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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / Campaign 2012

Obama: Biden 'Chains' Remarks No Big Deal

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office.(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

August 16, 2012

President Obama said Vice President Joe Biden's comment that Republicans economic policies will put people “back in chains” was being misunderstood and blown out of proportion, according to People magazine.

Obama said that the comment should be looked at in context, and that Biden was saying that changing regulations on Wall Street would be bad news for American consumers. Biden was saying "you, consumers, the American people, will be a lot worse off if we repeal these laws as the other side is suggesting," Obama said. He added: "In no sense was he trying to connote something other than that.”

On Tuesday, Biden spoke before a diverse audience in Virginia and said that if Mitt Romney won the presidency his administration would repeal some Wall Street regulations. “They are going to put y'all back in chains,” he said.

 

Those comments created a firestorm, as surrogates for Romney suggested they were racially insensitive. Former Democratic congressman Artur Davis, who is African-American, said that Biden’s comments were “insulting” and that Obama should be “embarrassed.”

When pressed on whether he was okay with the comments or if they were unfortunate, People said the president sighed and said: "The truth is that during the course of these campaigns, folks like to get obsessed with how something was phrased even if everybody personally understands that's not how it was meant." He added: "That's sort of the nature of modern campaigns and modern coverage of campaigns. But I tell you, when I'm traveling around Iowa, that's not what's on people's minds."

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