Biden, reporter face off over crime statistics
October 19th, 2011
06:47 PM ET
2 years ago

Biden, reporter face off over crime statistics

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden had a tense exchange Wednesday with a reporter who questioned him about comments suggesting that if Republicans block a bill aimed at preserving police jobs, rapes and other crimes would increase.

"Do you regret using the rape reference to describe Senate opposition" to the bill, Jason Mattera asked Biden as he left a rally with police unions and others who have faced the budget ax in recent months.

"I didn't use ... no, no, no," Biden responded. "Let's get it straight, guy. Don't screw around with me. Let's get it straight."

"You didn't use a rape reference," said Mattera, of the conservative news organization Human Events.
"No, let me explain," Biden said, pointing toward Mattera. "I said rape was up three times in Flint. Those are the numbers. Go look at the numbers. Murder is up; rape is up; burglary is up. That's what I said."

"And if the Republicans don't pass this bill, then rape will continue to rise?" the reporter asked.
"Murder will continue to rise; rape will continue to rise; all crime will continue to rise," Biden said.
Asked by Mattera whether it was appropriate to use such language, Biden scoffed and walked away
The exchange took place in a crowded hallway in the Russell Senate Office Building.
The conservative blogosphere has been filled with angry commentary in recent days because of Biden's suggestions that Republican opposition to the bill would lead to an increase in rapes and other crimes.

In his speech at Wednesday's rally, Biden said police departments in cities like Camden, New Jersey, and Flint, Michigan, have been "literally cut in half" because of budget cuts.

"In many cities, the result has been, and it's not unique, murder rates are up, robberies are up, rapes are up," he said.


Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (352 Responses)
  1. GOP = Greed Over People

    Looks like Joe touched a GOP nerve(who knew?) looks like they do not like the fact that their Stepford wived may be molested!

    You cut the police force and crime will rise, what is so hard for the GOP to understand?

    My bad, nothing bad ever happens in those gated golf enclaves they live in.

    October 19, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  2. truindep

    biden needs his own comedy show,

    October 19, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  3. John

    Police stop crime? Huh?

    October 19, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  4. Portland tony

    That's what I like about Joe...He doesn't take crap from anyone.

    October 19, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  5. Fred

    Biden's had one too many brain surgeries to remove tumors. Whatever is left of his brain is not enough for logical thought.

    October 19, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  6. Larry L

    You go Joe! The conservative "swift boat" crowd are looking for words to distort and Democrats to whimp-out. Joe Biden is not somebody to be manipulated by some second-rate Tea Party journalist!

    October 19, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  7. Blinded by the republican lie

    That being said...look at Queens and Brooklyn NY...sex attacker on the loose...go figger...stupid stupid ppl...keep shooting yourselves in the foot!!!

    October 19, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  8. Tired of the nonsense

    Are reporters really that stupid?

    Get rid of the cops, and the criminals rule the streets.
    What's difficult about that concept?
    Or is this reporter just another example of stupidity coming out from our schools because of lack of teachers?

    October 19, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. Dale

    What, do Republicans want to ignore the ugly truth? If we fire our police forces, crime goes up. Violent crime goes up. Petty crime goes up. In my opinion, they want to just cut spending, screw the consequences, but don't you dare use logic and fact.

    October 19, 2011 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  10. Timothy

    oh my god.. i can't believe this. And to think I was once a democrat... what a jerk.

    October 19, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  11. A. Goodwin

    If its true that robberies, murder and rape are up...not passing the law that provides funds to hire (or at least not fire) police and other emergency personnel makes the GOP look fairly – CRAZY. Biden has nothing to feel bad about.

    October 20, 2011 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  12. Desert Rat

    Just say "crime" Joe and leave it at that......

    October 20, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  13. Allen

    Um..people it sort of makes sense doen't it? Less cops more crime? Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out does it? The VP is correct.

