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. Anonymous

    Murder and Rape went up in those cities even though they got stimulus money i n 2009 aqnd 2010. Money from the federal government is going to pay pension for bureaucrats and for ACORN groups. Money hasn't gone to cops. Biden has had too much Botox to the forehead. Someone get him some mental health. I feel bad for him.

    October 19, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. Doug from Cali

    unreal how the truth really hurts the GOP. In case there are any slow ones out there, yes, Biden said it because it's true, geez, what a pathetic excuse for a story

    October 19, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "of the conservative news organization Human Events."

    Stopped reading right there.

    Hit job. Yawn.

    October 19, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. LarsWV

    Rape and murder rates won't necessarily go up... HOWEVER, more perps won't get caught since fewer police will be looking for them.

    October 19, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Mr. Vice-President, what is there to get upset about? You said the right things to him. I would have told the guy that the truth is always appropriate.

    October 19, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  6. Sanity

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

    October 19, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. works4me

    Reporters ask for the truth then use it against the person that speaks it... imagine that from a "conservative news organization"?

    October 19, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  8. Lisa P

    Funny how sensitive conservatives get when confronted with facts they don't want to hear. They need to get out of the echo chamber more often.

    October 19, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  9. E G30

    What's wrong with what he said if it's true?

    October 19, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. MrCredik

    No Jobs Bill = Slashed local budgets = fewer police = less arrests = more criminals free to rape. What's confusing?

    October 19, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  11. chuck weidemann

    The truth hurts. Joe is not taking pleasure in his comments. In fact quite the opposite. If his stating the obvious makes conservatives uncomfortable good. Maybe there is hope for those that feel that way.

    October 19, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  12. Kenny

    The truth hurts. It was no gaff. Rape, murder and all other crimes will go up. Maybe the reporter should go back to Sunday school if he can't stand the truth yet and work on his ability to understand.

    October 19, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  13. KIC

    ZOMG! The VP said "rape" ZOMG! Phhhhft. The GOP is all over womens reproductive organs, but let the VP quote actual statistics that include RAPE (which the GOP are trying very hard to make OUR fault in their legislation) and it's a problem.

    October 19, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. Brian Dodge

    I wonder if Jason Mattera will ask John Boehner if he believes that murder, rape and robbery statistics will go down if Republicans block a bill aimed at preserving police jobs.
    After all, Republicans still believe that the Bush tax cuts create jobs, even in the face of facts that show the lowest jobs growth rate in 50 years.

    October 19, 2011 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  15. Amy Etkind

    Vice President Biden is absolutely CORRECT when he quoted those statistics. Perhaps if you guys in the media actually LOOKED at the actual STATISTICS instead of trying to shame the Democrats for telling the truth about what the Republicans' policies actually DO, you would have seen that he was right on this. YOU should be shaming the GOP for the effects of their policies, not the Democrats for calling them out on it.

    October 19, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. thomas

    @Democrat Class Warfare – Destroying the economy, destroying the country
    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????

    Can you say the word ENRON ?
    Enron's Favorite State Candidates
    & PACs, 1998 and 2000 Election Cycles
    Recipient Amount
    Gov. George W. Bush
    Gov. Rick Perry
    A.G. John Cornyn

    Imagine what they would be paid today !

    October 19, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  17. vic , nashville ,tn

    Who is that reporter

    October 19, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  18. Chandler

    Because of a recent Federal assistance program, over 52 rape cases were solved in Los Angeles County during the 3 month program. Rape kits need funding to process and cross referencing of databases to solve. It REALLY does help solve these crimes.

    October 19, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  19. sharon

    VP Widen is right. It is known fact that crime goes up when people are out of work. Specifically burglary, people are hurting no income coming in, children are going to school and bed hungry. More are becoming homeless. Desperate times for some call for desperate measure.

    October 19, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  20. logic in LA

    It's OK for Conservatives and Republicans to say privately owned guns stop crime but when the Vice President says that not paying for police will cause crime to rise, he's the bad guy? What is wrong with these people? They're the ones always wanting more police and military! I guess if a Democrat says it, it must be bad. Idiots.

    October 19, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  21. New Age Independant

    Biden has been a colossal failure as VP and has been a regular embarrassment to Obama. It's not like Obama didnt know what an idiot Biden was already, he had plenty of gaffs in his history. Probably Obama's worst decision in personnel choices.

    October 19, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  22. Kent

    Joe, open mouth insert foot! You are such a wiener.

    October 19, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  23. blank

    i have a picture of this confrontation..

    October 19, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The idea that police protection helps people isn't new. Trenton has had a rise in crime recently when there was a reduction in force.

    October 19, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  25. Jay

    If police are laid off, rape, murder and other crimes won't increase? Law and order Republicans must not have a high regard for the effectiveness of police. I'm a silly ol' Democrat and I thought we hire cops to catch crooks and prevent crime. More wasteful Democratic spending, I guess.

    October 19, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
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