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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to say whether President Biden believes America’s cities are “safe” Monday.
Fox News reporter Peter Doocy pressed Jean-Pierre on stats showing rising crime in major cities across the country. He went on to highlight comments from former White House press secretary Jen Psaki who stated that crime was a major vulnerability for Democrats heading into the November elections.
“Does President Biden think America’s big cities are safe?” Doocy began. “We know that deaths and robberies are up about 20 percent in the first half of this year, so I’m wondering if he thinks America’s big cities are safe.”
“Look, this is a president who has secured historic funding to make sure law enforcement has what it needs. And he was able to do this in the face of opposition from Republicans,” Jean-Pierre responded.
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Jean-Pierre went on to say that Biden’s American Rescue Plan included “more than $300 billion” in funding for states and local groups to hire more law enforcement.
“Just the original question: Does President Biden think America’s big cities are safe?” Doocy pressed.
“It is not a yes or no question. It is very much a question of what has he done…to make sure that cities…have the funding and have what they need to protect their community, and that is what the president has done,” Jean-Pierre responded.
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Doocy then confronted her with Psaki’s comments. Jean-Pierre argued that Doocy was taking her former boss’s statement out of context, before punting back to claims that Republicans weren’t cooperating on crime legislation.
Republicans have blasted Biden and Democrats for rising crime and inflation throughout the midterm election cycle.
A Sunday poll from ABC News and The Washington Post found that surging crime had beaten out abortion as a top concern for Americans leading into the November election.