Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney brought an already nasty campaign to a new level Wednesday, saying recent remarks made by the vice president were hateful and divisive and solely meant to keep the president in power.
While campaigning in Danville, Virginia on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden told supporters Romney "said in the first 100 days, he's going to let the big banks write their own rules - unchain Wall Street...They're going to put y'all back in chains."
The remarks, which drew scattered applause and some uncomfortable laughs in Virginia, immediately drew condemnation from the Romney campaign, which said the comments were "not acceptable" and proved "Obama Campaign will say and do anything to win this election."
"Comments of this nature sink the White House just a little lower," the former Massachusetts governor said on CBS This Morning Wednesday. "The American people expect something better from the president than these kind of divisive comments."
The Obama campaign is "all about division and attack and hatred," Romney continued, adding "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."
In a campaign email sent Tuesday night, Romney National Press Secretary Andrea Saul demanded the president inform the American people whether he agreed with Biden's remarks. An answer came less than two hours later.
"For months, Speaker Boehner, Congressman Ryan, and other Republicans have called for the 'unshackling' of the private sector from regulations," Obama for America Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter said in a press release.
"Since then, the Vice President has often used a similar metaphor to describe the need to 'unshackle' the middle class...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."
"We find the Romney campaign's outrage over the Vice President's comments today hypocritical, particularly in light of their own candidate's stump speech questioning the President's patriotism," Cutter added. "Now, let's return to that 'substantive' debate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan promised 72 hours ago, but quickly abandoned."
This rhetoric - from both the Romney and Obama camps - is some of the most heated and tense of the entire campaign. And both men have time enough for more attacks with more than two months to go before the elections.
"If you look at the ads that have been described and the divisiveness based upon income, age, ethnicity and so forth, it's designed to bring a sense of enmity and jealously and anger," Romney added Wednesday during his CBS interview. "And this is not, in my view, what the American people want to see."
And he may be right. A Knights of Columbus-Marist survey released at the end of July showed 78 percent of Americans were frustrated with the current tone of political discourse, with another 66 percent believing candidates spend more time in attack mode than speaking about the issues.
However, while people might poll in this vein, the Biden remarks made yesterday proved to overshadow both Romney and Obama's messages on the need for energy independence, proving even the most "frustrated" voter will tune into a good election-year fight.
by RTT Staff Writer
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