Obama Defends Biden on 'Chains'

Focus on gaffes is 'WWF wrestling part of politics,' he says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2012 11:26 PM CDT
Updated Aug 16, 2012 5:46 AM CDT
"Let me do the talking, Joe."   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – President Obama might not be wild about Joe Biden's choice of words in his controversial "put y'all back in chains" remark, but he's standing by the substance of his vice president's comments. Biden was talking about Wall Street reform, which is "a substantive issue that the American people should be concerned about," Obama told Entertainment Tonight. "His phrasing is a distraction from what is at stake," he said, describing the media's focus on gaffes as "sort of a WWF wrestling part of politics" distant from the concerns of ordinary people.

Speaking to People, Obama said Biden was trying to say that Americans will be worse off if Wall Street reform is repealed, and in "no sense was he trying to connote something other than that." Obama sighed when asked if he agreed with Biden's phrasing. During campaigns, "folks like to get obsessed with how something was phrased even if everybody personally understands that's not how it was meant," he said. "That's sort of the nature of modern campaigns and modern coverage of campaigns. But I tell you, when I'm traveling around Iowa, that's not what's on people's minds." (Read more President Obama stories.)

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