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Huckabee Apologizes for Obama Joke

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Updated 10:59 a.m.
By Michael D. Shear
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- He was known as a presidential candidate with a sense of humor. But Mike Huckabee's joke at the National Rifle Association convention Friday was a dud.

Appearing in front of about 6,000 gun rights activists, Huckabee's speech was interrupted by a loud noise. The former Arkansas governor said, "That was Barack Obama. He just tripped off a chair. He's getting ready to speak and somebody aimed a gun at him and he -- he dove for the floor."

The comment was immediately noted on news websites and by bloggers who found the crack about Obama getting shot at inappropriate. Obama's campaign had no comment, as it was engaged in a heated back-and-forth with both President Bush and Sen. John McCain -- the presumptive Republican nominee -- over Obama's fitness to be commander in chief.

Friday night, Huckabee took to his blog to apologize for the quip. "During my speech at the NRA 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," he wrote. "I apologize that my comments were offensive, that was never my intention."

Huckabee provided most of the humor in the 2008 Republican primaries, cracking jokes during several of the debates. He won the Iowa caucuses but failed to reach far beyond the evangelical community in states after that.

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 17, 2008; 11:02 AM ET
 
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