(CBS News) Vice President Joe Biden has clarified a comment he made earlier today in which he said presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney would "put you all back in chains" by unshackling Wall Street.
The comment, to a crowd that appeared to be roughly half African-American, prompted strong criticism from Republicans. The Romney campaign said the comments "are not acceptable in our political discourse" and said they marked a "new low" for the Obama campaign. The Obama campaign deemed the complaints "faux outrage."
Speaking in Wytheville, Va., late this afternoon, Biden hit back at the Romney camp's claims that his comments were outrageous, saying, "If you want to know what's outrageous, it's their policies."
"The last time these guys unshackled the economy, to use their term, they put the middle class in shackles," he said. "That's how we got where we are. Nine million jobs lost, wage stagnation, 16 trillion dollars in wealth you all lost, in your home equity, in your 401ks, and your pension plans - you're the ones that got nailed. All of America except for the very few."
(Watch Biden's controversial remarks in video on left.)
Biden continued: "And I'm told when I made that comment earlier today in Danville, Virginia, the Romney Campaign put out a Tweet, you know Tweets, and went on the air, went on the airwaves saying 'Biden's outrageous in saying that - I think I said, instead of unshackled, unchained or - anyway, outrageous to say that, that's what we meant. I'm using their own words. I got a message for them, if you want to know 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."
Biden's initial comment centered on what he cast as plans by Republicans to allow banks to dictate the regulations they would be subject to.
Romney has vowed "to let the big banks write their own rules -- unchain Wall Street," Biden said in Danville, Va. "They're going to put y'all back in chains."