CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has a concealed carry permit, and he's been cautious about saying much about when and where he's packin.' But the Republican presidential candidate makes no bones about his support of the Second Amendment, and has now taken a swipe at CBS anchor Katie Couric, demonstrating his bona fides to the pro-gun voting bloc. He also seems to have gotten in a dig at Couric for allegedly anti-Southern bias.
To do it, though, Huckabee had to dredge up a tale from 1998 when Couric worked for NBC's Today show. His real target, though, may have been Rudy Giuliani, that New York Yankee who led a city with some of the nation's toughest gun laws.
So far, hardly anyone has noticed Huckabee wrote on his blog late Friday about the day Couric interviewed him about a middle school shooting that killed a teacher and four students near Jonesboro, Ark. Huckabee said he defended the South against Kouric's down on Dixie attitude.
''She intimated that mass murder of school campuses seemed to be confined to schools in the Deep South, where there existed a 'culture of guns.' I assured her that yes hunting and ownership of firearms were Southern traditions. At the same time, the murder of innocent schoolchildren was most certainly not and such violence was inexplicable regardless of one's geography."
But Couric, according to Huckabee, seemed determined to humble the South. And, he said, he would not let her get away with that.
"When she continued to press, looking for some validation of her view that these shootings were in some way connected to the South, I firmly reminded her that Colin Ferguson boarded a train in New York and coldly killed 27 people before finally being subdued. That event occurred in New York where the gun laws and among the toughest in the country, and where gun ownership is so much lower than in the South."
Huckabee went on to say he is an NRA member. His blog entry is HERE.
As a conservative political performance it was boffo. In one shot, he accomplished four things. He told the world he owned guns and supported gun rights. He ripped the liberal news media. He portrayed himself as someone who would stick up for Southerners -- always a good move in a region that can still bristle over real or imagined Yankee slights. And he managed to say something that could be interpreted as unflattering about New York, implying that it was more liberal than most places.
Now, isn't there a New Yorker running for president against Huckabee, a New Yorker who is leading in all polls. That's right -- Rudy Giuliani, the one-time mayor of the city ''where gun laws are among the toughest in the country."