(Newsroom America) -- Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took on a new aggressive approach against the tone of President Obama's reelection campaign, saying comments earlier in the day by Vice President Joe Biden are "what an angry and desperate Presidency looks like."
"Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago," said Romney during a campaign stop in the key battleground state of Ohio.
Romney was responding specifically to an earlier speech by Biden, who told supporters that if Republicans win the White House they would "put y’all back in chains."
"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," said Biden, during a speech about Wall Street in Virginia. "They’re going to put y’all back in chains. He’s said he’s going to do nothing about stopping the practice of outsourcing."
Romney repeatedly hit Team Obama for the remarks, which his campaign has repeatedly defended.
"His campaign and his surrogates have made wild and reckless accusations that disgrace the office of the Presidency. Another outrageous charge came a few hours ago in Virginia. And the White House sinks a little bit lower," Romney said.
Romney bashed Obama over the campaign's seeming lack of discussion about issues.
"This is an election in which we should be talking about the path ahead, but you don't hear any answers coming from President Obama’s re-election campaign. That’s because he's intellectually exhausted, out of ideas, and out of energy," Romney said. "And so his campaign has resorted to diversions and distractions, to demagoguing and defaming others. This is an old game in politics; what’s different this year is that the president is taking things to a new low."
The passion of his anger was a new tact for Romney, who did not react as harshly to an earlier Obama ad featuring a laid-off steelworker who blamed Romney's Bain Capital and Romney himself for his wife's cancer death. Since then, claims and assertions contained in the ad that Romney was responsible for the closure of the plant and the resultant death of the woman have been debunked by FactCheck.org, a group that monitors and assesses claims made by both presidential contenders.
The Obama campaign, through spokesman Ben LaBolt, dismissed Romney's assault.
"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," LaBolt said.
Later Tuesday, Biden tried qualifying his remarks, then hit back at Team Romney.
"I think I said instead of ‘unshackled,’ ‘unchained,'" Biden said, bristling that the Romney campaign described his comments as "outrageous."
"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," he said.
Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter also defended Biden's remarks during an MSNBC interview.
"The bottom line is we have no problem with those comments," she told host Andrea Mitchell.
Still later, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul released a second statement addressing Biden's comments.
"In case anyone was wondering just how low President Obama could go in his campaign for reelection, we now know he’s willing to say that Governor Romney wants to put people back in chains," she said.
"Whether its accusing Mitt Romney of being a felon, having been responsible for a woman’s tragic death or now wanting to put people in chains, there’s no question that because of the president’s failed record he’s been reduced to a desperate campaign based on division and demonization."
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