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Biden not a 'liability' despite recent gaffe, says Obama campaign

The Obama team on Sunday maintained that Vice President Joe Biden has not become a liability to the president's reelection bid, despite the recent Republican backlash over his latest gaffe. 

Biden roiled Republicans on Tuesday when he argued the GOP ticket’s policies would put “y’all back in chains,” referring to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's stance on Wall Street regulations. 

Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter, reaffirmed the president's confidence in Biden and noted his comment, while awkwardly delivered, did highlight an important difference between the two presidential campaigns. 

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"They're using that one word as a distraction, but the larger point is an important point," Cutter said Sunday on ABC's This Week, in response to the Romney camp's criticism of Biden's comments. 

"The president absolutely believes in the free-enterprise system, but we also believe that everybody should play by the same set of rules," she said. 

In contrast, the Romney strategy calling for deregulation of Wall Street and the private sector would only encourage the same "reckless behavior" that threatened to upend the U.S. economy in 2008, she said. 

“People like [House] Speaker [John] Boehner and even [GOP vice presidential candidate] Paul Ryan talk all the time about unshackling the private sector, unshackling the financial industry," according to Cutter. 

"We saw how that turned out," she said, referring to the trillions in federal bailouts that had to be funneled into Wall Street to stabilize the economy. 

"But the central point of what the vice president was saying is . . . do we want to have everybody playing by the same set of rules, whether you're on Main Street or Wall Street? Or do we want to unshackle the financial sector and let them do what they did in the last decade," she added. 

Some Romney surrogates questioned whether Biden’s comment was an intentional racially-charged statement.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani used the gaffe to take shots at Biden's ability to handle the position as Obama's second-in-command. 

"I mean, there's a real fear is . . . whether he really has the mental capacity to handle it," Giuliani said, "I mean, this guy just isn't bright." 

Cutter jabbed back at Giuliani's comments regarding Biden's abilities to handle the job as vice president by recalling Giuliani’s full-throated defense of controversial pick Sarah Palin to do the job nearly three years ago. 

"If he wants to criticize the capacity of a vice president to take hold of this country, he should go back and look at those remarks and whether he still believes that they're true," Cutter said. 

"The vice president is a critical partner to the president of the United States," she added. "Joe Biden is out there every single day talking about our vision of where we want to take this country."


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