Vice President Joe Biden dropped into Orlando Monday, telling a convention of police chiefs that should Republicans seize control of Congress, federal funding to local law enforcement would likely shrink.Really? Crime is higher in GOP districts? Could have fooled me. Considering Democrats control pretty much every district in every city--typically where crime is highest--that statement is absurd on its face. Naturally, the cops laughed at him.
Biden, who was also in town to raise money for Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson, said GOP leaders want to scale back federal involvement in local affairs, leaving law enforcement funding to cities and counties.
He described a "deep, philosophical divide" between the two major parties, saying Democrats see a need to help local police deal with law enforcement issues. Republicans, Biden said, argue that's not a federal responsibility.
"We'll be your back-up," said Biden, whose visit came just eight days before the mid-term elections. "But once again, I'm going to come and ask you for back-up in these fights."
Biden cited the COPS program, rolled out in 1994. The law provided grants to hire more police, and Democrats say between 1995 and 2005 it added some 117,000 officers to police departments spread around the country.
Biden said he took some heat from Democratic lawmakers who wanted to know why Republican congressional districts got so many new positions.
"It's simple," Biden said he told them. "That's where the crime was."
With the police chiefs chuckling and murmuring, Biden held his hand up: "No, no, no," he said. "That's not what I mean. That's not what I mean. I disagree with my opponents, but they're not mugging anybody but me."Wow, a whole $30,000.
After meeting with the police chiefs, Biden spent a few minutes posing for photos with donors contributing $1,000 each to the campaign of Grayson, an Orlando Democrat being challenged by former state Sen. Daniel Webster. Biden helped raise $30,000 for Grayson, one of the GOP's top targets.