Vice President Dick Cheney (search) poked fun at Sen. John Kerry's (search) goose hunting Thursday, arguing that the image of the gun-toting, camouflaged Democrat was an "October disguise" that masked his voting record against gun rights.
Just hours after Kerry shot a goose during an early-morning hunt in Boardman, Ohio, near Youngstown, the vice president told supporters in another part of the state that the outing was nothing more than a photo opportunity to hide the four-term Massachusetts (search) senator's record.
Kerry supports the right to bear arms but has backed the assault-weapons ban and background checks at gun shows. He denies the Republicans' contention that he wants to take away guns from owners.
Cheney said Kerry's camouflage jacket was "an October disguise — an effort he's making to hide the fact that he votes against gun owner rights at every turn."
"My fellow sportsmen, this cover-up isn't going to work," Cheney said, speaking to supporters in an upscale Toledo suburb that borders the Ohio-Michigan state line. "The Second Amendment is more than just a photo opportunity."
The National Rifle Association has endorsed the Bush-Cheney ticket.
Kerry has a camouflage jacket but bought a new one for the outing because he was on the campaign trail. Cheney seized on the fact that the jacket was new.
"Which did make me wonder how regularly he does go goose hunting," the vice president said.
Kerry adviser Mike McCurry said it's important in the final days of the campaign that voters "get a better sense of John Kerry, the guy." That means the Democratic senator is spending some of the dwindling time before Election Day hunting, talking about his faith and watching his beloved Boston Red Sox.
That comment prompted Cheney to poke fun at a few of Kerry's sports gaffes, including his comments about Ohio State football in Michigan. "Of course, he does need a little image repair along those lines."