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Just because important issues like Medicare and Social Security have taken center stage in the presidential campaign, it doesn’t mean the surrogates are only devoting their time to discuss meaty issues. Vice President Joe Biden’s controversial remarks from earlier this week dominated much of the Sunday talk shows “with the tone of some attacks growing ever more shrill,” notes the National Journal.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani had already raised some eyebrows earlier in the week when he questioned whether Biden had the “mental capacity” to serve as vice president. And he made it clear Sunday he was not backing down. "Joe's a laugh line on Jay Leno," Giuliani said, according to USA Today. "He's not a vice president—he's a joke.”
All the controversy surrounds a speech Biden gave in Virginia on Tuesday before a largely African-American audience in which he said that Mitt Romney’s policies would unshackle Wall Street but “put y’all back in chains,” reports CNN.
"I saw the vice president play the race card in Virginia,” former presidential candidate Rick Santorum said on CNN’s State of the Union.
Stephanie Cutter, President Obama’s deputy campaign manager, dismissed all the focus on the “chains” comment as nothing but a “distraction from the larger point” Biden was trying to make. She said Romney’s “faux outrage” and his “complaining and whining about the tone of this race is really completely hypocritical,” reports Politico.
Yet it isn’t just Republicans who are demanding an apology. The Boston Globe editorial page has also called on Biden to apologize, saying that if Paul Ryan had made similar comments he “would be pilloried for racial insensitivity.”