Noble Obama Lowering the Temperature, Staying 'Out of the Fray' on Campaign Trail, Claims New York Times

August 16th, 2012 4:31 PM

More Obama favortism from Helene Cooper on the campaign trail. The New York Times reporter followed Obama campaigning in Iowa for Thursday's "Health Care Leads Campaign Dialogue in Midwest" and gave the president credit for lowering the rhetorical temperature of the campaign.

That involved skipping completely the false and vicious attack from Priorities USA, an Obama-affiliated SuperPAC, that tied Mitt Romney to the death of a woman from cancer, and downplaying the offensiveness of Vice President Joe Biden's remark to a mostly black Southern audience that the GOP would "put y'all back in chains."

Mr. Obama appeared to be trying to lower the temperature on the increasingly personal attacks that have been flying between the Romney and Obama camps. He dropped Seamus the dog from his remarks in Dubuque on Wednesday morning. (The day before, the president resuscitated the oft-told story of Mr. Romney’s strapping the family dog to the roof of the car on a vacation to Canada.)

And similarly, the president did not wade into the war of words between Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the Romney camp, a fight that began Tuesday afternoon when Mr. Biden told a mostly black audience in Danville, Va., that Republicans would seek to “unchain Wall Street” and “put y’all back in chains” by loosening Wall Street regulations. Mr. Biden said later that he meant to use the term “unshackled,” but he did not apologize and derided the ensuing Romney outrage.

Mr. Romney responded with an angry denunciation Tuesday night, accusing the Obama campaign of being driven by “division and attack and hatred,” a critique that Obama campaign aides called “unhinged.”

The president, for his part, sought to stay out of the fray on Wednesday. Mr. Obama, in an interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” said of Mr. Biden’s remark, “His phrasing is a distraction from what is at stake.” But he did have his wife offer a strong defense of his own character.