EXCLUSIVE IV: Gary Johnson Would Veto Gun Control Legislation, 'Optimistic' About Iran Deal

Posted: Sep 02, 2016 3:01 PM

In the final video chapter of my exclusive interview with Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson, we cover gun rights issues and touch on foreign policy. Segments onetwo and three are available at the links. Here, Johnson asserted that his ticket is supportive of the Second Amendment (:10), addressed his running mate's recent comment that handguns -- like AR-15's -- are a "problem" (2:08), weighed in on America's national defense and the perils of military interventionism (3:00), and pronounced himself "optimistic" about the Obama administration's Iran nuclear deal (5:18). Our home stretch:

On guns, Johnson described his record as New Mexico's governor, where he championed concealed carry legislation that he eventually signed into law.  He also vowed to veto any attempted reinstatement of the so-called "assault weapons" ban, arguing that it's something of a false category, and that such efforts would create a new class of criminal comprised almost entirely of law-abiding gun owners.  In regards to foreign policy, Johnson agreed that America should boast "an invincible national defense."  Where policymakers have gotten it wrong, he said, is on foreign intervention and nation building.  "Regime change, in my lifetime?  I can't think of single example where it  has worked out," he averred.  When I asked about the righteousness of the Afghanistan war after 9/11, Johnson said that our invasion was completely justified, but that we've stayed for too long.  Finally, Johnson said that despite his initial opposition to the Iran deal -- because of the regime's role as the top state sponsor of global terrorism -- he's decided to join "the optimistic side" of the ledger now that the agreement has been implemented.  When I asked whether Iran's conduct since the signing warrants optimism, he said he believes so.  Johnson also declined to refer to Obama's  $400 million payment contingent on the release of US hostages as a "ransom."

Up next: Video of our full conversation, which runs more than 40 minutes in total.