To that end, Romney opened this line of criticism late Tuesday outside the marble courthouse in Chillicothe, Ohio, where he delivered a prepared speech as the sun set and thousands cheered.
"This is what an angry and desperate presidency looks like," Romney said. It came just hours after Vice President Joe Biden told voters in Virginia that he meant to use different words when he said the Republican ticket wanted to put them "back in chains" by repealing Wall Street regulations.
In an interview with People magazine on Wednesday, Obama rejected the criticism, saying Biden meant nothing more than to describe what consumers would face if financial institutions were deregulated. "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," he said.
Democrats said Obama himself was unlikely to respond aggressively to Romney's criticism in part to avoid the potential for the nation's first black president to be tagged with the "angry black man" stereotype.
Associated Press writer Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.
Follow Kasie Hunt on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kasie