He's a pistol, that Mike Huckabee.
Even a friendly National Rifle Association audience seemed stunned Friday after the former presidential candidate cracked a tasteless joke about a gun aimed at Barack Obama.
Huckabee, a Republican and former Arkansas governor, was addressing the gun group's convention in Louisville, Ky., when a loud crash was heard off stage.
"That was Barack Obama," Huckabee ad-libbed. "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."
Most in the audience went silent. A video picks up some muttering and muted laughter following the crude quip about the Democrats' likely nominee.
Obama, an Illinois senator, received Secret Service protection earlier than usual in the campaign cycle - back in mid-2007 - out of concern that he might face a heightened risk as a formidable black contender for presidency.
Huckabee dropped out of the GOP contest after winning a handful of states on the strength of his appeal to Christian conservatives. He has thrown his support behind presumptive GOP nominee John McCain.
In a later statement, Huckabee said, "I made an offhand 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."
The Obama campaign declined comment on Huckabee's gun joke and the McCain campaign had no immediate response.