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. jb

    Crime will go up if criminals are stopped from crossing our south border.

    October 20, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. cathstar

    Less police presence equals more crime. Makes complete sense. What doesn't the GOP get about this?

    October 20, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. Inrealityhere

    Liberal thinking:
    1. Ban God and Christianity from the pubic arena.
    2. When problems arise offer man's solution.

    Result: We are now experiencing it.

    October 20, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Inrealityhere

    And I'm not suggesting Republicans have all the answers but I know Who does.

    October 20, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Jesus Christ


    Christ never forced anyone to share their wealth. I strongly doubt Christ was against the free market. He threw the " moneychangers" out because they were using His house of prayer to make a profit on the Sabbath day. He surely was an advocate of personal responsibility and helping those in need, but many of the aforementioned are there to get bailouts/ handouts at the expense of those who busy working for a living.

    Actually, here are a couple of statements I made regarding wealth;

    "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a niddle than for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven."

    "If you have two cows and your neighbor has none, give him one of yours."

    So, you should look at how I actually live while on earth. I lived with a bunch of guys who shared everything. We created the firsr communal life style.We pooled all our money and shared it all. I cured the sick without asking to get paid. I fed the hungry without charging them a fee. So really, I was living a socialist life style. Sorry, if that hurts your attempt as using ME, as a source to support your political views.

    October 20, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Bill

    What a great game this is. President Obama has given the election to the republicans to lose and the republicans continue to turn the ball over. Now Biden just continues to dribble the ball out of bounds. Who needs the NBA.

    October 20, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. fishoilworks

    Thank you Vice President Biden! You're right to point out what will happen if the Republicans refuse to pass this bill. Without the stimulus, it would have been worse. We need this bill to pass! The majority of the country supports this bill.

    October 20, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. bluedogboy

    Less police officers = more crime. Only a loon on the right would have problems comprehending this.

    October 20, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. David

    Biden never ceases to amaze me as to how dumb he is. Crime does rise because of police presence.

    October 20, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. Rickster

    Biden is ALMOST as clueless as his boss.

    October 20, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Dave

    It's so simple even Republicans could understand it, if they were honest. That's the problem, though – they aren't.

    If you have fewer cops available to stop it, your crime rate goes up.

    And spare us the "Jesus" stuff. I live in the South, the most religious area of the country, and the crime rate in Southern states is higher than most of the rest of the country. So is poverty, bad health care, infant mortality, etc. Just relying on religion isn't working any better than Republican policies are, or the South would be leading the rest of the country instead of lagging behind it.

    October 20, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. Lisa P

    @ Inrealityhere

    The thing is that He isn't telling. Anyone who says otherwise is feeding you a line. Humans were given *dominion* over the Earth - they weren't hired to be flunkies or "yes" men waiting for orders. A big part of God's plan is that we have to solve these problems ourselves.

    October 20, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Ideas and Ideals not ideologies

    Anyone who knows anything about crimes will confirm that 3 conditions need to be met for a crime to take place
    1. absence of an able guardian i.e fewer police
    2. weak target i.e most non-criminals
    3. opportunity i.e criminals
    conditions 2 and 3 are met in the absence of condition 1. Enough said

    October 20, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Sean

    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? Everytime Biden opens his mouth he puts hit foot in it. He makes GWB look like a candidate for Mensa...

    October 20, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. NavyAirVet

    Liberals will come to their candidates rescue even if they are wrong. It is wrong for Biden to say that people will die if the Congress doesn't pass the administrations election year jobs bill. Sounds like they are getting desperate. How about Obama raising Social Security cost of living to 3.5% in an election year after no raises the last three years. Do they think we are stupid like their followers? One more year, whew!

    October 20, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. IreneNY

    The comments berating VP Biden make me sick. Conservatives have completely gone around the bend, over the top, they have become a joke and an embarrassment to this country – they are becoming the fastest growing group of stupid ever.

    Give 'm hell Joe and then give 'm some more!

    October 20, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Rickster

    "An unofficial gauge of human misery in the United States rose last month to a 28-year high as Americans struggled with rising inflation and high unemployment."
    Heckuva job, Barry and Joe.

    October 20, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. CH

    @Jesus Christ

    I love this verse, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a niddle than for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven."

    I love it even more when people misuse it like you are here, what the real Jesus Christ was talking about was the love of money, this is in the story with the rich young ruler who said he followed the law completely what else must he do, my Lord told him to sell his possesions give them to the poor and follow Him. The ruler could not do this because he loved his money more the Jesus. SO please do not take these out of context

    October 20, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Terry Gloege

    Biden ought to know better than to put basic logic into any conversation with the media.

    October 20, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Bill in VA wrote:
    No one wants to see crime go up. But the issue isn't crime. It is whether it makes sense to give federal dollars to local law enforcement and I don't think it does. This is nothning more than a temporay stimulus plan. Not a jobs bill. If there are local law enforcement needs (or teachers or whatever), raise local taxes or cut something else locally
    What do you suggest should be done under the following scenario? The state creates new tax cuts, which in turn creates a deficit. The deficit is closed by cutting state aid to communities, earmarked for fire and police protection. Do you still suggest that local taxes be raised to make up the difference, so that the policemen and firemen will not be laid off?

    October 20, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. JR

    Let's see, half a BILLION dollars to the Demonazi cronies at Solyndra. Hmm, that would have paid a LOT of cops, etc. and stopped a LOT of rape except, of course the rape heaped upon the taxpayers by this corruption. I guess Joe happened to forget that.

    October 20, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. george of the jungle

    Vice President Biden is correct and the GOP doesnt like to hear it. I understand his frustration when talking to the conservitive press. They spin every thing to their advantage like we are stupid and will believe them . If left to the repos crime will continue to rise. But then rich people don't care they just move to gated communities ! you have to remember most people who vote republican are a simple minded lot who think it is Gods plan like one person wrote in. Really???

    October 20, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. Sci1

    @inrealityhere...Thank you for your opinion. But it is simply that, your opinion.

    October 20, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. Dan

    This guy lies just as good as his boss does.

    October 20, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Lynne

    Here is my question....Regardless of who's fault it is (because there is nothing we can do about it now) - If you were about to be the victim of a crime would you want a police office there?

    If you were out of a job, would you want help finding one? Or would you want someone to say tough luck, screw you?

    If you were down and out, would you want me to leave you there or help you up?

    If I were in trouble would you help me or just laugh and walk on by?

    October 20, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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