May 16th, 2008
08:28 PM ET
12 years ago

Huckabee jokes about Obama ducking a gunman


Watch Huckabee's joke at the NRA Convention Friday. (starting at 0:50).

(CNN) - During a speech before the National Rifle Association convention Friday afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee - who has endorsed presumptive GOP nominee John McCain - joked that an unexpected offstage noise was Democrat Barack Obama looking to avoid a gunman.

“That was Barack Obama, he just tripped off a chair, he's getting ready to speak,” said the former Arkansas governor, to audience laughter. “Somebody aimed a gun at him and he dove for the floor.”

Obama supports extending the assault weapons ban, limits on gun sales, and a national law against carrying concealed weapons, with exceptions for retired police and military personnel. John McCain – whose legislative record was awarded a C+ rating by the NRA in 2004, but has received a perfect score – will address the group later Friday afternoon. His speech will include remarks "on the issue of unconditional negotiation with state sponsors of terror" that aides tell CNN’s Dana Bash are a direct response to Obama’s comments earlier Friday.

UPDATE, 8:28 PM: Huckabee released the following statement regarding his comments Friday, according to the New York Times website:
During my speech at the N.R.A., a loud noise backstage, that sounded like a chair falling, distracted the crowd and interrupted my speech. I made an off hand remark that was in no way intended to offend or disparage Sen. Obama. I apologize that my comments were offensive. That was never my intention.

soundoff (249 Responses)
  1. Hans-Erik Iken

    I guess tht a gunman is the only way they can think of to stop Obama.

    A sad day when politician thinks this is a joke. Both Kennedies were not enough I suppose. I wonder if he found the attempt on Reagan just as hilarious.

    May 16, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. LP

    Huckabee, so if you were 'accused' of being a Christian, would you 'be 'convicted'?

    It is a sad state of affairs when a so-called 'man of God' jokes about the atrocity of being shot. Have you looked at the number of people every day shot at school, work, at play, and in 'domestic' incidents. As a humanist, I fail to see the humor & I fail to understand how 'moral folk' support you in any way. You are the reason our young people are so conflicted; if adults do not set standards of ethics and morality as a way of life, not as a matter of convenience, then we cannot expect anymore of young people.

    May 16, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Sean

    I generally like Huckabee (as a person, not based on his political stances), but this was in poor taste. I'm sure he realizes that, and will hopefully acknowledge it.

    May 16, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Brian

    I liek Mike Huckabee, but this was simply contrary to his character. It wasn't the least bit comical.

    May 16, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. Gabriel

    Huh. Isn't Huckabee the same guy that tried to milk the Chuck Norris internet meme for all it was worth? I think we're witnessing a persistent inability to be funny,

    May 16, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. tongo

    Afterall, what does Huckabee knows about guns. It is not his kids getting shot. It is not his money being spent useless

    May 16, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Bob, Oregon

    When I read this, I felt like I just got kicked in the stomach. Mike Huckabee made a joke about a deep fear for Senator Obama that runs just below the surface for many of us and is not talked about, for good reason. The joke sanctions the thought. No apology can undo the harm Mike Huckabee has done.

    May 16, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Judy, South Carolina

    That wasn't a good joke but if you think so Huckabee that is good but beware the Senator may a reason to duck. Three against one.

    May 16, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. bondibox

    Let's not forget that he was speaking to the NRA conventioners when he joked “Somebody aimed a gun at him and he dove for the floor.”

    Not only was the joke tasteless, but it also conveys the message to this core constituency that he and others would find it funny if one of them were to playfully aim a gun at Senator Obama. In my opinion it's just a couple shades of grey away from inciting violence.

    May 16, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. Brad from SC


    Huckabee's a moron!

    Obama '08

    May 16, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Connie Sturgeon

    Well I just lost the respect that I had for Huckabee. In light of all the shootings we have had in this country and him a reverend. When we have young men and women getting killed in a GOP war he should be ashame of his self. He not only owes B.Obama an apology, but the families of the dead and the American people. Shame on you Mike. This is what Obama has been saying these remarks are what divides this country. Mike you and Bush need to just SHUT UP!

    Connie from Logansport,IN

    May 16, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. Amazed, Still

    I don't know how this former Republican is consistently still stunned at the tonedeafness and reprehensibility of my former party; but I am. Scum, truly.

    May 16, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. Truthteller

    I guess that's the kind of simple humor you develop when you have a bear-hunting wife. Inexcusable and incredibly out of taste. I expect to see an apology soon.

    May 16, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. hakeemsdad, Florida

    This is so sad for American politics.
    I don't think this is a joke! It can only be a stupid reaction of a stupid man who call himself a man of God.

    Huckabee, I was happy for you when you won few states but now I see that I was blind. You don't deserve anything good. Why don't you promote gun use and killing in commercials since that's what you really like by joking and insulting people who are against guns, wars, killings and wants gun control.

    It seems American people will continue to see these kind of Republicans for a long long time unless they teach them a lesson.

    Don't forget, Bush declared Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezualia, Cuba, etc to be the axis of evils and they are enemies, terrorists, etc.

    By the way, People don't become your enemy without your effort! Your actions will be the major reason most of the time. It takes years build up a friedship or an ally, but you can make many enemies in few minutes.

    It is upto us to decide our future and world's future now. Be wise!

    May 16, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Sabrina

    PURE DISGUSTING!!! I am a democrat and I really thought very highly of Huckabee.... not anymore!!!

    May 16, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. steve

    I am a Republican – but that was not funny.... What's wrong with our people.

    May 16, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. The Austrian

    I am a lawful, repsonsible gun owner, and I can not understand how this joke was supposed to be humorous. Most people would duck and cover when a gun is pointed at them (or, like me, they pull their concealed firearm out and neutralize the threat). Huckabee is a fool...

    May 16, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. Paula


    A FORMER MINISTER?? He should apologize -- the Republican Party is going down to the lowest level ever and are not "getting it" that people are tired of NEGATIVES in their lives.

    May 16, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. @americans

    Is this a man of God?

    No wonder he can NEVER be the president of the United States!

    Shame on Huckabee the sore loser!!!!!!

    May 16, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. TPIP

    Typical Republicans. I can't wait until Obama takes them down, election day 08 will be a beautiful day for Democrats, and the country!

    May 16, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Greg Pa

    Huckabee is a moron That is not funny !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am a republican. If I said that i would be locked up. I am also a gun owner. This kind of talk should be looked down on by all parties.

    It has nothing to do with rep vs dem what the hell is wrong with you. I bet most nra members feel the same as I do.

    May 16, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. mike kaplan

    Not a surprise that Gomer Huckabee said something this stupid and offensive. Unfortunately, it is a very real possibility that the soon-to-be elected President Obama will at some point be targeted by some inbred gun-nut crazy bigot, which makes this "joke" not at all funny.

    But what is funny is the hysterical, desperate (and usually illiterate) comments of some of you Obama-haters on this board. The fact that all of you are going to be so unhappy and frustrated for the next 8 years is one of the best things about the coming Obama administration, from my perspective. Get used to it, suckers!

    May 16, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Dem in FL

    He didn't mean anything by it. For God's sake. Anyone would duck if a gun was pointed at them. AGain, the media blowing something out of proportion.

    May 16, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. David Rook

    Even though I disagree with a lot of his views I always respected Huckabee – until now. This is NOT an appropriate subject for a joke, regardless of the audience. I hope he has the integrity to admit his mistake and apologize to Obama publicly. We're waiting Mike ....

    May 16, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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