GOP Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson: Muslims Are As Qualified For Presidential Appointments As Anyone Else

Former Gov. Gary Johnson (R-NM) is rebuking his party's Islamophobia.

Earlier this year, GOP presidential primary candidate Herman Cain made headlines when he suggested that he would not appoint Muslims in his administration, telling a ThinkProgress reporter that doing so would advance Sharia law.

When ThinkProgress asked fellow candidate former Gov. Gary Johnson (R-NM) about Cain’s comments in a blogger conference call today, Johnson rebuked Cain, saying that Muslims are just as qualified as candidates of any other faith. He also condemned the right wing’s rush to judgement after the Oslo terror attack:

THINKPROGRESS: I wanted to ask you sort of the way the right, a lot of pundits, Republicans, conservatives reacted to the terror attack in Oslo. There was a lot immediate reaction blaming Muslims, saying this was an act of Islamic terrorism, not really taking a hardline against Islamophobia. What I want to know is do you think that this general trend of Islamophobia on the right is really dangerous for conservatives. How would you respond to candidates like Herman Cain that have even said they wouldn’t appoint Muslims to presidential appointments?

JOHNSON: Well, not to criticize Cain but to criticize anybody who would say they would not appoint Muslims, that is in my opinion, in my opinion a qualified Muslim is as qualified as a qualified Christian, is as qualified as anyone who might seek that position or that appointment. That should not be consideration and, yeah, when Norway happened and everybody jumped to the conclusion that this had to be some act of terrorism as opposed to what appears to be a real bigotry toward immigration, wow! This is the situation. This is the reality, and we seem to jump to conclusions when the reality is just the opposite.

Listen to it:

By defending the rights of Muslims and refusing to scaremonger about the Islamic faith, Johnson is setting himself apart from much of the rest of his party’s field.