It was like watching a tag team of a popular, political heavyweight and a scrappy contender against one fierce and determined opponent.
On Monday, former president Bill Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden came to battleground Ohio - and launched a double whammy of pushback against a fresh, yet dubious, claim from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Among the duo's fighting words: essentially accusing Romney of stating "the biggest load of bull;" claiming the Republican nominee will say "anything to win;" and raising a question politicians reserve for only the most egregious arguments: "Have they no shame?"
The Romney campaign has accused their opponents of "desperate arguments."
At issue: the Romney campaign's fresh assertion that President Obama's actions in the auto bailout caused carmaker Jeep to manufacture Jeeps in China.
A new Romney ad, running in Ohio, stated: "Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China." On Friday, Romney himself said: "I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers of this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China."
To that, Clinton swung first.
During a joint campaign rally with Biden in Youngstown, the 42nd president revealed a phone call he'd had with the president.
"I saw the reports of Gov. Romney's latest ad saying that the president had allowed Jeep to move to China," Clinton said. "And so this morning, before [Obama] left Florida and went back to Washington, he said, 'You know, of all the things Gov. Romney has said, that probably hurts my feelings the most'."
Clinton continued: "[Obama] said, 'You know, I never had any money when I was a kid. And the first new car I ever owned, I was 30 years old. And it was a Jeep. I would never move Jeep to China."
Clinton followed up the sentimental story with a hammer.
"Now it turns out, Jeep is reopening in China because they've made so much money here, they can afford to do it and they are going on with their plans here," Clinton said.
"They put out a statement today saying it was the biggest load of bull in the world that they would ever consider shutting down their American operations."
Though it did not exactly say "load of bull" - a Chrysler statement did characterize the Romney campaign's claim as false.
Chrysler Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Gualberto Ranieri wrote in an online posting: "Let's set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China."
Biden, speaking after Clinton, also mounted a full court press.
"As we say in my faith, 'Bless me Father for I have sinned,'" Biden, a Catholic, mocked. "I mean, what are you talking about? I have never seen anything like that."
"It's an absolutely, patently false assertion."
Biden also referenced Chrysler's statement.
Yet in the next breath, he made an assertion that many politicians use sparingly.
"Ladies and gentlemen, have they no shame?" Biden said, lumping Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan together.
"Romney will say anything, absolutely anything to win, it seems."
Biden and Clinton also slammed Romney for, what the campaign asserts, are changing explanations over his initial opposition to the auto bailout.
They both referenced Romney's now famous 2008 op-ed, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."
Though Romney argued for a managed bankruptcy at General Motors and Chrysler - and insists he did not favor letting the companies go out of business - his stance has been widely unpopular among many voters, especially some in Ohio, which relies heavily on the auto industry.
Clinton claimed Romney "ties himself in more knots than a Boy Scout in a knot tying contest" trying to explain his bailout stance.