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Obama Defends Joe Biden On 'Chains' Remark

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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is defending Vice President Joe Biden against criticism of his remarks that Republican repeal of Wall Street regulations would put voters "back in chains."

In an interview with People magazine on Wednesday, Obama said Biden's remarks meant consumers would be worse off if Republicans succeeded in doing away with new restraints on financial institutions.

"In no sense was he trying to connote something other than that," Obama said.

Biden made the comments Tuesday in Danville, Va., while saying that Republicans want to deregulate financial institutions – or, as Biden put it, to "`unchain Wall Street."

Hundreds of black people were in the audience when Biden added, "They're going to put y'all back in chains."

In Iowa for a bus tour, Obama said the reaction to Biden's remarks was a function of politics, but he did not blame his vice president.

"The truth is that during the course of these campaigns, folks like to get obsessed with how something was phrased even if everybody personally understands that's not how it was meant," Obama told the magazine. "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."

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