Gibbs Says ‘Chains’ Comment by Biden Not Racially Motivated
August 19, 2012 - 9:34 am
Senior Obama campaign advisor Robert Gibbs defended Vice President Biden’s comment to a mostly black audience that GOP economic policies would put people “back in chains,” saying that it was no different than Republican references to a need to “unshackle” Wall Street.
No more race baiting than when John Boehner says ‘let’s unshackle Wall Street, let’s unshackle big business,’” said Gibbs.
“I think the vice president was correct in exactly how he explained what happens when we unshackle Wall Street and let Wall Street go back to writing its own rules.“
Asked if Biden was a “drag on the ticket,” Gibbs said “absolutely not.”
“I’m happy to have Joe Biden out campaigning and telling his story to the American people, putting in front of people the choice that’s going to happen in this election,” said Gibbs.
“I’m happy and proud of Joe Biden and I’m happy and proud to have him on the trail every day.”
The vice president had a difficult week on the campaign trail after saying on the stump that Republican policies toward Wall Street would “put y’all back in chains,” a comment that brought swift criticism from Republicans.
The Obama campaign has defended Biden, claiming that his remark was taken out of context.
Yet the latest gaffe led to media speculation that he might be forced off the ticket, despite the administration’s repeated statements that Biden would run with the president.
On Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Republicans were trying to “distract attention” and said Obama had no intention of getting rid of Biden as his running mate.
Gibbs also rebuffed claims from the Romney camp that the Obama team had lowered the tone of the campaign.
“I’m not going to get lectured by Mitt Romney or anybody on the Romney campaign about the tone of this campaign. This is a guy who’s flown all over this country saying he’s not sure if the president believes in America,” said Gibbs. “He’s auctioning off dinners with the birther-in chief, right-wing nut job Donald Trump, who still questions whether the president was born in the United States of America.”
When has intent ever stopped Democrats from accusing the GOP of racism? Taking innocent comments and placing them in a racial context without regard to the intent or context in which they were made is straight out of Democratic political attack school. One might reasonably argue that Gibbs is correct — that Biden was playing to the bloodlust of the crowd, and that his “chains” comment was simple exaggeration and hyperbole.