Mike Huckabee’s turn:
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.”
I am sure this will get a great deal of play over the next few days, and obviously with RFK and JFK and MLK in our nation’s collective history, it is quite clear why this is not only a gaffe, but offensive.
Having said that, maybe I just have a soft spot for Mike Huckabee, or maybe I am just a sucker, or maybe it is because I have a history of saying stupid things I immediately regretted, I am willing to bet he will offer not only an effusive apology and explanation, but an apology is sincere and heartfelt. He knows he screwed up, and he will own this and do the right thing, I am betting.
Additionally, to all the people who are going to freak out about this remarks- yes, it is offensive. But how offensive is it in the big scheme of things? Personally, watching Mike Huckabee make this stupid remark in an off-the-cuff and unscripted gaffe tells me a lot less about him that watching George Bush go to the heart of the Israeli government, and in a scripted event read from a card, lecturing the descendants of the Holocaust about appeasement and Hitler for some brief, cheap, domestic political gain.
Huckabee’s gaffe was an accident and, while unfortunate, is forgivable. Bush’s crass, calculated, and obnoxious rhetoric yesterday is not. We would be wise to remember which is worse.
*** Update ***
Huckabee blogs his apology.