Vice President Joe Biden went off script a little bit yesterday in Danville, Virginia, the last capital of the Confederacy. Speaking to a crowd that included a few hundred African-Americans, Biden’s prepared text called for him to say, “The last time these guys unshackled the economy, to use their term, they put the middle class in shackles.”

Instead, he said this: “Romney wants to let the– He said in the first hundred days he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street. They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”

Romney took offense to Biden’s racially charged rhetoric and responded in Ohio:

Obama is intellectually exhausted, out of ideas, and out of energy. And so his campaign has resorted to diversions and distractions, to demagoguing and defaming others. This is an old game in politics; what’s different this year is that the president is taking things to a new low. Another outrageous charge came a few hours ago in Virginia. And the White House sinks a little bit lower. This is what an angry and desperate presidency looks like.

Since the summer began, Obama and his surrogates have accused Romney of killing a man’s wife, not paying taxes for ten straight years, and committing a securities fraud felony. But no one should expect the Obama campaign to change course now. If anything, they doubled down on Biden’s rhetoric. Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter told MSNBC Obama has “no problem” with Vice President Biden’s comments. And Obama strategist David Axelrod tweeted, “Enough phony outrage from Team Mitt.”

If anything, Team Obama seems to want this campaign to get even dirtier.

Campaign 2012
Wisconsin: Former-Gov. Tommy Thompson edged out three other candidates to capture the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate last night with 35 percent of the vote. Two other candidates, former-Rep. Mark Neumann and businessman Eric Hovde, split the Tea Party vote 30 percent to 23 percent. Thompson will face Rep. Tammy Baldwin in the general election this fall.

Obama: Obama released two new ads yesterday. One attacking Romney for cutting college tuition subsidies, and another attacking him on Medicare. And campaigning in Iowa, Obama joked about Romney’s dog Seamus.

Romney: Romney released a new ad attacking Obama for stealing $716 billion from Medicare yesterday, and followed it up with an email reiterating that Romney will put the money back in Medicare.

Ryan: In an interview with Fox News, Ryan said he and Romney are ready to talk about which specific tax benefits they want to eliminate “in the light of day,” but only after the election. Later in the day, the Romney campaign barred press from a ‘finance event’ Ryan had with Super PAC funder Sheldon Adelson and others. Romney had promised to let press in to all official fundraisers. And on the trail in Colorado, The Weekly Standard‘s Mark Hemingway calls Ryan “The Natural.”

Debates: Democrats are moving to bar debate moderators from asking Romney and Obama questions about Obama’s own deficit commission proposal. Reps. Mike Honda, D-Calif., Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., wrote a letter to the debate commission asking them to refrain from mentioning the Simpson-Bowles plan during the debate.

Charlotte: In addition to their troubled relationship with Bank of America, Democrats are having a tough time dealing with Duke Energy as they plan for their convention The New York Times reports. Despite Obama’s pledge to reduce power of special interests in Washington, Duke has benefited greatly from Obama’s energy policies and has given millions to his campaign in return.

In Other News
Associated Press, Small business owners more pessimistic in July: Small business owners’ optimism is slipping again, as they expect sales to weaken in the coming months, according to a survey released by the National Federation of Independent Business Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Times, Immigration service expects flood of applications from youths: Immigration authorities are bracing for a deluge of applications starting Wednesday when more than 1.2 million young illegal immigrants who were brought to America as children can seek to legally stay and work in the country under Obama’s illegal amnesty policy.

The Wall Street Journal, Europe Contracts, Concerns Widen: The euro zone’s $13 trillion economy is shrinking, data published Tuesday showed, a development that threatens to worsen a global slowdown and intensify the debate about Europe’s attempts to restore confidence in the currency union.

The New York Times, British Bank in $340 Million Settlement for Laundering: Standard Chartered, the British bank, has agreed to pay New York’s top banking regulator $340 million to settle claims that it laundered hundreds of billions of dollars in tainted money for Iran and lied to regulators.

Righty Playbook
The Weekly Standard‘s Jay Cost says Democrats should fear “Mediscare.”

Gracie Marie Turner explains why not reforming Medicare is not an option.

Avik Roy notes that Obamacare does cut Medicare more than Romney would.

Left Playbook
The Washington Post admits that Obamacare cuts $716 billion from Medicare.

The Nation‘s John Nichols notes that Ryan is a fierce opponent of progressivism.

Mother Jones falsely claims that a bill Ryan supported, the Sanctity of Human Life Act, would have made in vitro fertilization illegal.