Last November Obama’s aides told the Chicago Tribune Obama believed the DC gun ban was “unconstitutional.” Obama spokesman Bill Burton told ABC News Thursday morning, before the ruling was released, that statement was “inartful.”
“That statement was obviously an inartful attempt to explain the Senator's consistent position," Burton said.
ABC anchor Charlie Gibson asked Obama directly if he believed the DC gun ban was constitutional in a Democratic primary debate earlier this year. Obama dodged the question by replying, “Well, Charlie, I confess I obviously haven't listened to the briefs and looked at all the evidence.”
Shortly after the decision was announced the McCain campaign held a conference call to call attention to Obama's reluctance to speak frankly about the DC gun ban.
He "seems to be sidestepping the issue," Republican Sen. Brownback (Kans.) told reporters on the call. Brownback added that "given the narrowness of the decision" the candidate's stance on gun rights and the judges he may appoint as president has "is significant."
McCain senior policy adviser Randy Scheunemann said Obama "has a clear and consistent record of opposing second amendment rights, but we expect he'll try to have it both ways."