Douglas Wilder: I Regret Biden’s ‘Chains’ Gaffe

Wednesday, 15 Aug 2012 07:01 PM

By David A. Patten

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Former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, who became the first African-American to be elected as a U.S. governor since Reconstruction in 1989, told Fox News host Neil Cavuto on Wednesday that the negative tone of President Barack Obama’s campaign is regrettable.

Wilder singled out Vice President Joe Biden’s remark Tuesday at a rally in Danville, Va. Biden told his heavily African-American audience that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney “is going to put y’all back in chains.”

Wilder said that type of rhetoric would make it “daunting” for Obama to work with Republicans, if he is able to win re-election. And he noted that Republicans may be poised to take over the Senate as well as holding onto the House.

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Of Biden, Wilder remarked: “Even though he says, ‘I don’t have any regrets about what I’ve said,’ there are others who regret that it was said. And I’m one of them.”

The popular former governor of the Old Dominion said Obama may feel “all’s fair in love and war,” adding: “They’ve been at war for some time. So I guess the president is saying, ‘OK, I had the slings and arrows, I’m going to throw some now.’”

But he suggested that strategy may backfire with voters, who want “a fair and balanced discussion of the issues.”

Wilder said the election will ultimately hinge on bread-and-butter issues such as “the economy, and money, and jobs.” He added that either candidate could emerge victorious.

“I think it would be a mistake for anyone to believe it will be a slam dunk for anybody,” said Wilder. “This election is up for grabs and has got to be fought for, but on terms the American people will approve: And that is speak to them directly, intelligently on the issues.”

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