Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy pressed White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on rising crime rates throughout the U.S. on Monday.
Doocy asked if President Joe Biden believes American cities are “safe” with crime rates continuing to rise in certain areas of the country. He cited statistics from an article published by The New York Times titled, “A Shift in Crime,” indicating that crime has remained at record highs in the past year.
“Does Biden think America’s big cities are safe?” Doocy asked. “We know that deaths and robberies are up about 20% in the first half of this year so I’m wondering if he thinks America’s big cities are safe?”
“Are you talking about The New York Times story, specifically? Is that what you’re referring to?” Jean-Pierre asked.
“They had some stats. The murder rate is still 30% above its 2019 level, they’re all from the Council on Criminal Justice.”
Doocy then cited the shooting of Washington Commanders rookie running back Brian Robinson and the home robbery of Democratic California Rep. Karen Bass. Doocy noted that if high profile figures are at risk then ordinary Americans likely also fear for their safety.
Jean-Pierre said the president secured “historic funding” toward law enforcement in the American Rescue Plan and blamed current crime statistics on former President Donald Trump’s administration. (RELATED: Doocy Presses Psaki On Crime Wave In Major Cities, Bail Reform)
“This is a president who has secured historic funding to make sure that law enforcement has what it needs and he was able to do this in the face of opposition from Republicans,” she said. “During a time where he inherited a rising crime rate from the previous administration, the president put forth the American Rescue Plan and in that very plan there was more than $300 billion to go to local states and local cities to make sure that they were able to hire law enforcement, to hire firefighters, they were able to hire people that were critical to their needs as they were dealing with a pandemic. Republicans voted against that.”
When Doocy then repeated his question, the press secretary emphasized the importance of highlighting the president’s actions in combating crime in cities and communities throughout the country. He then cited former White House press secretary Jen Psaki on “Meet the Press” on Sunday saying that “crime is a huge vulnerability for Democrats.”
“Why would she say that?” he asked.
“I can’t do electoral politics from here, as you know. But I kind of don’t agree with your characterization of what she actually said. But I’ll say this and I’ve already said this already, the past few months what we’ve been able to do is create a pretty much clear split screen of what we are doing to deliver for the American people and what Republicans refuse to do,” she said. “We are making sure that we have Medicare and Social Security and we make sure that the Big Pharma is not upping cost for our seniors and making sure that we give them a little bit of breathing room.”
“You have Republicans who want to cut Medicare, they want to sunset Medicare, they want to sunset Social Security. You have this GOP agenda that was put out by the House where they want to go after the Inflation Reduction Act which will have an effect that will actually hurt Americans.”
As crime remains high, the Times reported murder rates dropped by 4% from 2021, citing the end of the pandemic and regained trust in law enforcement for the drop. The piece cited inflation for the rise in thefts and robberies as Americans struggle with surging prices of essential goods.