Mitt Romney's campaign blasted President Obama's team for hitting a "new low" after Vice President Biden suggested to voters that the Republican ticket’s economic policies would “put y’all back in chains."
Biden made the remark while campaigning Tuesday in Virginia, during a discussion of Wall Street regulation.
"They’ve said it. Every Republican’s voted for it. Look at what they value and look at their budget and what they’re proposing. Romney wants to let the — he said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules — unchain Wall Street," Biden said. "They’re going to put y’all back in chains. He’s said he’s going to do nothing about stopping the practice of outsourcing."
“After weeks of slanderous and baseless accusations leveled against Gov. Romney, the Obama campaign has reached a new low," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. "The comments made by the vice president of the United States are not acceptable in our political discourse and demonstrate yet again that the Obama campaign will say and do anything to win this election."
Saul then called on the president to say whether he condoned Biden's language.
"President Obama should tell the American people whether he agrees with Joe Biden’s comments," Saul said.
A review of previous comments by Biden suggests the gaffe-prone vice president had made another speaking error.
Obama campaign officials noted that Republicans — including Romney — have spoken of the need to "unshakle" the private sector from regulations, and that Biden has frequently used that term in arguing it is the middle class that needs to be "unshackled."
Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said Biden's remarks on Tuesday "were a derivative of those remarks, describing the devastating impact letting Wall Street write its own rules again would have on middle-class families."
Cutter defended the statement shortly thereafter on MSNBC, blasting the Romney response as "faux outrage."
Asked by host Andrea Mitchell if she would say the vice president went too far, Cutter responded, "No, I'm not."
"The bottom line is we have no problem with those comments," Cutter added.
Saul then released a second statement criticizing the Obama campaign.
“In case anyone was wondering just how low President Obama could go in his campaign for reelection, we now know he’s willing to say that Governor Romney wants to put people back in chains," Saul said. "Whether its accusing Mitt Romney of being a felon, having been responsible for a woman’s tragic death or now wanting to put people in chains, there’s no question that because of the president’s failed record he’s been reduced to a desperate campaign based on division and demonization.”
In a statement released after her appearance on MSNBC, Cutter said the Romney campaign's outrage was "hypocritical" given Romney's stump speech that she said questioned the president's patriotism.
— Posted at 1:37 p.m. and last updated at 3:21 p.m.