Republican strategist Karl Rove says he believes the Obama campaign intended to make a "racial appeal" to black voters Tuesday, when Vice President Joe Biden told a Danville, Va., audience Republican policies would put them "back in chains."
Calling the remarks to a crowd half filled with African Americans "insensitive," Rove told Fox News' Sean Hannity Tuesday evening, "I think it was an appeal to racial unrest."
Citing the fact that Biden's campaign speech took place "in an historically African-American community . . . where they used to have plantations," Rove said: "To say, you know, we're going to put you back in chains . . . makes it look like that the republican ticket [is] going to be a bunch of slave owners, who are going to enslave African-Americans again."
"I mean this is insensitive language. We have come to expect it from Joe Biden," added Rove, a Fox News contributor and founder of the pro-Republican PAC Crossroads GPS.
"But I wonder if, since he was working off a teleprompter, if they didn't put this in there in order to basically make a racial appeal. I mean it was pretty remarkable."
Rove also said the "nonchalant attitude of team Obama" in defending Biden and brushing off Republican outrage over the remarks was just as disturbing.
"If they don't see anything wrong with it," he said, "then let's have, you know, Vice President Biden make that part of his standard stump speech and see how far it goes.
"I mean the American people are not that dumb," Rove continued. "They are in large measure turned off by this president because he spoke so beautifully about bringing us together in 2008 and now the campaign has been reduced to, you know, smear, slurs and half truths, and demagoguery, and then, mean-spirited appeals like we saw today from the vice president."
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