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Ted Cruz challenges Biden to gun control debate

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has invited Vice President Joe Biden to debate him on gun control.

The invite came during Cruz's speech Friday at the annual National Rifle Association convention in Houston.

"I would like to issue an invitation to the vice president," the senator told the crowd. "I would like to invite the vice president to engage in an hour-long conversation and debate: 'How do we stop crime?'"

Biden led the administration effort to put new restrictions on guns after the deadly shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school. That effort failed, but Biden is reportedly planning a new campaign around the country to build support for expanded background checks and stricter gun trafficking legislation.

“If Vice President Biden really believes the facts are on his side and this is not an exercise in political power, I would think he would welcome the opportunity to talk about the sources of violent crime and how we can do everything we can to stop it," Cruz said.

Cruz, a debating champion in college and former solicitor general, suggested that Biden would not put up much of a fight. As he did at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year, he mocked Biden for suggesting people defend their homes by firing a shotgun in the air. He called it useful advice -- "if you’re being attacked by a flock of geese."

The senator proposed his own legislation that cracked down on trafficking and strengthened resources for criminal prosecution but loosened other restrictions on guns. His measure failed in the Senate.

Biden and Cruz are both in South Carolina this weekend; Biden will speak at the Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner while Cruz headlines the South Carolina Republican Party Silver Elephant Dinner.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.



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Rachel Weiner · May 3, 2013

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