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. Lynne

    CH - The ruler could not do this because he loved his money more the Jesus. SO please do not take these out of context - what makes you think JC's statements are being taken out of context? Isn't it at least remotely possible that some of the rich rich people would be like this rule you mention???

    October 20, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Annie, Atlanta

    @RS, CA – Propaganda? Seriously? Rape as a crime is now left wing propaganda? You people have no sense of common decency remaining. No wonder we're in decline. Half of us can't even find our humanity.

    October 20, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. sal

    Go read "Freakonomics" and then do an analysis. Everyone takes things as fact when there may be several other confounding factors at play. Perhaps a downturn in the economy, housing market, emigration and immigration of people in the areas, divorce rate–shoot those are just some of the potential confounding factors I can think of. It is not as black and white as the reporter nor would Mr. Biden have it (or any biased individual). Think critically first.

    October 20, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. jay

    Joe Biden is a lifetime Washington DC politcal dirtbag, how any of you Dems/libs can back up anything this clown says is absolutely astonishing. You can add Pelosi ,Reid , Frank & bunch of Republicans to the list of polical hacks wiping out the "working" middle class of America. Now is the time to run away from the Democratic & Republican plantations.

    October 20, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. *


    On Monday, June 14, 2010 a preliminary probe by the U.S. Government Accountability Office of ACORN has found no evidence the association or related organizations mishandled the $40 million in federal money they received in recent years.

    You need to find yourself a new boogeyman.

    October 20, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. SlowGun


    I cannot believe that anyone takes away from this anything aside from the fact that Biden is a moron. TONS of money went to those States, and the DEMOCRATS running those States used the money to fill the pockets of union bosses, pay fat pensions AND cut police and emergency services. I am fascinated by the simpletons who HONESTLY think "well, we just didn't spend ENOUGH. Spend more." Well, brainiac, how much more? "Uh....MORE!" They have done this with every single industry they can dig their dirty little fingers into, and they've destroyed every single thing they've touched. Cars, Steel, Education, Travel, Pensions, Health Care will fall next, and still the simpletons will still be crying "MORE!" Disgusting.


    Hi Dave, Sorry to use actually facts to debuke your post but. quite honestly you clearly don't have a clue of what you are talking about. Please vist if you would like to know the facts about what as already been spent, and what it has been spent on.

    Also regarding your statement;
    "TONS of money went to those States, and the DEMOCRATS running those States used the money to fill the pockets of union bosses,..."

    Governor Rick Perry took more stimulus money than all but two other governor.

    October 20, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. Lynne

    NavyAirVet - as a person that grew up as a military kid, just remember how many times the GOP has use funding the Military as a scare tactic. If you don't pass this bill to give millions and millions of $$$ to the military the bad guys will come and kill us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My father served in I know of which I speak

    October 20, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. Annie, Atlanta

    @Inrealityhere – I thought this country was founded on the freedom of religion, not the freedom of christian religion.

    October 20, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. doug

    Biden has said that Americans who don't blindly vote Democrat are terrorists.

    Then again he also thinks FDR was president in 1929, and in 1929 Americans had televisions in their homes.

    The truth doesn't matter to party of hate, from starting the klan to conducting the great society program that has killed thousands of Americans over the last 40 years, Democrats feel no remorse, that is truly what seperates 'dem from the rest of us.

    October 20, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    46th Pres – and Wall Street and corporations have no responsibility? Our pensions and savings are gone because of Obama and Biden? Seriously? That's rich. Bet even Luntz hasn't put that out in a talking point yet – or at least not in that way.

    October 20, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. sel-righteous in Ga

    “Christian values that made this country great”~ oh ye of little mind. The Christian values like ~ burning so-called witches, hate the gay – pray the gay away, slavery is ok because it's in the bible, Native-Americans are heathens so less than us which led to genocide, women are to obey, pedophile priests, and on and on ~ those values?
    Or do you mean the values that all decent people of all faiths follow through out the world?

    October 20, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    They have done this with every single industry they can dig their dirty little fingers into, and they've destroyed every single thing they've touched. Cars, Steel, Education, Travel, Pensions, Health Care will fall next, and still the simpletons will still be crying "MORE!" Disgusting.
    You got that right! The Democrats and their leftist union allies rallying cry has always been we demand MORE of your money for us". Their is no limit to thier lust, their greed for YOUR hard earned money. Unions killed GM, and the government unions are bankrupting states and cities. They won't be happy until everything in this country is dead or dying from their endless blood sucking.

    October 20, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Patriot Awesome

    Ha! Once again the facts have a liberal bias. I wish more democrats had Biden's no BS approach. Go Joe! Tell it like it is.

    October 20, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    @Sanity – Michigan is run by Republicans these days, but let's not let facts get in the way, huh?

    October 20, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. SlowGun


    @ Max Powers – guess you misunderstood me. I agree we should pay our taxes. I believe we should not be a theocracy but we should also not abandon the Christian values that made this country great ( not suggesting that you think we should) although people have the right to do that. (and many have)


    Stop rewritting our country's history to validate your religious beliefs.
    Our country was not founded on Christian values or Christian beliefs.
    As the Treaty of Tripoli clear states;

    As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

    President John Adams, receiving ratification unanimously from the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797 and signed by Adams, taking effect as the law of the land on June 10, 1797.

    If your faith is strong enough, you would need to make up lies about American history to validate it.

    October 20, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. kurtinco

    Lucky I'm not the VP because I would have said, "yes, republican opposition causes more rape. Rape, rape, rapity, rape-rape. republicans = rape." I mean, isn't that what they do? Rape the little guy's wallet and hand it over to their corporate sponsors? No taxes, no government. Yes steep prices, yes to big corporations. Nothing but a no good bunch of mothers.

    October 20, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Darkmatter

    Unreal how people swallow this freak's garbage. In Camden (a DEMOCRAT stronghold in NJ), they receive billions of dollars in distressed city and Abbott funds. The DEMOCRAT politicians squander the money on their cronies and fail to use it for the schools, police, fire and other social programs. Then this mutt has the nerve to say that it is the fault of another political party. Anyone who votes for this lot again next year should be exiled.

    Grow the heck up, people. Vote everyone who holds office out in the next election (replace Republicans with Democrats and Democrats with Republicans). They are all liars and they are all out for themselves. The world would be so much better if they ALL fell off the face of the planet.

    October 20, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. Knucklehead

    I predict murders and rapes of conservatives is going to go up. If it hasn't already.

    October 20, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. Knucklehead

    Anonymous: $127 billion of the stimulus hasn't even been spent yet....

    October 20, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. ChicagoIL

    A five minute Google search proves that Biden lies. The Flint Police Department was not cut "literally in half". After the union refused concessions (the private sector in troubled businesses gets them all the time) there was a layoff of 46 police. Some 124 remain. Do the math!

    AND by the way, there are 1.2 police in Flint per 1,000 population, versus 1.1 in Ann Arbor. Flint has more police and more crime.

    October 20, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. paul

    What is up with the conservatives getting all riled up???? They said they wanted a "no-nonsense" guy that tells it like it is in Chris Christiie, Rick Perry, Herman Cain. Now that Biden is reacting correctly to a "gotcha question" from a conservative writer, they go nuts. Go figure!!!! By the way, Biden is correct. When you cut police crime will go up! It ain't rocket science.

    October 20, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. Annie, Atlanta

    Does this reporter think rape isn't a crime? What's the deal here? Is it because most of the victims are women? His response to the VP does not compute, other than to be totally disgusting, from this woman's point of view. Is this what passes as journalism nowadays? No wonder we're in decline, when pond scum like this controls the messaging.

    October 20, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. jsmoulder

    We all know Biden puts his foot in his mouth more than W did.

    October 20, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. Tysu

    It has been in the news that Republicans are accusing Vice President Biden of trying to scare the public into pushing for the jobs act by telling the public that rape, robbery, etc has and will increase.

    When listening to such statements we MUST use logic, facts and think realistically. Fact, crime is increasing. The logic is that if you have families losing their jobs, homes, not being able to feed their families, etc., people will kick into survival mode or psychologically break down. They will do what they feel necessary to survive. Unfortunately, when this occurs, actions of a person are not always well thought out. What a person would normally Not do morally or legally, they will do now. It is a natural human response to survival.

    In-fact, law enforcement has been laid off all over the country. Logic dictates, that if there is no or very little law enforcement in an area, crime WILL increase in that area or migrate to areas that are not covered as well. Why, because there is no to very little enforcement around to stop or deter the crimes. Therefore, rapes will increase, robbery will increase, all crimes will increase because the enforcements that are available are now spread too thin to cover or deter the crimes that are taking place.

    It is asked that when listening to the news that you use common sense, logic and think realistically. Yes, it is and should be of concern to all because it affects all of our Nations people. If something is not done now to put our law enforcement and other areas back to work, our Nation will deteriorate because the very people making it function, no longer are working.

    These words are not to scare or panic you individually or our Nation as a whole into choosing one thing or the other. These are words are to wake you up to the reality of what is going on throughout our Nation. It will prove foolish and dangerous not to listen to the truth. Complaints are always being made about our government not telling the truth, now that words of truth and reality are being spoken; it is used against governmental leaders for political points like a game. The reality is there is much to worry about. If something is not done now to put people, back to work, our Nation will deteriorate and turn violent and all will suffer. That is our reality and we need to pay attention. Our government waste time not working together to solve our Nation’s problems and as a wound that is not tended to will become infected and possibly kill; so is it true of our nations job loss problem if not attended to now. Make no mistake; it is a large open wound and the more time it takes to tend to that wound the chances of it healing will dwindle.

    October 20, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. MC

    So the plan to cut police in extreme low income, high unemployment areas hasn't DECREASED crime? Wow. I didn't see that coming. I thought for sure that rich people would open their hearts and homes so that the weakest among us would not be destroyed by the savagery of the Gov Christie regime. I thought the Gov would have things really rolling by now, no pun regarding the Gov's obesity intended.

    October 20, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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