Blasting opponents of new gun control measures for being in a “time warp,” Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that a potential filibuster of pending gun legislation would be “embarrassing” for America's reputation around the world.
“What an embarrassing thing to say,” Biden said of the stated intent of 13 senators to prevent a vote on new background check legislation.
"Imagine what they’re saying, gentlemen and ladies, in other capitals around the world today.”
The vice president, who led President Barack Obama’s gun safety task force in the wake of last year’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, said that opponents of the bill don’t understand the pain caused by events like the one in Newtown, Conn., and that the world community will judge them if they fail to “stand up and be counted” on gun control measures.
“You’ve got leading senators of the most august legislative body in the world saying we’re not even going to talk about this tragedy that traumatized a nation and caught the attention of an entire world,” he said during remarks to law enforcement officers in Washington D.C.
“The climax of this tragedy could be that we’re not even going to get a vote?" he added. "Imagine how this makes us look.”
Biden’s remarks came as the threat of a legislative block appeared to be crumbling, with Democrats expressing optimism that a sufficient number of GOP senators would opt to break the filibuster.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that he will bring a vote on the gun legislation as early as Thursday.
Biden, who met with the families of Newtown victims this morning, said that the group asked him how to communicate with senators who would block the gun legislation.
“It was a legitimate question, as if they’re going to speak to some ancient Aztecs or somebody who speaks a different language,” Biden said of the families, who are lobbying for the gun bill on Capitol Hill today.