CHILLICOTHE, Ohio â" Â Mitt Romney slammed Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday for making what Romney called an "outrageous charge" -- evidence, he said, of "an angry and desperate presidency."
Romney, using some of his most pointed language to date on the campaign trail, accused Obama of running a "campaign of division and anger and hate," and specifically objected to comments Biden had made earlier Tuesday to a crowd in Virginia.
The vice president suggested that Romney and the Republicans intend to roll back Wall Street regulations and "put y'all back in chains."
That remark drew a sharp response from Romney's campaign, which called it a "new low." Romney picked up on that line of attack at the campaign stop in Ohio, rolling out a speech he had spent Â the last two days writing. In it, he pilloried the presidentâs record and accused him of being âintellectually exhausted.â
âHis campaign and his surrogates have made wild and reckless accusations that disgrace the office of the presidency,â Romney told a crowd of thousands gathered here at the final stop on his five-state bus tour. âAnother outrageous charge came a few hours ago in Virginia. And the White House sinks a little bit lower. This is what an angry and desperate presidency looks like."
The Republican presidential candidate also mocked Obamaâs statements during the 2008 campaign that without fresh ideas âyou use stale tactics to scare voters.â Romney accused Obama of now making that strategy âthe heart of his campaign.â
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt responded that Romney "seemed unhinged" during the campaign speech.
"Particularly strange coming at a time when he's pouring tens of millions of dollars into negative ads that are demonstrably false," he said.
Earlier, the Obama campaign defended Biden's comments, likening them to language used repeatedly by Republican officials.
"For months, Speaker Boehner, Congressman Ryan and other Republicans have called for the 'unshackling' of the private sector from regulations that protect Americans from risky financial deals and other reckless behavior that crashed our economy," Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager, said in a written statement. "We find the Romney campaign's outrage over the vice president's comments today hypocritical, particularly in light of their own candidate's stump speech questioning the president's patriotism."
Biden made the remarks during a stop in Danville, Va. He took a swipe at Romney's plan to ease financial regulations, by recycling a Romney bank analogy and creating an analogy of his own.
"He said in the first 100 days, he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules," Biden said. "Unchain Wall Street! They're gonna put y'all back in chains."
The remark's context is unclear. Some conservative blogs claimed Biden had just made a reference to slavery. Danville, aside from being the last capital of the Confederacy, is racially split -- the city is nearly half black and half white. The crowd at Tuesday's event reflected that makeup. The Romney campaign fired back without accusing Biden of any racial reference.
In his speech Tuesday evening, however, Romney accused Obama of seeking to divide America -- whether by race, occupation or party affiliation -- as a campaign strategy.
"But he won't win that way. America is one nation under God. American history has been a story of the many becoming one -- uniting to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest economy in the world, uniting to save the world from unspeakable darkness," he said. "So, Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting America."
Romney championed himself the savior of the middle class, ticking off areas where Obama and his policies have failed the American people.Â
âAfter four years, itâs clear that President Obamaâs policies arenât fixing these problems, they're making them worse," Romney said.
Fox News' Chris Laible and Wes Barrett contributed to this report.