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Bill de Blasio takes aim at Joe Biden over crime bill

De Blasio criticizes Biden over crime bill

The latest Democrat fighting to sit behind the Resolute Desk is taking aim at the frontrunner.

Bill de Blasio bashed Joe Biden on Thursday over the then-senator's role in passing the 1994 crime bill, which the New York City mayor and other critics say led to the disproportionate mass incarceration of black and Latino Americans.

"The nominee of the Democratic party has to be someone who says very clearly mass incarceration was a huge mistake, the crime bill was a huge mistake," de Blasio said in an interview with CBS News' Elaine Quijano on "Red & Blue."

Biden, who championed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, has argued that the majority of incarcerated citizens are in state prisons, rather than the federal ones affected by the bill. He has also touted the increased gun control that resulted from the bill's passage. However, de Blasio says that the strict sentencing guidelines of Biden's work set a standard of mandatory sentencing that bled into lower courts.

"The point is it grew and it grew and it grew and the crime bill was a part of it," he said.

De Blasio says that higher incarceration rates are counterproductive to making the country safe. He bills New York as "the safest big city in America," and links lowering arrest rates to safer streets.

"We're not punishing people and trying to send them away," he said. "We're actually trying to work with communities, particularly to help our young people lead productive lives."

De Blasio's criticisms came in response to a conservative New York Times columnist's defense of the crime bill that took aim at the New York mayor.

"The progressive mayor could never have been elected to his current office (much less aspired to a higher one) had 25 years of ever-lower crime not made New Yorkers remarkably nonchalant about the need for safe streets," the paper's Bret Stephens wrote.

De Blasio also addressed the statement Special Counsel Robert Mueller made yesterday about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Although Mueller "sent all the possible signals he could have" that Congress should continue investigating the president, de Blasio says that starting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump right now would backfire.

"The day will come when that critical mass is available where we can actually win an impeachment vote. That day is coming, I don't think that's today, but that day is coming," de Blasio said.