Biden: Tuesday primaries sent ‘clear message’ voters want tough-on-crime policies
President Biden said that Tuesday’s primary results in California, Mississippi and other states sent a message that voters want leaders who will take a tough stance on crime.
“I think the voters sent a clear message last night. Both parties have to step up and do something about crime, as well as gun violence,” Biden told reporters on Wednesday before boarding Air Force One to travel to California.
He called on states and localities to spend billions of dollars allocated in the American Rescue Plan “to hire police officers and reform the police departments.”
“Very few have done it,” he said.
The president held an event at the White House last month to call on mayors and local leaders to use funds from the American Rescue Plan to bulk up police forces and safety programs ahead of the summer months.
“In addition to that, I sent Congress a request for $300 million in this year’s budget to deal with hiring costs,” he said on Wednesday.
Biden has consistently pushed for more funding for police departments, distinguishing his policies against some progressives’ calls to “defund” the police. His comments on Wednesday also come as a bipartisan group of senators is negotiating gun control measures in the wake of recent mass shootings.
On Tuesday in San Francisco, where residents have faced rising crime, District Attorney Chesa Boudin (D) was booted out of office in a recall election by a 20-point margin. Boudin is one of the most progressive top prosecutors in the country and advanced a more lenient approach to crime.
In Los Angeles, billionaire Rick Caruso, who has vowed to be tough on crime, was the top vote-getter in the mayoral race and will face a November runoff election against Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.).
Meanwhile in Mississippi and South Dakota, House Republican incumbents fought off primary challenges from pro-Trump challengers.