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. Pam Smith

    Police don't stop rapes and murders – they show up after they have occured and take statements from any witnesses. They then go write some traffic violations to make department quota. If someone tells them they know who committed the crime they look into it. Then after doing this for a few years they retire on a ridiculous union (tax payer provided) pension. That is what this is all about – keeping the unions happy (buying votes)

    October 20, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. ebw

    And to think this windbag is just a heartbeat away...

    October 20, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  3. Florida Joe

    These Conservatives are incredible, they carry signs that portray our President as Hitler, they say our President is a Muslim, they say our President was not born in the US........BUT our VP tells the truth (obviously something they are not used to) and it is terrible............
    These Repubs are a JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 20, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  4. AC

    ebw: the real scary thought is that it could have been Palin.

    October 20, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. Grady

    less cops...more crime...more cops less least that is how it should work...

    October 20, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. FBMarky

    If I was the Mayor of a large city and the republicans voted no to more police and fire protection for my citizens, I'd make sure that those services were geared more towards democrats and working people and that the rich folks in my town had to wait a long time for help when they needed it. "What, the fire department's not there yet? Well, we're trying to be too socialist. There are many private fire companies you can try calling the meantime, though!"

    October 20, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  7. James PDX

    If you're still defending either party, you remain part of the problem. The problem that has brought our country to the miserable state it is now in. Nice work. Way to learn from your mistakes. I bet you'll vote either Democrat or Republican yet again. Welcome to the (not so) United States of Gluttons For Punishment.

    October 20, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  8. Robert - Atlanta

    Facts are hard to accept for the far right-wing nutcases! The GOP, aka “Conservatives”, have been slashing federal aid to cities and states. So not only is crime going up, policeman and firemen are being furloughed and 911 call centers and fire stations are closing. The Bush Tax Cuts for Billionaires and the two phony wars have crippled this country, but greedy republicans want more and more for their corporate buddies and Wall Street!

    October 20, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  9. MikeMazzla

    Im not really sure what the reporter was so outraged about. He was saying if you cut police spending crime will go up. Whether you agree with tha or not why is teh comment sout outrageous. Am I missing something?

    October 20, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  10. ST

    Brilliant job Joe. Just give GOP the medicine they asked for, as they can't handle the truth!

    October 20, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  11. john

    Problem is the numbers have gone up while those places have been receiving stimulus. All that money isn't going to keep the police force intact. Even if it does how long until the need another stimulus? The truth is there are budget cuts in cities all across the country. It is up to each municipality on what to cut. If they really don't want to lose half the police force then they need to cut from other parts ofthe budget. Passing the stimulus won't save these cities for moderate t long term which is why people are agianst him depicting it as the world is coming to an end

    October 20, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  12. R.I.P. Damon

    I'm not sure whether to laugh or shake my head. It is absolutely amazing what liberals can delude themselves into saying and thinking. What the VP said does not have one shred of truth to it and anyone who doesn't have their head up their hinder knows it. I'd throw out some basic stats to back that up but it's not worth my time. Get a life, people.

    October 20, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  13. steven harnack

    Boy these "personal responsibility" folks sure do get sensitive when you point out what it is that they are responsible FOR, don't they? More proof that Republican "values" are for the other guy.

    October 20, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  14. um

    Yeah...they actually DO. If a serial rapist is in jail b/c the cops caught him, he's not out raping anyone else! How difficult is that to understand? Same thing with murderers! Joe was right on the money here.

    "Pam Smith

    I know people have a hard time grasping this with their smart phone and prescription med dulled little minds but police don't PREVENT rapes and murders. Per the Supreme Court that isn't even in their job description. When's the last time a cop kicked down a door to stop a rape? That's what Batman does in movies."

    October 20, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  15. SecedingfromTexas

    Way to go Joe!! "Don't screw with me" is the perfect answer to a useless guy that makes a living off of his
    so-called "trademark ambush interviews".

    October 20, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  16. Rosslaw

    Human Events is "angry" the Biden refers to reality. Less police means less effective law enforcement. Look at the success of the Clinton "COPS" with the objective to put 100,000 new police officers on the streets in the 90's. Violent crime plummetted nationwide. He only got 60,000 new police since Republicans hate police as they are often unionized and support Democrats who don't encourage people to settle disputes with their brand new AK-47's like right-wingers imagine real men should do.

    October 20, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. ray

    Joe is an inspirational character who shows the world just how far you can go without a BRAIN. We've been Obamaed again!

    October 20, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  18. Nothing new here

    Yes, the criminals can, and will, take advantage of reduced police presence in our major cities. But whose fault is that – really?? It is the fault of people that refuse to grow up, and take responsibility for their own lives. It is the fault of people that want kids, but want the U.S. taxpayers to support their families, while the government raises their kids. Look, I don't belong to either party, and I am certainly no fan of Republicans, either. But if the money is gone, then the money is gone, and there is nothing more that the middle-class folks like us can do about it.

    October 20, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. ja

    crime is already on the rise due to the economy, biden is right

    October 20, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. wishing

    In the Family Values Party, they focus on rape, not murder and other violent crimes. Apparently, unlawful, or forced violation of a woman (or man) is worse than murder. Life has less value than....what? Are they offended by the notion of a sexual act, is it honor that they worship, what is it that is more important than life? Are they saying that it is better to be killed than raped? Explain their perspective please. Not to mention the fact that they are supposed to be the Pro-Life Party – though I understand that only pertains to the unborn, not those already living.

    October 20, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  21. Mike in SA

    Gee...don't blame the unions that have raised salaries, overtime, and benefits to the point that most cities can no longer afford the number of officers required! Why don't you liberals understand that there is a finite amount of money REGARDLESS of how much you think you can print! Now, stop with all the feel good, free hand outs to anyone and everyone, and we could have the number of cops and firefighters we need.

    October 20, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Bob

    Joe's hair plugs were planted too deep....

    October 20, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. PrideOfBoston

    Mr. Vice President, please don't insult the intelligence of the American people. What you're proposing isn't stimulus and has absolutely nothing to do with public safety. What you, Obama, Harry, Nancy and the rest of the Democrats want is nothing more than a thinly veiled kickback to the public unions in advance of the 2012 elections. We have watched you and the Democrats run this country further into the ground from 2006-2010. You controlled Congress and the White House from 2008-10 yet the only thing you managed to accomplish was to drive this country further into the red and to ram a wildly unpopular universal healthcare plan down our throats. We have seen your failed ideas and stimuli time and time again. As you and the lunatic left that frequent this site seem to forget, we the American people voted your party out in droves in 2010 to reign in your out of control spending. Shame on you and the rest of the liberal moonbats who fight to continue mortgaging our nation's future to by votes from the public unions. The truth is, those teachers, cops and firefighters out of work have no one to blame but themselves and their union representatives. When given the chance to either make concessions and accept cuts to their over inflated wages or face layoffs, they chose layoffs. If they now have regrets, they shouldn't be asking for the taxpayers to bail them out. They should be pleading with their union reps to make concessions.

    October 20, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. Andrew

    No, violent crime has been going down nationally despite the high unemployment. Check your facts, libs.

    October 20, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. gt

    try some other democratic cities like gary , east st louis , watts ,pine bluff, memphis... is there a pattern here....

    October 20, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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