As Republicans are sharpening their message on crime ahead of the midterms, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is developing a unique response to the question of whether U.S. cities are safe.
During a press conference on Monday, Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked, “Does President Biden think America’s big cities are safe?”
“Can you say more?” Jean-Pierre asked.
Doocy alluded to a story published by The New York Times that reported thefts and robberies in the first half of 2022 increased by roughly 20%. He also noted several high-profile Americans have been the subjects of robberies.
“These are high-profile people, so should everyday Americans who are not in the public eye feel safe?” he asked.
Jean-Pierre responded, “I’ll say this, that same story also stated that the crime is complicated and multifaceted. Look, this is a president who has secured historic funding to make sure that law enforcement has what it needs.”
The press secretary referred to a portion of the Times’ story that read, “Crime is complicated and multifaceted. A lot of the public discussion and reporting around crime focuses on what the police and the criminal justice system can do. But while law enforcement can play an important role in reducing crime, there are also often deeper problems that the police can’t address — like Covid, social discord and inflation.”
Watch the video below:
Doocy: "Does Biden think America's big cities are safe?"
Jean-Pierre: "The crime is complicated and multi-faceted… It is not a yes or no question." pic.twitter.com/4P2wzOwzgn
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 26, 2022
However, Doocy asked again if the president believes big cities are safe.
“It is not a yes or no question. It is very much a question of what has he done. That’s how we see the question,” Jean-Pierre responded.
She added, “What matters is that we have the funding, and we have done the work, put the policy forward to make sure these cities — whether it’s big or small — have what they need to protect their community. And that’s what this president has done.”
If this is the message, Democrats want to run on ahead of the midterms, good luck to them.
When Americans see stories about rising crime and incidents of crime down the street from their home, they’re not thinking, “You know, this is a really complicated and multifaceted situation, and it is hard to say if this is a safe city or not. I know Covid is really behind the rising crime, and at least Biden gave some funding to police departments.”
To most Americans, the question of whether or not cities are safe is a yes or no question. They’re not going to care what you say is causing the increase in crime rates. And if the White House’s response is just, “We gave police departments money so they can protect you, you’re welcome, America,” that will not fly with voters.
It does not matter if Democrats think municipalities are failing their communities. If voters feel the government is sitting back and not getting involved enough to help stop crime and protect life and property — one of the most fundamental descriptions of government’s job — Democrats are going to get punished in November.
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