New York Rep. Charlie Rangel, a Democrat and Congressional Black Caucus member, says Vice President Biden’s recent "chains" gaffe was indeed a reference to slavery despite the Obama campaign's denial.
Rangel told the The Perez Notes radio show: “Was he talking about slavery? You bet your ass he was. Was he using the vernacular? Yes, he was. Did he think it was cute? Yes, he did. Was it something stupid to say? You bet your life it was stupid.”
The 21-term congressman was responding to Biden saying last week that Mitt Romney's financial industry deregulation plans are “going to unchain Wall Street,” and are “going to put y’all back in chains.”
The Obama campaign, criticized by Republicans and a few Democrats over the remarks, rejected the notion that the comment had racial overtones.
Rangel said in the interview that black listeners would have laughed off the comments had somebody of their own race made them because “we would know deep down they may be beating the hell out of us, but they ain’t thinking about putting us into any chains.”
The congressman also called a Democrat-backed super PAC TV ad suggesting Romney was responsible for a woman’s cancer death “a stretch” but seem resigned to the tough tactics, saying, “If you want to win, you’ve got to play this filthy, obscene game.”