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Biden tells audience GOP, banks would put them 'back in chains'


Updated 1:23 p.m. - DANVILLE, VA -- Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that a Republican-led effort to loosen new regulations on Wall Street would put voters "back in chains."

"Romney wants to, he said in the first 100 days, he's gonna let the big banks again write their own rules," Biden said of the GOP nominee's proposals to roll back the Obama administration's financial reforms. "'Unchain Wall Street!'"

Lowering his voice, Biden added, "They're going to put you all back in chains."

Travis Long / AP

Vice President Joe Biden speaks to campaign supporters at the Durham Armory in Durham, N.C.

Danville city is about 48 percent black, according to 2011 census numbers. The audience of about 800 at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research here in Danville reflected the area's demography.

"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," an Obama campaign official said after Biden's speech.

The Romney campaign reacted sharply to the vice president's remarks.

"After weeks of slanderous and baseless accusations leveled against Governor Romney, the Obama campaign has reached a new low. The comments made by the Vice President of the United States are not acceptable in our political discourse and demonstrate yet again that the Obama campaign will say and do anything to win this election," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "President Obama should tell the American people whether he agrees with Joe Biden’s comments."

The vice president's remarks came during a rally, where he described Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate as a "good thing" that clarifies the race and makes the contest more like one against an incumbent with a concrete record.

"This is a good thing, a good thing for the country that we have this stark, stark choice," he said, referencing items from Ryan's much-discussed budget plan.

Appearing in Virginia, just a few miles from the North Carolina border, Biden won cheers despite mixing up the hard fought battlegrounds where he's stopping on his three-day swing this week.

"With you, we can win North Carolina again, and if we do, we win the election if we win with you," he said to applause.

Biden campaigned in North Carolina yesterday. He has two campaign events in Virginia today.