Joe Biden's Unchained Melody Meets GOP Ire

Veep Wars: Joe Biden's Unchained Melody Meets GOP Ire

ByABC News
August 15, 2012, 9:06 AM

August 15, 2012 -- ANALYSIS: Was it worth it?"We got a real clear picture of what they all value," Vice President Joe Biden said at a campaign event in Virginia yesterday, referring to the Republican budget conceived, in part by newly-minted vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. "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 hundred days he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, 'unchain Wall Street.' They're going to put y'all back in chains."

Opponents immediately seized upon those comments to say, as the Romney campaign did, that the Obama re-election effort had "reached a new low."

"His campaign has resorted to diversions and distractions, to demagoguing and defaming others," Mitt Romney said on the final stop of his bus tour in Ohio last night. "It's an old game in politics; what's different this year is that the president is taking things to a new low."

Later on Tuesday, as ABC's Arlette Saenz reports, the vice president said he misspoke and intended to use the word "unshackle," which has been used by the GOP in the past.

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"I'm told that when I made that comment earlier today in Danville, Virginia, the Romney campaign put out a tweet. You know, tweets these days? Put out a tweet, went on the airwaves saying, 'Biden, he's outrageous in saying that,' I think I said instead of 'unshackled,' 'unchained.' 'Outrageous to say that.' That's what we had. I'm using their own words. I got a message for them. If you want to know what's outrageous, it's their policies and the effects of their policies on middle class America. That's what's outrageous," Biden added.

Nevertheless, the outcry from Republicans continued unabated.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus labeled the Obama campaign "one of the most hateful, divisive operations that we have ever seen in this country."

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in an interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren last night, said Biden's outburst should be "the nail in the coffin" for his place on the Democratic ticket.

"Strategists there in the Obama campaign have got to look at a diplomatic way of replacing Joe Biden on the ticket with Hillary," Palin suggested. "And I don't want to throw out that suggestion and have them actually accept the suggestion because then an Obama-Hillary Clinton ticket would have a darn good chance of winning."

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani even questioned whether Biden had the "mental capacity" to be president if the need arose.

Whether the outcry from Republicans is real or manufactured, let that be a lesson to Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan. People are listening to the No. 2's -- especially this week -- just as much as they are to the top of the ticket.