By Justin Sink - 08/15/12 11:58 AM EDT
Mitt Romney on Wednesday looked to keep the pressure on President Obama and Vice President Biden over what the presumptive Republican nominee called a campaign "all about division and attack and hatred" during an interview with CBS News.
Romney said the language of the president and his allies was "designed to bring a sense of enmity and jealousy and anger" and accused the president of being willing to "do anything in his power" to hold on to the White House.
It was the second straight appearance wherein Romney referenced Biden's remark Tuesday that Republican economic policies would “put y’all back in chains."
The vice president made the comment while campaigning 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."
On Wednesday, Romney said that "comments of this nature sink the White House just a little lower."
"The comments of the vice president were one more example of a divisive effort to keep from talking about the real issues. Look, nobody is talking about deregulating Wall Street," Romney said.
But the Republican hopeful declined repeated opportunities to outline what in particular he found offensive about the comments, steering clear of specifically accusing Biden of invoking a slavery metaphor.
"I think I've expressed myself well enough," Romney said, simply saying the metaphor was "not uplifting, not uniting, but is once again a divisive attack."
Romney also battled back against the suggestion from Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt that he had become "unhinged" in his fiery speech Tuesday night in Ohio denouncing the president's attacks. LaBolt, in a statement, pointed out that Romney has aired tens of millions of dollars of negative ads while blasting the president.
"I'm very measured," Romney replied, with a chuckle. "I could be much more dramatic, I think. I think 'unhinged' would have to characterize what we've seen from the president's campaign."
The interview also touched on Romney's attacks on the president's Medicare program, where the GOP candidate was asked about attacking the president over $716 billion in Medicare savings that were also included in his running mate Paul Ryan's budget.
"First of all, Congressman Ryan has joined my campaign. And his campaign is my campaign now and we're on exactly the same page," Romney said. "And my campaign has made it very clear: the president's cut of $716 billion to Medicare, those cuts are going to be restored if I become president and Paul Ryan becomes vice president."
Romney also defended his choice of Ryan from Republican critics who have said the selection of the House Budget Committee chairman could hurt down-ticket efforts and turn off independent voters.
"Well, everybody has the right to express their opinion. I'm very pleased with the choice I made," Romney said.
The former governor said part of Ryan's appeal involved their personal compatibility, noting that "he and I both enjoy good humor."
And, prodded about Ryan's infamous P90X workout, Romney joked, "I might have to get him to do it one of these days."