    October 20, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  14. Shane Botwin

    I doubt if many Republicans would care if rapes and murders rose.

    October 20, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  15. Baby Boomer

    I'm glad VP Biden didn't take any guff off that reporter. He said what he meant and meant what he said. All crimes are likely to increase if there is a lack of police presence in our communitites. He's exact words were: "In many cities, the result has been, and it's not unique, murder rates are up, robberies are up, rapes are up,". How is it that this jerk reporter zeroed in on the word rapes in the VP's remarks. Last I checked, murder and some robberies are just as signficant. Why wasn't he upset overall. What an idiot for trying to single out this false claim and fake outrage over it. Good for you Mr. VP for standing up to this nitwit.

    October 20, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  16. Pete/Ark

    "Crazy Uncle Joe"nailed it again ! Republicans only care about thier "Cause",not its effect.Unvarnished truth hurts thier feelings...

    October 20, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  17. Phil in KC

    Well, duh. I think what Biden says is just common sense. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. But, then, Republicans have been denying logic and fact for so long, they don't even know what that is.
    Of course, I can also remember when Republicans billed themselves as the 'law and order' candidates. I guess that was fine until it interfered with their fiscal ideology.

    October 20, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  18. Derrek

    Biden is an embarassment to America, glad CNN FINALLY reported one of his usual mishaps so that all the Liberal's with their hands out that flock to this site can see what they have elected to lead our country. You wonder why America is in such bad shape, Obama and Biden.

    October 20, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  19. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    "Gottcha," what passes for journalism these days is an insult to discourse and disclosure. NO, I don't mean using a person's questions, statements or responses in the context that they were made, I mean asking a misleading "when did you stop beating your wife" kind of question. Not productive or relevant.

    Asking a question "across the aisle" in a way that you would never ask a person on your own side is cheap and low. I don't care which side of the aisle the question comes from.

    October 20, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  20. RAL

    Biden has always been a publicity Hound being VP has only reved up that desire. He has no right to state all will rise as the bail out went tof irst responders police and those who protect us.
    It's a shame this Administration has another year and few months to go.
    They have no recourse as they are the most inept administration to date.
    This country will be better off once they are all out of office.
    The only way they hope to retain thier jobs is Scare Tatitcs.
    Sorry Obama & Biden you have Cried wolf too many times!

    October 20, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  21. billy

    Typical republican reporter pushing his own political agenda regardless of the facts.

    October 20, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  22. Bermille

    Facts speak for themselves. Republicans dislike this fact.

    October 20, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  23. Pat in IL

    Biden is right. Why these idiots want to argue with the numbers is beyond me. Don't their families live in towns and cities where their safety might be compromised by having fewer law enforcement and first responder support? That "reporter" is just trying to make his own statement and is definitely not a journalist.

    October 20, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Asked by Mattera whether it was appropriate to use such language, Biden scoffed and walked away"

    Perhaps it would be better for conservative media to pretend that rape never occurs? Too "sexual" a topic perhaps? Conservatives crack me up. The Republican controlled House has debated one anti-abortion bill after another anti-abortion bill (seven times in the past ten months) including trying to change the legal definition of rape to that of "forcible" rape - meaning what, exactly? That a women must first PROVE she "fought back" before the rape becomes criminally legal? Apparently, this Mattera person would prefer we eliminate the term rape from the dictionary all together, or simply push the discussion of rape "behind closed doors" so as not to sully the sensibilities of conservative humanity.

    October 20, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  25. Chipster

    Is the reporter suggesting that having fewer police on the streets will not have a negative impact on these types of crime? Rape, murder, burglary, domestic violence. With an inadequate police force, these crimes are certain increase because fewer criminals will be taken off the streets. It's only logical that more opportunities to commit crimes will be available to criminal while the streets are not being patrolled. The VP shouldn't even have to say it but, considering this reporters question, it's clear that some people need it spelled out for them.

    October 20, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
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