Biden, reporter face off over crime statistics
October 19th, 2011
06:47 PM ET
3 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. Inrealityhere

    @Jb1963 What? You think to be taxed less and demand the government stop spending our children's and grandchildren's money is comparable to rape? Boy do you have it backwards!

    October 20, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. 46th Pres

    What Biden said was that if the Republicans dont pass this bill that he and Obama will have to find another way to rape your savings and paychecks.

    October 20, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. Nothing new here

    This is just a sad state of affairs. As much money and trust that we put into our government and elected officials...this is what we get in return? Non-service, at best. This country is really going down the tubes, and yes, I do blame BOTH parties. WE need to return to some kind of reasonable sanity in this country. We need people that will put their own political ambitions aside, and will start serving the needs of the people. I still try to stay optimistic, but it is getting harder to do at times.

    October 20, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. Antwoine in A-town

    Truth Hurts... If picking on Joe Biden is the ony GOP response for not passing the jobs bill, then I sure as heck can not wait until the next election cycle.

    October 20, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  5. Inrealityhere

    Crimes are conceived in the heart before they are carried out. The best deterrent is a changed heart. For further information read the gospel of John.

    October 20, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. rob

    Does equating a political opponents opposition to this bill to women getting raped and murdered sound like a good defense of this bill? We had a 800 billion stimulas designed to do the same thing but as usual the Fed $ ran out and the states had to ballance their budgets. Another stimulas light won't do any better than the last. So next we'll hear that Republicans are For more rapes and murders because they won't go along with Obama and Biden. They can't defend the bill or their horrible record of the last 3 years so they resort to this kind of rhetoric.

    We need vote out this administration and the Dems in the Senate and change course completely from the utter failure this admin has been.

    Nov, 2012 can't come fast enough.

    October 20, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. SlowGun

    @Sanity

    Michigan is run by Democrats, so what is Biden's point?

    -------------------------------
    Let me make it easy for you to understand.

    If cities and states don't have the money to pay their police departments, then the police departments will have to make cuts to personal.

    So, if the Repbuplicans block this bill, the cities and states won't get the funding they need...the cuts mentioned above will have to happen.

    Less police = more crime.

    And it doesn't matter what party in currently in charge of the city or state.

    If you still don't understand this...ask your mommy to read it and explain it to you.

    October 20, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Democrat Class Warfare wrote:
    How many businesses have they demonized, attacked, over taxed, over regulated, hauled into hearings, threatened, bludgeoned, taken over, destroyed? And then they wonder where the jobs are????
    ----------------
    Demonized? Zero. Except for News Corp, of course.
    Over taxed? Zero. Small business taxes have been cut under the Obama administration.
    Over regulated? Zero. But, health insurers can no longer drop people, nor deny coverage.
    Hearings? Zero. That's about to be done by the right wing witch hunters in the House right now.
    Taken Over? Zero. Better to save the auto industry than to let if fail, which turned a profit for taxpayers.
    Destroyed? Zero. Again, it is the right wing exremists who destroy companies and job creation.
    Jobs? We know why the manufacturing jobs left the US. It was the ridiculous tax loopholes created under Bush43.

    October 20, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. PrideOfBoston

    Amen, Rob. Amen.

    October 20, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. DIANA

    God Bless our Vice President and President. VP Biden tells you what you need to hear not what you want to hear.

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    October 20, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Rsprings

    Dems will say anything.

    October 20, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. catfishjoe

    Mafia union thug, selling mafia union thug insurance. If you don't buy insurance, you will have a fire. Mafia union thugs, running the government.

    October 20, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    rapierpoint asked:

    Ok, let's say that crime statistics are up in Flint. There are several additional questions that our VP needs to answer. ... What portion of the increased crime may be due, simply, to the fact that the economy is in the dumpster? Generally, when you have a bad economy and high unemployment, crime goes up, regardless of whether police have been fired or not.
    --------------
    Rule number one. Don't ask hypothetical questions that you do not know the answer to. If economic down turns are accompanied by up ticks in crime, then you just presented a very good case in support of not laying off police and re-hiring them. Which is exactly the point the VP was making, crime will go up.

    October 20, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Kevin Manfeld

    I'm not a Biden fan but this is objectively true. Cut money for cops crime rises. Cut money for firefighters and their response capability is diminished. Cut teachers and grades go down.

