John McCain visited a gun shop Friday -- but bought just fishing gear --during the first stop in a day of courtship of the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment devotees.
The Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting has been no darling of the gun-rights lobby, having favored tighter restrictions for buying guns at gun shows. Yet in comparison to his potential Democratic rivals, McCain could be viewed as the most supportive of gun rights.
"If either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama is elected president, the rights of law-abiding gun owners will be at risk, my friends, and have no doubt about it," he said at an NRA convention in Louisville, Ky.
Republican Mike Huckabee responded to an offstage noise during his speech to the National Rifle Association by suggesting it was Barack Obama diving to the floor because someone had aimed a gun at him.
There were a few murmurs in the crowd after the remark.
Late Friday, Huckabee apologized: "I made an offhand remark that was in no way intended to offend or disparage Senator Obama."
The campaign of Sen. John McCain continued to dismiss staff members this week for violating its new ethics policy, as Democrats ratcheted up pressure on McCain advisers for their lobbying backgrounds.
McCain dismissed two staff members Thursday after unveiling the policy, which prohibits staffers from lobbying, representing a foreign agent or participating in outside political groups.
McCain's campaign created the policy following two other forced departures -- regional campaign manager Doug Davenport and Republican convention chief Doug Goodyear -- for representing the military government in Myanmar.
Former Sen. George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate and an early backer of Hillary Rodham Clinton, joined a noisy Sioux Falls, S.D., rally for Barack Obama on Friday night, describing the Illinois senator as a "ripple of hope" who can win the White House. McGovern suggested it's time for Clinton to pull the plug.
LIVE, IT'S MCCAIN !
There's a limit to how far John McCain will go to win over young voters. Wearing a dress crosses that line.
The 71-year-old grandfather and Republican presidential contender said he hopes to use his cameo appearance tonight on "Saturday Night Live" to reach out for the youth vote, but he declared there will be no reprise of the cross-dressing appearance made by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.