Biden accused his Republican rival of offering voters "a sketchy deal" while Ryan accused the president of "trying to divide this country."
NEW YORK - Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday compared his rival's policies to a gun pointed at Americans, while Rep. Paul Ryan accused Democrats of sending a divisive message as emotions ran high in the closely fought race.
The barbs are being delivered with a smile, but their sharpness is a reflection of just how tight the race is 19 days out. Democrats are pushing the accusation that Mitt Romney is being dishonest, with President Obama's refrain since Tuesday's debate that the GOP nominee is offering "a sketchy deal." "I don't think they were just sketchy," Biden said in Las Vegas. "I think they were Etch-a-Sketchy."
Biden accused Ryan of sharing a cynical vision of Americans with Romney. "Ryan has written a book called the 'Young Guns' with two other members of the House," Biden said. "Unfortunately, the bullets are aimed at you."
Romney campaign spokesman Brendan Buck called Biden's "over-the-top rhetoric" disappointing.
Meanwhile, Ryan, in Ocala, Fla., accused Obama of running a campaign that was "a sea of negativity." He said, "He's trying to divide this country, pitting people against each other. He's trying to win this election by default. You know what? We're not going to let him get away with that."
The finger-pointing and recrimination comes after a heated debate this week between Obama and Romney. The GOP nominee's oldest son, Tagg, jokingly said he wanted "to rush down the debate stage and take a swing at" Obama.
Ann Romney, also weighed in with an appearance on "The View," saying the negativity of the campaign is difficult for their family and she initially didn't want to go through another campaign after losing the 2008 Republican primary. She said she agreed to a second run because she feels her husband is uniquely qualified.
But she didn't hesitate when co-host Barbara Walters asked whether her husband's political career will end if he doesn't win on Nov. 6.
"Absolutely," she said. "He will not run again, nor will I."