"Yeah, we invited him over if he wanted to see what it was like to sit at a dinner table without your child," Tom Teves told Phoenix's KPNX in a report that aired Wednesday.
"To sit in Alex's seat," Caren Teves added.
The couple supports stricter gun control measures in the wake of their son's killing, including a ban on assault weapons. KPNX's Brahm Resnik reported that Flake has reached out to Tom Teves twice, but they haven't connected yet. Resnik added that Flake's spokeswoman told him the senator will keep trying and they'll discuss meeting.
TPM reported in February that Tom Teves had sent a letter to Flake and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), urging them to take action on guns. What he received from the senators were impersonal form letters that didn't even mention the Aurora shooting. They referred instead to the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Flake spokeswoman Genevieve Rozansky apologized for the impersonal letter Tom Teves received. “While the letter from Senator Flake outlines his position on gun control as requested, Mr. Teves absolutely should have received a personalized response acknowledging his deep loss, and we’re very sorry that he received a form letter,” she told TPM in a written statement.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) on Thursday gave his endorsement to former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who has admitted that he is thinking about running for mayor of New York this year.
"Nobody here is perfect," Ellison said on "The Bill Press Show." "Anthony was a great congressman, in my opinion. And, you know, he's dealt with his … issues, and, and everybody has issues. So I'd love to see Anthony Weiner be mayor of New York. I hereby endorse Anthony!"
Another news organization has revised its editorial style on immigration terminology. USA Today, according to a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko, will stop using the term "illegal immigrant" unless it is used in a direct quote.
"The term illegal immigration is acceptable, but do not label people as illegal immigrants, except in direct quotes," William Coon wrote in a memo to staff Wednesday evening. "Undocumented immigrant, undocumented worker and unauthorized immigrant are acceptable terms — depending on accuracy, clarity and context — for foreign nationals who are in the country illegally. An alternative is to use a phrase such as “people who entered the U.S. illegally” or “living in the country without legal permission.”
USA Today's decision comes on the heels of a similar move by the Associated Press, which dropped the phrase from its stylebook earlier this month.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday stopped by a Republican leadership meeting, CNN reported, warning lawmakers of the threat that North Korea poses. "We're in deep doo doo," Cheney reportedly said.
Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) told CNN that Cheney spent about 10 minutes in the meeting. Cheney also addressed how little the U.S. knows about North Korea's young leader, Kim Jong Un.
The New York Post's "wood" -- a term that refers to the front page of a tabloid newspaper -- on Thursday carried a bold headline on the news that former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) is considering a bid in the New York City mayoral race.
During the sexting scandal that led to Weiner's resignation from Congress, the Post ran numerous eye-popping headlines, including, "WEINER'S RISE AND FALL" and "FALL ON YOUR SWORD, WEINER."
President Obama is scheduled to meet with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at 2:55 p.m. ET Thursday at the White House.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement last week, "The President looks forward to welcoming the Secretary General back to the White House and consulting with him on key issues, including the crisis in Syria, and expressing his gratitude for the many sacrifices United Nations personnel have made to protect vulnerable populations and to deliver aid to those most in need. This meeting is a demonstration of the robust partnership between this United States and the United Nations in facing a wide array of global challenges."
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Thursday predicted on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the deal on background checks he reached with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) will get broad support in the Senate. But Toomey cautioned it's too early to know.
"Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski asked the senators, does the bill have 60 votes?
"I think so," Manchin said. "I think we worked hard, and we're going to continue to work hard. And Mika, if people will not just take time to read the bill and understand how much this bill clarifies an awful lot of things. But basically it's just meant to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them, closing down the gun show loopholes, internet sales. And I saw your piece this morning about the American al Qaeda. I think that says it all. If that doesn't move people to say, we've got to do something at our gun shows and internet sales, where it's so easy to get these weapons, then I don't know what they would be for."
But Toomey cautioned that it's too early to know whether the bill will clear 60 votes. "I would just add, I think we've got a few voting hurdles, and I don't know how they're going to turn out," Toomey said. "I think we will be able to get started on the underlying bill with the vote today, but how the amendments play out, I, I think it's just too early to know. I do believe, and I'm very grateful to Sen. Manchin for his work on this, but what we focused on is the right part of this equation, which is, can we make it more difficult for dangerous criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to get weapons. That's where the focus ought to be, and that's what our, that's what our legislation makes progress on."
A vote to begin debate on gun control legislation is expected at 11 a.m. ET Thursday, according to C-SPAN.
During a roundtable discussion that aired Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Vice President Joe Biden said the White House's push for tougher gun control will not create a national registry of gun owners. Biden also stressed that background checks for gun sales are not intrusive. "They don't say what kind of gun you're buying," Biden said. "They don't say where you're going. They don't say what it is, what the transaction is and when denied, they don't say denied because of mental health. Nothing. And the record, even the notice that you picked up the phone at Dick's and called and asked about Joe Biden, is, has to be destroyed within 24 hours."
Biden added, "So this idea that there is a national registry, there is no place in the federal government where you can go, not a single place, and find out everybody who owns a gun."
A deal to expand background checks, announced Wednesday by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), has the support of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a co-founder of the pro-gun control group, said in a statement:
“Over the last few months, Americans across the country and in both parties have demanded that those in Washington take commonsense steps to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the seriously mentally ill. Today, Senators Manchin and Toomey have forged a bipartisan compromise agreement to extend background checks to cover commercial gun sales, including online and at gun shows. In addition, the bill preserves the same record-keeping practices of the past 40 years that have helped law enforcement solve crimes. I want to thank Senators Manchin and Toomey for their determination to find common ground on a bill that Democrats and Republicans can fully support. This bill will not only help keep guns out of the wrong hands – it will help save lives and keep our communities safe. Our bipartisan coalition of more than 900 mayors strongly supports this bill and looks forward to working with other leaders, including Senators Schumer and Kirk who have worked tirelessly on this issue, to do all we can to ensure its passage.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Wednesday told a crowd at Howard University in Washington, D.C. that the Republican Party has not done enough to promote that it cares about environmental protections. "We can do a better job," Paul said.
Paul then cited the Clean Water Act, which he said was created with good intentions but has been taken too far and can now be used to infringe on personal rights.
"We need to do a better job saying we believe in a clean environment, that we do believe in rules," Paul said. "But that the balance has shifted too far, and we're now abusing property rights and abusing farmers and small property owners, and we need to shift the balance back. And that if you shift the balance of regulations too strongly, you lose jobs."