Joe Biden’s comments at the University of Pennsylvania continued to dog the vice president this Tuesday on Laura Ingraham’s radio program, an indication that unlike previous gaffs this one might have done lasting damage to the administration.
Comments in Philadelphia
Biden’s initial remarks were made on October 18th at the University of Pennsylvania where he attacked congressional Republicans for criticizing President Obama’s approach to fixing the economy as limited and temporary.
The appearance was part of a campaign by the White House to defend its controversial plan for a second $447 billion package of stimulus spending.
“Let me tell you, it’s not temporary when that 9-1-1 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 charged before a crowd of police officers.
“Give me a break — temporary. I wish these guys who thought it was temporary, I wish they had some notion what it’s like be on the other side of a gun or a 200-pound man standing over you telling you to submit,” the vice president continued.
Enter Jason Mattera
The next day in Washington DC, Joe Biden was confronted at the Russell Senate Office Building about his controversial rape statement by Jason Mattera, an editor for Human Events.
“Do you regret using a rape reference to describe Republican opposition to the president’s [jobs] bill?” Mattera asked.
“No, no, no. I didn’t use it. Let’s get this straight, don’t screw around with me guys.” Biden rejoined, pointing his finger at Mattera.
“I said rape was up three times in Flint [Michigan], they’re the numbers…murder is up, rape is up, and burglary is up, that’s exactly what I said.”
“And if the Republicans don’t pass this bill then rape will continue to rise?” the reporter queried.
“Murder will continue to rise, rape will continue to rise, all crimes will continue to rise.” Biden claimed.
A story that just won’t die
The exchange on October 19th pushed the Philadelphia remarks beyond the city’s media circle, spreading from local radio personalities like Dom Giordano, Chris Stigall, and Gary R’Nel to national figures like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and Mark Levin.
“Everything is a scare tactic with these people, everything,” Laura Ingraham began as the radio host segued into her interview with Jason Mattera, who joined her in studio this Tuesday, October 25th.
“[Biden] not only made the comparison that rapes would increase if we didn’t pass another $35 billion bailout to the states. He also suggested at the University of Pennsylvania that Republicans should be themselves rape victims, and then they would have a change of heart.”
Mattera explained his frustration that much of the media shrugged off the remarks fueled his decision to confront the vice president on October 19th.
When Biden walked by the Human Events editor, Mattera waved forward his camera crew and asked for a picture with the vice president – at which point the now infamous exchange began.
Fact checking the rape remark
Ingraham expressed concern with Joe Biden for his initially hostile response, “don’t screw around with me guys,” before he doubled down on his remarks regarding rising crime rates.
Mattera then observed, “It turns out that in Flint, Michigan – where he gave this first example – rapes haven’t increased 152% as he suggested. They’ve actually decreased Laura 11%, so if you’re going to be offensive with your references you gotta have the facts on your side.”
“He was actually given four Pinocchios by the Washington Post fact checker after my exchange with him. And, the Washington Post said the claims were absurd and half-baked.”
White House attempts to yank press credentials this Monday
During Jason Mattera’s October 19th exchange with Joe Biden, a female staffer can be seen stepping between the two in order to terminate the conversation, stating, “We gotta go. I’m sorry, we gotta go. We have to leave.”
A uniformed police officer then put her hand on Mattera’s shoulder to direct him away from the vice president. As he attempted to follow Biden down the hall of the Russell Senate Office Building, the female staffer – visibly flustered – turned and demanded, “Who are you with?”
In his October 25th interview with Laura Ingraham, the Human Events editor disclosed that after the exchange, “[the administration] actually called the Senate press gallery yesterday to see if my credentials can be investigated and possibly yanked because they didn’t think it was appropriate, and I didn’t follow proper protocol in asking the vice president a question.”
A free podcast of Laura Ingraham’s complete interview with Jason Mattera is available here
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