By Alicia M. Cohn - 10/20/11 12:15 PM EDT
The Republican National Committee blasted Vice President Biden on Wednesday for remarks made this week and last suggesting violent crime rates would continue to rise if President Obama’s jobs bill is not implemented.
Biden referred to the crime rate when stumping for the American Jobs Act twice, first in Michigan last week and then in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Biden told a crowd in Michigan that the jobs bill would support increased law enforcement, emphasizing “the direct correlation between the reduction in cops and firefighters and the rise in concerns of public safety.”
“Well, let me tell you, it's not temporary when that 911 call comes in and a woman's being raped and a cop shows up in time to prevent the rape,” Biden said.
"It’s not temporary to the guy whose store is being held up, has a gun being pointed to his head. If a cop shows up and he's not killed, that’s not temporary to that storeowner. Give me a break — 'temporary'! I wish these guys who thought it was temporary, I wish they had some notion what it was like to be at the other side of a gun, or a 200-pound man standing over you telling you to submit,” he added.
RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day fired back in a memo: “To link well-justified, bipartisan opposition to the president’s latest stimulus proposal to violent crime is intellectually dishonest and reeks of the kind of gutter politics that the Obama administration purports to be above.
"This is the kind of demagoguery one might expect from backbench bomb-throwers, not a constitutional officer of the United States who is second in line to the presidency and who at any minute could be called upon to lead the free world. Not only is this rhetoric beneath our nation’s second highest constitutional office, it undermines serious policy discussions taking place about how to put Americans back to work."
Biden doubled down when confronted over the reference Wednesday.
“Let’s get it straight, guy. Don’t screw around with me,” he said in a video from Human Events. “I said rape was up three times. Go look at the numbers. Murder is up, rape is up, burglary is up. That’s exactly what I said. … Murder will continue to rise, rape will continue to rise, all crimes will continue to rise.”