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Huntsman Walks Back Assault Weapons Ban Flub

Republican Jon Huntsman, looking more like a full-fledged presidential candidate every day, has “corrected” a statement he made during a Wednesday radio interview that he would not veto an assault weapons ban if such a bill was sent to him by Congress.

The former Utah governor and ambassador to China under President Barack Obama said without hesitation during an extensive interview with conservative radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt that he would not veto legislation to ban assault weapons. Huntsman later emailed Hewitt to correct the record, saying he misunderstood the question. Hewitt posted a transcript of the interview and Huntsman’s subsequent email on his website,

“Hugh, I clearly misunderstood your question regarding the assault weapons ban,” Huntsman wrote in the email after the interview. “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.”

That email followed this exchange, which occurred as part of a longer interview focused on Huntsman’s background and spanning several subjects that are typically covered during a question-and-answer session with a Republican presidential primary candidate.

Hewitt: “Governor, let’s close with four quick issue sets to get you located on the political map. Do you support a right to life amendment?”

Huntsman: “I do support a right to life amendment.”

Hewitt: “Would you veto an assault weapons ban?”

Huntsman: “I would not veto an assault weapons ban.”

Hewitt: “Would you veto repeal of the Defense Of Marriage Act?”

Huntsman: “I personally am for civil unions. I don’t think we do an adequate job when it comes to equality at that level. I am for traditional marriage. I would have to look carefully at the language.”

Huntsman has suggested in recent days that he has decided to run for president in 2012, with when to launch his formal campaign being the only question left to determine.

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