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Campaign Trail: Biden's Comment About 'Chains' Sparks Controversy

By telling a racially mixed audience in Virginia on Tuesday that the Republican ticket's economic plans would "put y'all back in chains," Vice President Biden sparked the latest campaign controversy.

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney called it an "outrageous charge" and said called on President Obama to "take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago."

The Obama campaign defended Biden and said his words were meant to counter Republican promises to "unshackle" the economy from regulations. Biden himself later said he had intended to use the word "unshackle," and that "it's their policies and the effects of their policies on middle class America" that is "outrageous."

Courtesy of C-SPAN's online archive, here is a clip of Biden's "chains" comment.

And here is a clip of new GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan talking about the need to "unshackle our economy" when he delivered the Republican response to President Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address.

In other political news from Tuesday:

"Two longtime Republicans, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson and Rep. John Mica of Florida, turned back conservative challengers in primaries on Tuesday while 12-term Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida was trailing tea party challenger Ted Yoho, a veterinarian and political novice." (The Associated Press)

Our friends at It's All Politics are tracking the 2012 campaign here.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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