White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attempted to downplay President Joe Biden’s responsibility regarding rising crime rates, calling the problem “complicated” and trying to blame it on former President Donald Trump.
During a press briefing on Monday, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy pressed Jean-Pierre about crime, asking whether the president believes that America’s cities are safe.
The press secretary responded by referencing a recent New York Times article about rising crime, claiming that “the crime is complicated and multifaceted.” She then attempted to change the subject, trying to promote Biden’s spending bills.
Doocy continued to press the issue, noting that murder rates in major cities were still extremely high and pointing out that thefts and robberies in major cities had increased by approximately 20% in the first half of 2022.
Jean-Pierre once again tried to downplay the issue and Biden’s responsibility for it, blaming high crime rates on Trump and claiming that Biden “inherited a rising crime rate” from his predecessor.
Doocy refused to let her get away with dismissing the issue, asking again whether Americans living in these major cities should feel 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,” the press secretary replied.
Doocy then continued to press Jean-Pierre, again asking questions regarding crime and safety. The Fox News reporter also asked her about comments made by her predecessor, former White House press secretary Jen Psaki, warning Democrats about crime being a major vulnerability in the upcoming midterms.
“In Pennsylvania, the Republicans have been spending millions of dollars on the air on crime ads against Fetterman because that’s where they see his vulnerability,” Psaki stated during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” noting that crime was “a huge issue” in Pennsylvania.
Interesting: Jen Psaki, Biden’s former press secretary, acknowledges that if the midterms are a “referendum on the president” (her former boss), Democrats will lose. pic.twitter.com/tf338tcUQB
— Gabe Fleisher (@WakeUp2Politics) September 25, 2022
Instead of actually responding to his questions, Jean-Pierre insisted that Doocy had mischaracterized Psaki’s comments.
“I don’t agree with your characterization of what she actually said,” the press secretary replied.
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