Biden: Rape comments weren't political
October 23rd, 2011
09:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Biden: Rape comments weren't political

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden said he was not making a political or ideological point when he suggested earlier in the week that rapes and other crimes would increase if Republicans block a measure aimed at preserving police jobs.

"They either are going to figure out how to help those cities the way we want to help them, or some other way. But if they don't get help, crime is going to continue to go up. It's that simple," Biden said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "It's not an ideological point, it's not a political point, it's just a physical reality."

During a speech Wednesday, Biden said murder, robbery and rape rates have increased in cities like Camden, New Jersey and Flint, Michigan due to budget cuts. He added that those rates would rise further if Republicans oppose a $35 million provision of President Barack Obama's jobs bill intended to pay for the hiring of police officers, teachers and firefighters.

Biden stood by his comments later in the day in a contentious exchange with a reporter on Capitol Hill.

"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 responded.

Some on the other side of the aisle seized on the comments, accusing the former Delaware senator of blaming the GOP for crime rates in cities like Flint, where serious crimes fell by a rate of 6% in 2010.

But Biden said recent cop layoffs are the beginning of a downward cycle that will stem from the economic downturn, and he turned the table on Republicans.

"The question is … we have an answer. What's their answer? Or do they think the federal government has no obligation?" Biden told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "I respect it if they think that. But the truth is we can fix this problem now."

- CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Joe Biden • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. FedUp

    If you look at the statistics, a lesser pecentage of teachers, firemen and police have been laid off than those in the private sector.

    October 23, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    Vice President Joe Biden was telling the truth

    October 23, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  3. zb

    Republican/Tparty faith based economics: cutting police, fireman, teachers, sanitation, does not have consequences.

    October 23, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Are there any Democrats, that are not blatant liars?

    Of course Biden's rape comments were political, and they were terribly offensive and unwarranted, to boot.

    October 23, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  5. JPNAmerican

    Elementary school kids learn this fact while playing Sim City. You take away police and crime goes up.

    October 23, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  6. ST

    It is quite simple. Less corps more crimes. The more corps are around, the more they deal with various crimes. Few corps can not cope and in the end crimes will go up!

    October 23, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  7. Russ in Md

    The only reason rape and murder is up is because the bleeding heart liberals keep releasing them from prison even when they know they will be repeat offenders.

    October 23, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. Victoria avgam54

    there is nothing political about his statements, biden was simply telling it like it is. The repubs make it political beacuse the world is amazed that their party fails to see truth any longer.

    October 23, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. Pa Mom

    Our WH always says something for shock value to get the people up in arms. There way....divide and conquer. Well Joe, maybe it is time you take a close look at our economy and tell us how to pay for everything. It is the responsible citizens who want to live within a budget and know you cannot have everything you want. Seems to be a lesson the deomcrats nor those who believe in a nanny state fail to understand. Stop enabling!

    October 23, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. Brandy

    Again I watched with dismay when McConnell spoke.. I live in Kentucky and we have a higher unemployment rate than the national average. I have seen nothing he has done to help this economy. He did speak the truth when he said two years ago, that his main agenda is to have President Obama a one term president. If McConnell has helped anyone its his rich friends in Louisville and Lexington, he has forgotten the rest of the state. He is part of the problem and I don't see any improvement until he no longer represents Kentucky or for that matter the nation.

    October 23, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. Larry L

    Republicans only protect the wealthy. They have no concern for working people and the poor. I can see no logical link between the practices of conservatives and their professed belief in the teachings of Christ.

    October 23, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. sara

    Everybody knows that EVERY time the economy is as bad as this....CRIME..ALL crime increases. I had to patrol my community in the last month calling police, sometimes taking up to 2 hours to get there about burgarlers and drug dealers beginning to 'hang" around. This is my community where I can not afford to LOSE any more of my monies. My home value has dropped 200,000 dollars since 2009. Why the freak don't these people, the republicans focus on JOBS like they campaign and won on???? I did EVERYTHING this country told me to do and was promised a decent life for me and my children and to sit in my House (congress) and deny me a job, a home or a decent community makes me very angry. All "average" Americans wealth is in their homes! And I don't want to lose it and let rich investors to buy it on pennies and allow me to "rent" it from them. It is political when a leader of Congress, a year ago, said HIS and his party's ONLY agenda was to defeat this president. Well, idealogues, I'm not running for Prez and I Don't deserve nor want to be a party to this kind of "insanity" from a leader of my country. Enough of this B.S......already. Beat the Prez fair and square in teh election, but Americans are not going to buy into this crap! Political as in Suppression of Votes in republican controlled States while Billions of Americans are out of work and rarely does We hear anything about jobs from them. Abortion, yes....lightbulbs..yes...Trade ... yes....These people are either deaf or don't care about you or me. Now this is Political!

    October 23, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Portland tony

    What's that a trick answer. Yes there are some of those you cite in the private sector. But here's an interesting point. Why are teachers in China selected from the top 20% of their graduation class and the US recruits from the bottom 20%. And pay is extremely fair and equal. Something about National Priorities. We in America live for today and for the most part care very little about what happens down the road. Why does anyone think this nation became the land of milk and honey after WWII ? It was because we had the best roads, bridges, dams, housing, science, government and education system. What do we have now?

    October 23, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. jerry from Dallas

    I can't believe this country want to vote back Republicans after what they did under George B and what they have continued to do in Congress under Obama. Look at filibusters in the Senate and abortion bills in Congress. No jobs bill as promised or anything that can help build our country.
    Why tell women what to do with their bodies? Is that not Big Government on its citizens? This is crazy.

    October 23, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Marie MD

    Mr. Biden, don't waste your time. Anything that comes out of your mouth or the President's mouth is a target for the teapublikans.
    I guess they think rethug women don't get raped until it happens then they change their tune.
    The whole party of HELL NO has lost its way.

    October 23, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. diridi

    Harsh, but truthful statement...Obama2012

    October 23, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. FIELD1stSGT

    Biden quit putting ideals into the Obamanites heads with speech such as rape. They do that enough as is. Low mentality is at fault here and it runs rampant in the White House. They can't stand the thought of no one wants them.

    October 23, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. MAC

    If states and municipalities politicians had not promised a better life for than the regular tax payer they would not be in trouble. If they do not want cuts in numbers they need to cut pay, cut payments for benefits or raise local taxes. Why should the federal government go further into debt. Private sector companies have had major pay cuts and benefit losses to keep peoples jobs.

    October 23, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |