Speaking in Virginia Tuesday, Biden said a Mitt Romney administration would give Wall Street free rein and "put y'all back in chains," which Republicans have lashed out against, saying the comment was racially charged, The Hill reported.
"The vice president was talking about Wall Street reform," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday. "The vice president's intention was clear."
Carney said Republicans "know that what they're saying about this is ridiculous," and their outrage at Biden's comment is an "obvious" attempt to take attention away from policy issues.
"They know that what they're saying about this is ridiculous," Carney said, adding that "nobody took it as a reference to anything" except those who are trying to "make something out of nothing."
Congressional Black Caucus chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., agreed, The Hill said.
"The vice president, if you look at what he said in context, he was saying Wall Street has created a major problem in this country and Mitt Romney wants to come in and give those guys the ability to do it again," Cleaver said. "And it would put you back in chains. You would have another Wall Street collapse that will impact the nation and the world. And I'm not here to defend Vice President Biden. I don't even think that needs to be defended."