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Monday, July 23, 2018

Vice President Joe Biden caused a stir on Monday morning, when he told the diverse crowd at a Danville, Virginia campaign rally that Mitt Romney and big banks would “put y’all back in chains.”

The media immediately freaked out over the latest “gaffe” — never mind the fact that Biden meant exactly what he said — and Republicans soon followed with an eruption of outrage that any politician would dare to use racially charged imagery in a campaign.

Presumptive nominee Mitt Romney led the way, attacking President Obama for running a campaign of “hatred” that tries to divide Americans on “income, age, ethnicity and so-forth.”

Even in Mitt Romney’s post-truth campaign, this complaint is almost too rich to believe. It’s bad enough that Romney would complain about attack ads — given that 90 percent of his own ads since June have been negative — but complaining about racial politics is embarrassing even by Romney’s Etch-a-Sketch standard. This is the same Mitt Romney who has spent most of the past two weeks claiming that President Obama wants to drop the work requirement from welfare, an attack that is both blatantly false and an obvious attempt to stoke racial division. The same Romney who looks to Arizona’s “show me your papers” law as a national model. The same Romney who has leaned on bigoted conspiracy theorist Donald Trump as a key surrogate and fundraiser. We’re meant to believe that this man finds Joe Biden’s use of the word “chains” to be completely unacceptable?

Never willing to pass up an opportunity for faux outrage, many other Republicans finally treated Romney like the standard-bearer that he’s supposed to be, and followed him into battle.

“If that’s not the nail in the coffin, really, the strategists there in the Obama campaign have got to look at a diplomatic way of replacing Joe Biden on the ticket,” Sarah Palin said on — where else? — Fox News.