign of race baiting.
At a rally in Virginia last week, Biden told an audience that included hundreds of African-Americans that Republican challenger Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, are “going to put y’all back in chains.”
Biden made the comment while talking about bank regulations and later said he was referencing Ryan’s promise to “unshackle” the economy, but critics have accused him of inappropriately using a slavery metaphor.
A Boston Globe editorial published Saturday called for Biden to apologize.
Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Biden has nothing to apologize for.
“Let’s look at what the vice president said: Speaker [John] Boehner and even Paul Ryan have been traveling this country talking about the need to unshackle the private sector, to unshackle the financial industry,” Cutter said. “And the vice president was just taking that metaphor a step further and talking about wanting to put other people in shackles. And the word that he used, chains, is a distraction from the larger argument.”
Later on the same program, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Biden’s remark was offensive.
GOP ticket to unite for N.H. visit
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, will campaign together Monday inManchester, N.H.
After a week spent mostly apart, the complete GOP ticket will hold a town-hall-style meeting on the quad at Saint Anselm College.
The event will mark the first time he and Ryan have appeared together in New England.
The joint appearance represents a new strategy for the Romney campaign.
After announcing Ryan’s selection last Saturday in Virginia, the campaign said Romney and Ryan would separate.
But Politico reported Friday that after originally planning to have Romney and Ryan stump separately until the Republican National Convention Aug. 27- 30, the campaign decided to bring the pair together a week early in the swing state of New Hampshire because Ryan helps Romney to feel more confident and relaxed.
President Obama campaigned in New Hampshire on Saturday, marking his third trip to the Granite State this year.
Romney OK with bin Laden video
Mitt Romney’s campaign said Sunday that an outside group’s video charging President Obama with taking too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden “makes an important point.”
The video, produced by a group called the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, features interviews with former military and intelligence personnel who say Obama “had nothing to do” with the successful May 2011 raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The video also accuses the Obama administration with leaking classified information to the press for political gain.
In an e-mail to Obama supporters on Friday, Senator John F. Kerry likened the ad to the “notorious ‘swift boat’ attacks I faced in the 2004 campaign.” When Kerry was the Democratic presidential nominee eight years ago, an outside group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth sought to discredit the Silver Star that Kerry earned during the Vietnam War.
“Throughout this campaign, Mitt Romney and his allies have shown that if the truth isn’t favorable to them, they have no problem claiming the opposite — and the reality is that President Obama has a foreign policy record that is among the strongest in recent memory,” Kerry wrote.