The Daily Beast

Trump Says Biden’s Crime Bill Was Too Cruel. Barr Said It Was Too Weak

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As the presidential campaign enters the post-Labor Day home stretch, the Trump campaign has invested heavily in swing-state advertising that labels former Vice President Joe Biden as both too weak on crime and too tough on crime.

But every time the Trump campaign hits Biden for his authorship of the 1994 omnibus crime bill that vastly expanded funding for police and the construction of prisons—part of a concerted effort to weaken the former vice president’s standing among Black voters—they are omitting the fact that a key member of the cabinet derided the law as not tough enough. 

“Yes, more police,” Bill Barr, fresh off his first stint at the helm of the Justice Department under President George H.W. Bush, told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer in August 1993 when asked about the proposed legislation. “But they also need prosecutors and prisons. If you put police on the street with no prison space behind them, all you’re going to do is spin that revolving door faster.”

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