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. ZweiStein

    Judging by the comments made here by the Republicans, I can only say that their leadership (people running for the Republican nomination for the Presidential election) does certainly reflect their following...complete morons. And I'm being nice with that statement. Way to go Joe Biden! Tell it like it is.

    October 20, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Steven Bannister

    One day, the Left Wing hates the police. The next day, the Left Wing complains that the police are not funded enough.

    Got it.

    October 20, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. Jeff

    You people understand that it's not that he used the crime statistics or that they may go up that has people buzzing, right? It's that he said he "wished" people who oppose his spending bill would know what it felt like to be held at gunpoint or raped.

    Left or right, anyone who wishes that on anyone is flat our wrong.

    October 20, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. JoeisRight

    Biden is absolutely correct. It's common sense and statistics. Cut the police and crime will go up. Cut teachers and ignorance and high school drop outs, adolescent crime, teen pregnancy, etc. etc. increases. The only benefit of cutting teachers and education is that the GOP base will skyrocket in one or two generations. This is their hope and only chance to prevent their inevitable decline towards irrelevance and eventual extinction as a political party. Biden spoke the truth, and there is nothing republicans hate more than hearing it. So tell it again Joe!

    October 20, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. sel-righteous in Ga

    There you go again little dougie – conservatives/traditionalists started the KKK. They might have been in what was the DemoCRATIC party, but the sure as hell weren't liberals pea-brain.
    Are you trying to compensate for some thing with your BIG lies??

    October 20, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. *sigh*

    I wonder what our crime rate would be if we eliminated all black and hispanic people. Would it be just as high?

    October 20, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Jim

    It's not the Federal Government's job to pay for any city or state police officers. If those cities can't pay for the police officers than those cities have the wrong priorities.

    October 20, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. JohnRJ08

    Good for Joe. Fewer cops on the street, especially in certain areas, guarantees a rise in crime. To question that is just plain stupid and reveals an obvious political bias.

    October 20, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. seanster5977

    I read this posts by liberals and I shake my head. You can't either understand the truth, are not willing accept the truth, or you are just really stupid. Going with the third. So because the Republicans didn't give Obama a blank check to spend money we don't have, a woman was raped? You are morons! First of all I read his speech transcript and it didn't have anything to do with just Detroit. So you also lie. Secondly, it is recorded and dollhair Biden is a confirmed plagiarist, so he is a known liar. When you are living in a communist America we will all remember how left wing liberals ruined this country.

    October 20, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. BinFL

    "Folks, the senate is currently controlled by the democrat party. How can Biden and the rest of you libs claim that the GOP is holding up this tax/stimulus bill, I mean 'jobs' bill?"

    Really, do you watch or read anything besides Fox? It takes 60 votes to pass anything in the Senate and there are not 60 Dems. In order for any bill to pass there needs to be some Repub votes but when the Senate voted on the jobs bill not one Repub voted for it. There were 2 Dems that did not but one, Nelson, is a DINO and should change parties.

    October 20, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. nokoolaid4mepls


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

    Hey Numbnut, did you go to school? DC 2011 Police dept budget was cut by 6% compared to 2010 and Police officers were laid off. You want to know hat happened to the crime rate: A decrease of 13%. But like this joke of a VP ,you also do not want to look at the facts. Go look at DC governments web site & do some research.
    Liberals =scared of facts.
    Have a nice day

    October 20, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. NVa Native

    Besides tax cuts for middle-class families and small businesses, the American Jobs Act includes $15 billion to rehab foreclosed homes and commercial properties is a component that could benefit tens of thousands of builders and remodelers and their subs. Nationwide, the overall construction unemployment rate is much higher than for most other industries-about 15%, according to Associated Builders and Contractors, a trade organization-so the new jobs plan should be welcome news to many housing industry pros.

    October 20, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. BinFL

    "How about we spend $150 billion and give every man woman and child a $500 gun. People could be armed to defend themselves and all of those crime statistics would drop. You would also create tons of jobs in the gun/ammo industry because you would have a demand for 300 million firearms." you recall after President Obama got elected that the big Repub lie was that he would take away everyone's guns and what happned....gun sales shot (no pun intended) through the roof! So, which party is it that lies to create fear? Not saying that both parties are clean, but just had to bring this up.

