President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden turned Saturday’s Rose Garden ceremony honoring the National Association of Police Organizations’ Top Cops into a campaign stump, taking credit for the D block spectrum dedicated to public-safety communications and more.
“Finally, because of this man insisting in all the negotiations going on about the budget, finally — finally — he was able to sign legislation to secure the D Block, dedicating spectrum to create a national interoperable public safety communications system that you never have to face — so you never have to face again the dilemmas you saw in New York City on 9/11, in Katrina,” Biden gushed after some words thanking cops for all they do. “You’re actually able to communicate. And this is the reason why it happened, this man right here.”
Congress approved the legislation, included in the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits extension, in February after two months of conference committee negotiations. It passed 293-132 in the House and 60-36 in the Senate.
“Because I want to tell you, they tried to make him have to choose between this and other equally important things he cared about, but this was a showstopper if they weren’t going to go forward with this. It shouldn’t have taken so long, but it took the leadership of Barack Obama to get it done,” Biden continued.
Then the vice president hit on some notes for police unions.
“It also takes leadership, the type demonstrated by the President, to stand up for folks who want to take away your collective bargaining rights,” Biden said. “That’s real leadership. This man has been committed to law enforcement his entire career. He has never, never wavered from fighting to make sure you guys have the resources you need not only to protect your communities, but to protect one another, to protect your brothers and sisters. He understands what you know, that having more cops on the street is going to keep you safer; those of you wearing the shield, you are safer when there’s more of you because you have each other’s backs. And that’s why he’s been tireless in fighting to keep as many of you on the job as humanly possible.”
All told, about a third of Biden’s speech was about thanking the police, and two-thirds of the address was dedicated to gushing about Obama as an indispensable friend of law enforcement.
In his speech, Obama mostly stayed on topic, but first he thanked Biden as someone “who has been fighting on behalf of law enforcement all his life.”
“Everywhere I go, in every community, people see the track record and the legacy of Joe Biden’s work when it comes to looking after law enforcement,” Obama said.
The dynamic duo later hit the golf course for nearly five hours.