While Talking Guns, Biden Gets News of Explosions

Joe Biden
Vice President Joe Biden speaks about gun legislation, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House in Washington. The Obama administration continued its efforts to pressure Republicans, with Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder speaking at the White House, joined by law enforcement officials. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(LIN) — Although he hadn’t planned on it, Vice President Joe Biden became the first person from the White House to comment on the Boston Marathon explosions.

Biden was on an afternoon conference call with gun control advocates when he said someone entered his office and turned on a television with news of the explosions. His reaction played out in real time on the call.

“As I’m speaking here, they just turned on the television in my office and apparently there has been a bombing —- I don’t know any of the details of what caused it, who did it — I don’t think it exists yet but our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered injuries. I don’t know how many of them there are. I’m looking at it on television now.”

The president spoke publicly about the explosions later in the afternoon, saying the government “will increase security around the United States as necessary.”

Biden continues to work toward tougher gun legislation, but it seems the background-checks bill still has a long way to go in gaining support in the House. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., said Monday the bill doesn’t have the necessary votes, “but we’re working on it.” Senate Democratic leaders still need to acquire 60 votes to block a predicted GOP filibuster.

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