Biden Claims Conservative Journalist Broke Senate Rules With Contentious 'Rape' Interview

October 25th, 2011 9:49 AM

Vice President Joe Biden's office has lodged a complaint with the Senate press gallery over a contentious interview about his rape and jobs bill comments with Human Events' Jason Mattera last week that ended up going viral.

The Hill reported Tuesday:

Biden aides asked whether Senate rules were broken in the wake of the contentious exchange between the vice president and the reporter.

Jason Mattera, who works for Human Events, a conservative magazine, used a pretext to catch Biden off guard in a Senate hallway and grill him on claims the vice president has made about jobs legislation.

What was the pretext?

As the vice president left the Russell caucus room, Mattera weaved his way through the entourage, shook Biden’s hand and asked him to pose for a photo. While shaking Biden’s hand, Matter [sic] asked him if he felt “regret using a rape reference to describe Republican opposition to the president’s bill.”

So you're not allowed to ask someone a question while you're shaking his hand? Certainly not if you're a conservative journalist.

In reality, this likely wouldn't have gotten much attention if Biden hadn't blown his answers:

After initially balking at the questions, Biden stood by his argument that if Republicans continue to block the Democratic jobs bill, “murder will continue to rise, rape will continue to rise, all crimes will continue to rise.”

The Washington Post’s fact-checker ripped Biden’s claims over the weekend, giving the vice president “four Pinocchios” and writing that he “should know better than to spout off half-baked facts in service of a dubious argument.”

For his part, Mattera admits he used a pretext to get to Biden, but says media bias might be behind the complaint:

“ABC and CBS have done undercover sting operations and have done them for decades. The fact that a conservative publication goes after a public official who was misrepresenting himself and a Senate bill to the public and tries to get an answer from him, that’s great,” he said in an interview Monday.


For those interested, here's the interview at the heart of the controversy: