Sen. Barrasso: Biden's crime comments 'over the top'

“The vice president has taken their eye off the ball,” he said.

Still, Barrasso insisted that the White House and congressional Republicans could reach agreement on economic legislation. “I want to work to get more people working in this country. I want to work with Democrats,” he said.

He pointed to efforts to repeal a rule requiring the government to withhold 3 percent of payments to federal contractors as a measure on which the president could find GOP support.

In Philadelphia last Tuesday, Biden discussed rising crime rates when criticizing lawmakers who said the president’s jobs bill was only a temporary solution.

“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 [and] has a gun being pointed to his head. If a cop shows up and he's not killed, that’s not temporary to that store owner.”

The Republican National Committee quickly responded to the vice president. “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,” the RNC said in a statement released last week.