    October 20, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. rapierpoint

    BinFL – "What VP Biden said was only common sense.."? Have you actually looked at the crime stats for Flint? Rapes have not gone up 3 times. In fact, crime there, in general hasn't even come close to going up 3 times. So how does over exaggerating crime statistics (it appeared that he pulled the numbers out of his.. off the top of his head) so that what he's saying is common sense? He is fear mongering, plain and simple. With respect to Flint's high crime rates, there are many cities comparable in size to Flint with lower crime rates and lower police to populace ratio. So how do you explain that? By Biden's logic, any city of a pop of 100K with less police/populace should have higher crime rates.

    October 20, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. Hark

    Its as clear as the hair on Bidens head...If elected politicians,(like Biden) would be responsible with tax dollars we would not have these problems. These guys are the ones that abused our sysytem for their own political gain and then have the gall to blame us for demanding that they stop the spending. Take care of the $$ you have and don't overspend so that you can fulfill your own agenda. Wake up America, clean out the present administration and then start working on the crooks that represent your state and regional governments. Do your job and do not be beholden to ANYONE! If it means you don't get re-elected, so be did your job for the people and not in spite of the people you represent.

    October 20, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Angie

    So, is he saying that people getting unemployment or people without jobs are just animals that just kill and rape? I can understand people stealing a loaf of bread, but where are these comments coming from? considering most unemployed are in the minority group, his comments are extremely grotesque and racist.

    October 20, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. anonymous

    So I sat down to dinner with my folks today
    Not a whole lot on their minds to say.
    Pork butt and taters were on the menu
    When suddenly a thought came to you know who!
    My dad was reaching for more potatoes
    I told him, "Let me move Obama out the way"
    A laugh, a cheer and celebration arose
    As the potatoes were lifted out of the way.
    It seems to me the pork in Congress
    Is not necessarily all in the bills.
    I see these people step up to the microphone
    And see their triple chins on Capital Hill.
    So maybe in this society of greed and lust
    Our Congressmen might learn the budget not to bust
    But also to treat themselves to a treat
    And move away from the table while they can still see their feet!

    October 20, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. Liberty Queen

    Biden is correct on crime. The other unfortunate part of Biden's truthful statements is that cops are criminals as well... thieves, murderers, rapists, batterers, etc., and the criminal justice system is flawed from one end to the other.

    October 20, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Pragmatist

    Reading through many of the posts here, I wonder if some pple cared to read the story. They are just full of hate. It's like the VP said something wrong! If anybody, I mean, anybody (be it a Democrat or a Republican) finds anything wrong in what the VP said, then the fellow needs help. Seriously!

    October 20, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. mcwreiole

    One of the unfortunate facts that VP Biden left out of his rant is, that passing this silly bill will not put more cops on the beat or teachers in the classrooms. The money will be used to beef up the pension systems and health benefit funds of the unions, exactly as it was used in "stimulus 1". You cannot put another dime into the hands of this administration, it will dissappear into yet another sinkhole.

    October 20, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Senior Citizen

    The first thing that is cut when the revenue isn't there are the public service employees. Never, God forbid, would "suit" lose his job or be laid off. It's always the ones who actually have to do the work, not the ones who sit behind a desk and push the pencils. What Joe said is true and it hurts the Republican's to hear the truth when it comes to money.

    Bush cut taxes for the rich 10 years ago and if they are the ones creating the jobs we should be overrun with jobs by now, since we can't raise their taxes.......the almighty job creaters. Give me a break.

    OBAMA 2012!!!

    October 20, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. rufus

    Bootleg botox will increase, too, Joe. Thought you and Bachmann would be happy about that!

    October 20, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. Lando

    Millionaires can hire their own private armies and bodyguards, fire proof houses, and private tutors for their kids anyway...and most of all protection by hell with you police, firefighters and teachers....

    October 20, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. Anthony

    $35 billion to keep teachers, firefighters and police officers in their jobs, of which $30 billion would go to schools and $5 billion to police and firefighters. If Joe is so concerned about crime increasing, why is only 5 billion allotted for the police and fireman? 5 billion out of the 450 billion...which includes 15 billion to renovate/refurbish vacant homes. Vacant homes more important than police and fireman?

    October 20, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. nokoolaid4mepls

    Senior Citizen:

    You know public sector jobs are funded by tax revenue, So why shouldn't decrease in tax revenue adversely affect Public sector employees. What Joe the VP said is untrue and baseless with no logic. I hope you read my earlier post regarding DC government Police dept budget cuts & layoffs and a decrease in crime by over 13%.
    Regarding Private sector jobs Senate Majority leader said yesterday "private sector is doing fine". So what are you complaining about?

    October 20, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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