Cruz challenges Biden to crime debate

Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzHouse approves stopgap funding, averting costly shutdown Overnight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Could Snapchat be the digital bridge to younger voters? MORE (R-Texas) challenged Vice President Biden to a one-hour debate on reducing crime.

Cruz proposed the challenge during a speech at the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action Leadership Forum in Texas on Friday.

"Well, I would like to issue an invitation to the vice president," Cruz said. "I would like to invite the vice president if he believes the answer to violent crime is not prosecuting felons and fugitives, not prosecuting gun crimes, but going after the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. I would like to invite the vice president to engage in an hourlong conversation and debate: How do we stop crime?"

Earlier in 2013, Biden led a White House task force charged with issuing recommendations for reducing gun violence. The vice president also helped steer legislation reestablishing a federal assault weapons ban in the Senate.

Cruz, meanwhile, has been one of the most outspoken opponents of passing new gun laws. When the assault weapons ban was being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Cruz drew attention for getting into a heated argument with Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinSenate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Senators already eyeing changes to 9/11 bill after veto override WH tried to stop Intel Dems' statement on Russian hacking: report MORE (D-Calif.).

"And if Vice President Biden really believes the facts are on his side, that this is not simply an exercise in political power by the administration, then I would think he would welcome the opportunity to talk about the sources, the causes of crime, who's carrying it out and how we can do everything humanly possible to stop it," Cruz said Friday.