Former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder criticized Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday for telling a Danville audience that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s economic plan would “put y’all back in chains.”
In an interview on Fox News, Wilder called Biden’s Tuesday comment “divisive and certainly uncalled for.”
“Slavery is nothing to joke about,” Wilder said. “And the history of this nation’s involvement with slavery is nothing to pass off in a joke.”
Biden told the Danville audience that Romney has said he wants to “unchain Wall Street.” He then added: “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”
Biden later said he had meant to use the word “unshackled,” a term Republicans have used to describe their efforts to ease regulations on businesses. President Barack Obama and his campaign team have defended Biden.
Wilder, the nation’s first elected black governor, admitted in the interview that he’s never been a strong Biden supporter. In fact, Wilder told Fox News last December that Obama should dump Biden from the 2012 ticket. He said Wednesday that it’s too late to make such a change.
But, Wilder said, “you can’t continue to have gaffe after gaffe after gaffe and to believe that it’s going to be supportive of what you and the president are both trying to do.”
– Michael Sluss