Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden: 'McCain is right: Need select committee' for Russia With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder Obama defends healthcare law on eve of repeal vote MORE joined Sen. John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Defense: General warns State Department cuts would hurt military | Bergdahl lawyers appeal Trump motion | Senators demand action after nude photo scandal Senate lawmakers eye hearing next week for Air Force secretary: report House Intel chairman under fire from all sides MORE (R-Ariz.) at a forum hosted by the McCain Institute in Arizona Friday, where the pair discussed the recently defeated gun control measure.
Biden told the crowd that last year’s massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., has changed American attitudes about guns, even though the Senate rejected legislation to expand background checks on gun purchases.
“Newtown was, to sort of use that old cliche, the straw that that broke the camel’s back,” Biden said, according to the Arizona Republic. “There was a fundamental change, in my opinion, in public attitudes about guns. It wasn’t marginal — it was real.”
Biden joined the Arizona senator for the McCain Institute’s Sedona Forum, the second annual gathering the think tank has hosted in Sedona, Ariz., since its creation last year.
Speaking alongside McCain, Biden said that the public is looking for some way to respond to last year’s mass shooting, according to the Republic.
“I don’t think the American people knew exactly what to do, but that’s what they look to their leadership for,” Biden said. “They look to us and hope that we’re mature enough to figure out what is logical that we can do to diminish the prospect of it happening again.”
In addition to Biden, a host of current and former senators will be at the forum this weekend, which is centered on the topic, “How Can We Promote Freedom and Democracy Effectively?"
The attendees include Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support A real national security budget would fully fund State Department Gorsuch rewrites playbook for confirmation hearings MORE (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing Dems land few punches on Gorsuch MORE (D-R.I.), former Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), as well as former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo and Wal-Mart President and CEO Bill Simon.
The McCain Institute received a $9 million donation last year in leftover funds from McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. The institute, which is part of Arizona State University, focuses on national security and global affairs.