On Wednesday afternoon’s Hugh Hewitt radio show GOP hopeful Jon Huntsman said that he’d support an assault weapons ban and would not support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the latter because he supports civil unions. Hours later the Huntsman campaign reversed its candidate’s statement saying he misunderstood the question. He would veto an assault weapons ban, they claimed.
First of all, here is exactly what Huntsman said when host Hewitt asked if he’d veto an assault weapons ban if he were president: “I would not veto an assault weapons ban.” That seems pretty clear, no?
Huntsman’s campaign quickly emailed Hewitt a correction, though.
Hugh, I clearly misunderstood your question regarding the assault weapons ban. I would absolutely veto the ban. I have always stood firmly for 2nd Amendment rights, and my record in Utah reflects it. With a name like ‘Huntsman’ it really goes without saying. My apologies for confusing your listeners. I look forward to being on your show again.
To be sure, it seems that Huntsman’s record as Utah’s governor does make of him an avid supporter of the Second Amendment. He says so on his website, too.
In fact, Huntsman went against Republican moderates and left-wingers to sign two pieces of legislation in Utah that loosened gun regulations. One bill allowed drivers to keep loaded guns in their automobiles even if they did not have a concealed carry permit and the other requires businesses to allow people with guns in their cars — including employees — to park on company property.
So, with Huntsman’s record in hand, it does tend to confirm that he simply botched the answer to the radio host’s question. Though it is a bit hard to understand how he could have misunderstood the question because during the segment host Hewitt shotgunned him a series of questions all based on vetoes. So, how Huntsman could understand that all the other questions were predicated on presidential veto powers but didn’t understand that he was being asked about vetoing a Second Amendment rights bill is a bit hard to fathom. Is his attention span that short?
The other question is more problematic. Huntsman clearly (and without a “correction”) said he supports civil unions and does not support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). So, on this one he is clearly on the liberal side of the issue. It does shore up the feeling that Huntsman is the most moderate Republican in the game thus far.