Vice President Biden's "chains" remark shows the desperation of the Obama campaign, his Republican rival said Wednesday.
GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Biden's comments were a “desperate” move by a campaign worried it is going to lose in November.
“These are the kinds of things that you say when you’re desperate in a campaign,” Ryan told conservative talk show host Sean Hannity on his radio program. “We’ve gone from hope and change to anger and division and blame and attack. I think people are going to see through this.”
Romney’s campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) have roundly scolded Biden for his comment, which evoked slavery, saying it demonstrates negativity by Obama’s campaign. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul called it “a new low” and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called it “shameful.”
“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 Gov. Romney wants to put people back in chains," Saul said.
The Obama campaign, in turn, called the GOP response “faux outrage.”
Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter released a statement noting Biden has often used a similar metaphor based on Republicans’ call “for the ‘unshackling’ of the private sector from regulations.”
“Today’s comments were a derivative of those remarks, describing the devastating impact letting Wall Street write its own rules again would have on middle-class families,” she said. “Now, let’s return to that ‘substantive’ debate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan promised 72 hours ago but quickly abandoned.”
Ryan said Biden is the one getting distracted. “They have a terrible record; they can’t run on it,” he said. “[This is a] classic straw-man argument, which is to affix views to your opponent that they don’t have in order to defeat those views.”
Ryan will get his chance to dissect Biden’s arguments in person during the vice presidential debate set for Oct. 11.