A glorious return to the spotlight for Stephanie Cutter, who canceled her weekend appearances on national news shows after she got caught lying about Team O’s last big smear. The defense here, as always when someone in Obamaland says something stupid and unhelpful, is that Biden’s being taken out of context. Watch the whole clip, she says, and it’s clear that he’s talking about Wall Street deregulation, not slavery. Which is super, but it doesn’t remotely explain the sudden change in accent and diction. If he wanted to make a point about deregulation, however hysterical and unfair, he could have said, “They want to put you in chains.” He didn’t. Jake Tapper:
“We got a real clear picture of what they all value,” Biden said. “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.”
An Obama campaign official tells ABC News that “as the full quote makes obvious, the Vice President was clearly using a metaphor to describe the devastating impact of deregulating Wall Street and the financial industry, as well as how Governor Romney’s policies would take us back to the same failed formula that led to the 2008 financial crisis – the same failed formula that benefitted a few, but crashed our economy and hurt the middle class.”…
Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said, “In case anyone was wondering just how low President Obama could go in his campaign for re-election, we now know he’s willing to say that Governor Romney wants to put people back in chains. 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.”
I think Biden laid it on even thicker than that: To my ear, it sounds like he says “they,” not “they’re,” at the start of the money line. How come? Does he typically lapse into southern vernacular, replete with “y’alls,” when he’s in Virginia or discussing financial deregulation? Or is this exactly what it looks like, a racial smear aimed at Romney that Biden, in his immaculate idiocy, felt he needed to deliver in a “black accent” just in case anyone missed the barely-veiled double meaning? Other prominent Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore most notably, have also experienced miraculous metamorphoses in their speech patterns in front of black audiences. (Hillary’s been especially sleazy with her choice of racial metaphors at times too, which is why it was so enjoyable to watch Team O and its surrogates lob charges of racism at her during the primaries four years ago.) But this is the first time I can recall one of them changing their accent to punctuate a racial dig at the opposition. Makes sense, though: Per Jim Geraghty’s post yesterday, they’re in a mad scramble right now to destroy Paul Ryan’s Boy Scout image and frame him as something evil. A slavery metaphor aimed squarely at black listeners shows they’re not messing around.
Here’s Cutter rubber-stamping what he said. Why shouldn’t she? The campaign almost certainly put him up to it.