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Biden's delicate dance on combating crime surge and delivering criminal justice reform

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"The lies and distortions about defund and socialism carried a punch," he said.Veteran Republican strategist Colin Reed emphasized that "if voters don’t feel safe, they’re going to blame the party in charge and right now the party in charge across all levers of the federal government is the Democratic Party."Reed argued that "Biden and his team are waking up, looking at the poll numbers, realizing that if they go into next year’s midterm elections with a crime surge on their watch and nothing to show for it, the electoral results are going to be cataclysmic."BIDEN ANNOUNCES SLATE OF GUN CONTROL ACTIONS, CLAIMS 'PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS'House GOP campaign officials tell Fox News that they’ll continue to spotlight the issue as they aim to win back the chamber’s majority in the 2022 midterms.In a taste of things to come, National Republican Congressional Committee chair Rep. Tom Emmer – in a statement to Fox News – charged that "House Democrats spent the last year defunding the police and vilifying law enforcement. Every voter knows Democrats can’t be trusted to keep our communities safe and secure."But a Democratic operative who worked on last year’s elections argued "this is not a new line of attack by Republicans" and predicted that "Democrats are prepared for it."Michael Ceraso – a progressive Democratic strategist and a veteran of the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign – said that "I think the era of defunding the police for the most part is pretty much over and the New York mayoral race pretty much pointed to that."But he highlighted that the crime surge "is forcing the Democratic Party to go more moderate and it’s isolating progressives even further.""If young people don’t feel like their issues are spoken to, they’re not going to come out for a midterm election," Ceraso warned. "Young progressives who voted in 2020 could easily slip off the radar if they don’t see anything happening nationally or in their state" on the issues they care about.Then-presidential candidate Biden was put on the defensive by many of his progressive rivals during the 2020 Democratic primaries over his authoring of the 1994 crime bill, which was blamed for igniting a wave of mass incarcerations of minorities, and for his advocating for tough policies and penalties during the heights of the ‘war on drugs’ three decades ago.And Biden, who since last year as distanced himself from the calls by some progressives to defund the police, is now facing calls from moderates to combat the crime surge while at the same time facing pressure from the left of his party to deliver criminal justice and policing reforms."I don’t think anyone disputes the challenge, but what’s up for debate is the solution and I think it’s as nuanced as Biden is on a lot of issues," veteran Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh told Fox News.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP"What’s Biden’s trying to do is increase funding for police forces and for social and other programs that can help at the root of crime."And Marsh argued that "the politics around crime are far more nuanced that the coverage of it and I think that’s something everyone has to grapple with."Get all the stories you need-to-know from the most powerful name in news delivered first thing every morning to your inboxSubscribedYou've successfully subscribed to this newsletter!

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