“Good old Joe,” as Obama calls him. If only Joe Biden’s veracity matched his charming smile. But it doesn’t. Biden has a lengthy history of outright falsehoods as well as careless gaffes.
Biden warned earlier this month that more people would likely be raped and murdered if President Obama’s jobs bill wasn’t passed. The Weekly Standard quoted Biden as saying at a campaign event: “In 2008, when Flint (Michigan) had 265 sworn officers on their police force, there were 35 murders and 91 rapes in this city. In 2010 when Flint had only 144 police officers, the murder rate climbed to 65, and rapes…climbed to 229. In 2011, you now have only 125 shields. God knows what the numbers will be if we don’t rectify it” (by passing the president’s phony jobs bill, which includes $35 billion to supposedly avert police layoffs).
Biden repeated the dire warnings at a later Philadelphia event.
But according to Fact Check, Joe’s figures were way off base. They don’t “square with FBI data.” And since then he has said rapes in Flint have tripled and even “quadrupled.” But FBI data show that rapes, instead, have gone down 11 percent from 103 in 2008 to 92 in 2010.
As for the claim that the city’s murder rate has “tripled,” the city says there were a record high 66 murders that year, double, not triple the 32 murders that occurred in 2008.
Violent crime is “bad in Flint, no doubt, but Biden makes it out to be worse than it is.” A Fact Check update Oct. 23 found that the rape figures reported by Flint to the Michigan State Police confirm that rapes declined in the city from 2008 to 2010. “We also found that the broader category of criminal sexual conduct also was down.”
State police figures show a 10 percent reduction in total criminal sexual conduct reports between 2008 and 2010. Also murder, rape and robbery are declining this year in spite of police layoffs in Flint, according to the most recent official report by the State Police.
Biden was wrong when he said the murder rate has tripled.
Fact Check explained:
In 2008, there were 32 murders in a city of 113,462 people for a murder rate of .28 murders per 1,000 residents. In 2010, there were 66 murders and a population of 109,245 for a rate of .60 murders per 1,000. That’s an increase of 115 percent, more than double but not quite triple.
Could it be that Old Joe is confusing crime with the deficit and debt which has tripled and quadrupled since Obama and Old Joe took office?
Is a shortage of police a new phenomenon? Hardly. Back in 2003, for instance, the Hartford, Conn. police union griped that budget cuts plaguing the state had forced the city to hold off filling department vacancies. The union said there “are not enough officers to fill beats and not enough to back each other up.”
Hartford was not alone. “Other cities, including Bridgeport and New Haven are also down officers,” said a July 27, 2003 report in The New York Times.
In 2004, USA TODAY reported Cleveland’s mayor reported staffing problems in police and fire departments.
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