    The absurd hate from the Republican party to unions have put them against union people, like many in my local, that used to vote for them all the time. You would be having to look under the rocks to find a firefighter not cursing the GOP in many states

    October 20, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. SlowGun

    @rob

    Does equating a political opponents opposition to this bill to women getting raped and murdered sound like a good defense of this bill? We had a 800 billion stimulas designed to do the same thing but as usual the Fed $ ran out....

    ----------------------------------

    Completely false!

    A ton of the stimulas money hasn't even been distributed yet.

    Learn the facts...see how much has been spentso far, and what it was spent on.

    It is very easy, just visit recovery.gov and track the spending for yourself.

    Stop letting Rush, Sarah, and others doing your thinking for you.

    October 20, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Publius Novus

    Dear Mr. Sanity: Michigan is NOT run by Democrats. GOP governor, GOP House, GOP Senate.

    October 20, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. fred

    Can we talk about the correlation between states and cities that allow gun ownership and carry and the occurrence of violent crime, Joe?

    October 20, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. SlowGun

    "The Obama administration and the Congressional Democrats have created the most hostile environment for business that this country has ever seen. How many businesses have they demonized, attacked, over taxed, over regulated, hauled into hearings, threatened, bludgeoned, taken over, destroyed? And then they wonder where the jobs are????"

    Umm...I can't think of any businesses have they demonized, attacked, over taxed, over regulated, hauled into hearings, threatened, bludgeoned, taken over, destroyed. ]
    Maybe you can provide a list? – hint you won't find any either.

    As far as where the jobs are...they all went oversees during the Bush years, why...because Republicans refussed to eliminate tax cuts for company that move their jobs out of American.

    October 20, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Zebulon Pi

    Mr. Biden, have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no only, please.

    The right complains about "liberal media" skewing things, and this guy tries to spin Bidens comments this badly? No journalistic integrity, only a mouthpiece spouting propaganda.

    October 20, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Americaneedsrealists

    This is a state issue not a federal governement one. The fed should not be sending money to state and local police.

    October 20, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. Bill in VA

    No one wants to see crime go up. But the issue isn't crime. It is whether it makes sense to give federal dollars to local law enforcement and I don't think it does. This is nothning more than a temporay stimulus plan. Not a jobs bill. If there are local law enforcement needs (or teachers or whatever), raise local taxes or cut something else locally. Period. This is not a federal problem. So a locality gets some Federal money this year. What do they do next year next month when that runs out? Ask for more Federal money? It solves nothing. The Federal Government should not be spending money it doesn't have for services it is not supposed to be providing. It is that simple. Remeber people, our natioanl debt is beyond any reasonable limit.

    October 20, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. keeth

    Crime always goes up when the country is stressed. And we've been stressed for 10 years now. And yes, Biden is right, too.

    October 20, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Inrealityhere

    @SEAL Team Alpha and Omega- Do you know that, college students who don't want to pay back their loans and don't want to start at entry level jobs, Atheists and Communists, and others who refuse to work are among and perhaps a large majority of the OWS protesters? Christ never forced anyone to share their wealth. The "final resolution" for many of these protesters is to destroy this country. I strongly doubt Christ was against the free market. He threw the " moneychangers" out because they were using His house of prayer to make a profit on the Sabbath day. He surely was an advocate of personal responsibility and helping those in need, but many of the aforementioned are there to get bailouts/ handouts at the expense of those who busy working for a living.

    October 20, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. RS, CA

    That's what Democrats do best - PROPAGANDA (like "hope" and "change")! They squander money on unbelievable junk for years - and then when budget cuts are necessary, they invoke things they KNOW will tug on Dems' so-called "heart" strings! And Biden does this best, of course, that's why he's selected to do it, of course - the slimebag!

    October 20, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. rob

    @Kevin Manfeld
    The federal Govt does not provide for local police etc. the states do. If the economy does better than revenues flow in and the states can budget accordingly. Obama's demanded that the bill get passed "Right Now" knowing that it wouldn't so he could use it as a political weapon for his campaign. How does that help anyone?

    @SlowGun, Much of the stimulus was designed to ba a transfer to states to help them during the down turn. Providing funds for them to prop up pensions and jobs for state workers etc. If their is still $ out there, why not use that to help save cops?

    October 20, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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