Priebus was asked during an interview on NBC’s “Today” to explain what he believed Biden meant by the controversial comments.
“I don’t know what he meant. Obviously, I don’t think it was well-received. I don’t think it’s the type of tone we need in this campaign,” he said. “I think it takes things to a new level, a level of negativity, and I think it was a shameful comment.”
“It goes with what the Obama campaign is doing right now,” Priebus continued. “They promised four years ago they were going to be different, that they were going to be positive, that they were going to bring people together, and look what they’re doing. ‘Putting people in chains?’ Putting out an ad that says Mitt Romney is responsible for the death of a gentleman’s wife after he left a company six years — this is insanity.”
Priebus was asked about his own recent comments that President Obama had “blood on his hands” for cutting $700 billion in Medicare, but sidestepped the question, saying that the Romney campaign wanted “to talk about the issues.”
“We’re willing, very boldly, to talk about how are we going to save Medicare, how are we going to get our country back on track. That’s what this campaign is about. We’re willing to do that. We don’t want to go down that road they are taking us.”
Priebus’s comments come as the Romney campaign has hit the Obama team hard, accusing it of resorting to unfair attacks.
Biden has received harsh criticism from Republicans for the remark at a campaign event in Virginia on Tuesday, while he discussed Wall Street reform.
"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."
Romney has hammered the remark, telling CBS News in an interview Wednesday morning that the language of the Obama campaign was "designed to bring a sense of enmity and jealousy and anger." Romney accused the president of being willing to "do anything in his power" to hold on to the White House.
Obama advisers, though, have not disavowed Biden’s remarks, with deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter calling the Romney reaction “faux outrage.”
Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said Romney seemed "unhinged" after the presumptive GOP nominee delivered a tough speech on Tuesday attacking Obama’s campaign strategy as divisive.
“Governor Romney's comments tonight seemed unhinged, and particularly strange coming at a time when he's pouring tens of millions of dollars into negative ads that are demonstrably false," said LaBolt in a statement from the campaign.