Vice President Joe Biden defended and repeated assertions he made last week that rape and murder rates will continue to rise if President Barack Obama's jobs bill is not passed, and had a testy moment with a reporter who questioned the appropriateness of his comments.
Speaking at a Capitol Hill rally Wednesday to promote the jobs bill, Biden repeated his earlier remarks that police layoffs in cities like Flint, Mich. have resulted in higher crime rates.
"In many cities, the result has been, and it's not unique, murder rates are up, robberies are up, rapes are up," Biden said.
Biden made similar remarks Tuesday as well, saying he wished legislators who dismiss the jobs bill as "temporary" could feel for themselves what it's like to be the victim of a crime.
"It’s not temporary when that 911 call comes in and a woman’s being raped if a cop shows up in time to prevent the rape, it’s not temporary to that woman," Biden said. "I wish these guys that thought it was temporary, I wish they had some notion what it’s like to be on the other side of a gun or a 200 pound man standing over you telling you to submit. Folks, it matters. It matters!”
Human Events reporter Jason Mattera questioned Biden on his comments after Wednesday's event, asking whether he regretted "using a rape reference to describe Republican opposition to the president's bill."
"I didn't use, no no no," Biden said. "What I said, let's get it straight, guy, don't screw around with me....I said rape is up three times in Flint. There are numbers, go look at the numbers. Murder's up, rape is up and burglary's up," Biden said.
"And if Republicans don't pass this bill, rape will continue to rise?" Mattera pressed.
"Murder will continue to rise, rape will continue to rise, all crimes will continue to rise," Biden answered.
"Do you think it's appropriate for the vice president to use language in such a way?" Mattera asked as aides interrupted him and hustled Biden away.
The Republican National Committee issued a statement blasting Biden's remarks, saying "nothing could be more irresponsible and mean-spirited."
"No victim of violent crime would ever wish that others were forced to experience the same trauma they went through -- especially to make a brazen political point. So why would the sitting Vice President of the United States?" RNC co-chairman Sharon Day said.