Fox News correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera slammed President Joe Biden's "sleepy" speech laying out his and Attorney General Merrick Garland's federal plan to combat gun violence, including in the inner cities.
Biden said in the public address that he sat down with multiple mayors and state-level officials, most notably Baltimore, Md., Mayor Brandon Scott and New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, to discuss ways the federal government could crackdown on illegal gun purchases and tamp down on the growing crime surge seen across the country.
"The Five" hosts noted that murders in one major city, Portland, Ore., are up 800% year-to-year, while on the east coast, New York and Philadelphia are seeing albeit lesser spikes in comparison. Jesse Watters asked Rivera whether he thought Biden sounded "engaged" or "compassionate" toward victims.
Rivera replied that the Delaware Democrat sounded unremarkable and that the programs he laid out left much to be desired: "Compassion aside, where was the passion? That speech was as laid back as the program he is proposing," said Rivera.
The longtime journalist, who has reported on violent crime and other major issues throughout his career, said that Biden's allocation of resources toward summertime social programs for urban and endangered youth and stemming illegal firearm sales will not go far toward solving the problem.
"This is the civil rights issue of our time, murder has become the leading cause of death, if this is not an emergency, what is it?" he later asked.
"In Chicago [there were] 8 people killed, 54 people shot last weekend – that is an emergency – that is something that needs action right now."
Rivera said that Biden should – instead of expending $360 billion in taxpayer resources on summertime programs -- direct that funding to Chicago police to engage in "stop-and-frisk" crime prevention techniques like those instituted in New York by then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and NYPD Commissioners Bill Bratton and Raymond Kelly.
The Big Apple, under outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio, effectively ended the practice in 2014 by dropping a Michael Bloomberg-era court appeal on behalf of the city.
"It's constitutional," Rivera said of stop-and-frisk. "Let's [also] have roadblocks – let's go after these gangs as organized criminal enterprises."
Biden, the host said, seemed tired during the speech and appeared to be simply responding to growing concern among the populace: "That [address] was very, very sleepy -- and you know I like the guy – but that was pathetic and it seems to me totally reactive to the bad press – they were scrambling to get something done," he said.
"They could be much more emergent and much more serious than was portrayed by the president of the United States just there."
Later in the segment, host Dana Perino appeared to agree with Rivera's take on Biden's monotone: "[He] read it as if he's reading back somebody's fast-food order in a Drive-Thru."