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Biden: Economic collapse doomed McCain

SEDONA, Ariz. -- Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that Arizona Sen. John McCain probably would have beaten his boss in the 2008 presidential election had the economy not collapsed.

Biden's comment about McCain and President Barack Obama came during the opening dinner of an annual forum among the Red Rocks of Sedona in northern Arizona. He and McCain, a Republican, touched on the gun control debate after the Newtown shootings and the bombings in Boston, but made no mention of Syria. Just as the night came to a close, Biden turned to the grueling nature of presidential campaigns.

"The truth of the matter is, Barack knows it, I know, had the economy not collapsed around your ears, John, in the middle of literally -- as things were moving -- I think you probably would have won," Biden said.

McCain and Biden both said that despite their disagreements, they've never lost respect for one another.

On gun control, Biden said it's never been a simple issue, but that Congress has miscalculated how deeply the public feels about it and has failed to stand up to groups like the National Rifle Association, particularly after the shootings in Newtown.

In responding to a question about the vulnerabilities of the United States when it comes to terrorist attacks, Biden said that the radical, lone wolves have been the most difficult to catch. But he said America shouldn't change its values, how it treats people abroad or people coming into the United States.

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