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. Squealy

    What?? You can't say "rape" now??? Just more proof that the GOP is out of touch.

    October 20, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. Squealy

    Heck, I'll say it, too. Rape, rape, rape, rape, rape, rape, rape, rape! As a victim of rape myself, I can attest, it is not a dirty word.

    October 20, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. Squealy

    @ Dean. What "outrage"?? I am female, and btw, have been raped, and I see no outrage in Biden's telling it like it is. He is right, it is true, and no one is "using" a 200 lb rapist as a mascot for this bill. Sheesh!

    October 20, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. KKDenver

    These are the same people that had Lucy and Ricky sleeping in separate beds and made it illegal to say the word pregnant on TV

    October 20, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. John

    I remember Cheney being pretty explicit that the US would be attacked in another Sept. 11 terror attack if Kerry was electred president.

    October 20, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. namethename

    Let's don't forget they want to spend $452 billions to supports those jobs for ONE year.
    It is crazy.
    Just like after stimulus money ran out, one year later we will be on the same place.
    We have mad men in the White House

    October 20, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. Brian

    So is this Joe Biden practicing that 'new era of civility' obama preached to us about? It's one thing for some crazy like Ed Schultz to say Republicans want you dead... but for the Vice President of the United States to use these talking points is just disgusting

    October 20, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. us1776

    What the hell did this reporter think would happen?

    He already knew the answer.

    Of course, serious crime is going to increase as you decrease the level of law enforcement.


    October 20, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. Eyes Are Really Open

    only those who are blind, deaf and really dumb cannot see that Biden, obama, Reid and Pelosi use scare tatics to get what they want, but those of us with our eyes open can see this and are not scared and will fight any threats from a incompinate government and wanna be community organizer. You shall fail Biden and obama, you shall not scare those of us who are TRUE American Patriots. We shall fight for our Freedom and We Shall WIN and those of you who use scare tatics shall lose and shall feel the vengence of We The People. Be Advised that biden and obama will use a False Flag event to further their agenda and stop the elections, be prepared, stockpile and stockpile, be prepared

    October 20, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Bill

    Slow Joe Biden proving yet again how utterly clueless his is.

    October 20, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. EuphoriCrest

    GOP answer to crime prevention: Eliminate all police funding, move to a gated community, hire a private security detail to patrol the community.

    October 20, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. Graves

    We already paid off the unions with the first stimulus – I don't think we need to do it again. It did not work so smokin Joe can rant and scream but we are not doing the "Lets pay off green energy/Unions Bill". Obama/Biden just ought to find a way to give money directly to their constituents through their campaign monies to vote for him a second time. As of right now I do not know anyone who is stupid enough to vote for dumb and dumber a second time unless you are already on the dole.

    October 20, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. zosimoff

    Sanity...not that it matters one way or another for this story, but get your facts straight. Michigan has a Republican Governor, and a Republican Majority in both houses, so how do you figure it's run by Democrats?

    October 20, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. mnemos

    I'm amazed at the comments. So many people too slow to realize that just because statistics are true, doesn't mean they are necessarily relevant. He quoted some stats – fine. And then he implied they were unilaterally due to his opponents and mainly due to their opposition on one particular bill. It doesn't matter if the statistics are correct if his extrapolations are wrong. Crime statistics generally go up during a recession – sorry, but that includes rape – and that doesn't necessarily depend on one bill. Biden's typical politician's pretension that things would be much better in a one party state is still wrong.

    October 20, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  15. MB

    Cops dont prevet murder, they just show up with the chalk....

    October 20, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  16. Chris

    Wasn't it the Democrats critizing the Bush administration for using the "politics of fear?"...

    October 20, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  17. Errm

    What is so difficult to understand about police presence preventing crimes??? If a murderer or rapist is in JAIL, he can't commit more murders or rapes! If he is out roaming the streets, then he will!
    And why are people whining about paying taxes? You are paying the LOWEST rate people have paid since 1950! Please!

    October 20, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. Errm

    Oh, and for those complaining that the Federal Gov't shouldn't be funding police forces...that it is up to the states....Uhhhh, you know...criminals DO cross state lines sometimes. So what happens when a murderer or rapist goes from a state that can *afford* law enforcement to one that can't? This is something that is advantageous to ALL of us. Why should one state and its population suffer just b/c they are poor?

    October 20, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  19. Irony Man

    Sad that people even bother caring what Joe "I'm a plagiarist" Biden thinks or says. He's easily as bad as Dan Quayle ever was and less ethical. I'll be glad when he's voted out and gone. Biden's a moron aside from his incredibly poor ethics.

    October 20, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  20. Kevin

    So the vice-president of the United States doesn't understand the difference between correlation and causation.

    October 20, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. Brian

    This must be that new era of civility liberals were talking about

    October 20, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  22. RapierPoint

    Paul Price – you wrote "It seems every time the President or Vice-President points out anything that is based in fact, such as Vice President Biden did when discussing crime increases..." The problem with that is that the VP did NOT point out anything close to factual regarding crime increases in Flint. Take some time to look at the FBI stats rather than regurgitating a talking point. Rapes have NOT tripled, murders have NOT tripled, etc. In fact, virtually all the crime he was talking about hasn't even shown much of a rise. So tell me, where are his crime statistics "based in fact"?

    October 20, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  23. David

    Asked by Mattera whether it was appropriate to use such language, Biden scoffed and walked away....and found a policeman which is really hard to do since there arent any, who would not help him because he was on his union mandated 30 minute break.....

    October 20, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  24. Aaron

    It's common knowledge that the crime rate increases as the poverty rate increases. If Biden's actual naming of some of those crimes offends those who are only legislating for the benefit of the rich, tough.

    October 20, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  25. 5041360

    any woman who votes for any teapublican is putting her life and her daughters life at risk – the right wing is determined to negate women's role in business and in public life- be on guard!

    October 20, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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