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

    Here's the problem – they keep talking about how the federal government needs to 'create jobs' but keeping cops employed. I live in CA, in the pacific time zone; WHY SHOULD I PAY for a cop on the beat in Flint, MI. Once upon a time we had a decentralized government with powers at the state and local levels – if Flint Michigan needs more cops, then let them raise taxes and get more cops, or ask Michigan to come up with the money. Forcing your neighbors to borrow on top of alreayd unrealistic debts to pay for local benefits is not what democracy is about.

    October 20, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. mike z

    Well, since the Law Enforcement community has been known to traditionally endorse Republician leaders throughout the last five decades, maybe a forum such as this one with VP Biden expressing the facts straight to the citizens and some police officers might change the thought-process of whom is really effective in deterring crime and avid supporters of those who carry badges when protecting our communities. So therefore, to all those wearing a badge and uniform might want to think twice that if they think the GOP is that committed to supporting some your police unions, hell you all better think twice, the repubs and unions don't always mix, especially a police union!

    October 21, 2011 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
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