In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson said he has been detained twice for his refusal to cooperate with invasive searches by airport security.
“I don’t go through the rapist machine,” Johnson said. “I’ve been in this case twice where I’ve been patted down and the gloves reveal nitrates, and so now I have to go to a private screening room where all my luggage is taken apart.”
Johnson said he argues with Transportation Security Administration officials “every single time” he passes through airport security and described the typical dispute that ensues.
“How come that guy didn’t have to take off his shoes and I do?” Johnson said he asks. “’Well that guy works here at the airport.’ ‘Oh, I see, and he isn’t going to carry bombs in his shoes but I am in mine?’”
Johnson isn’t the only libertarian-minded politician to be held up by the TSA, as Senator Rand Paul was detained in January for refusing a pat-down. Paul’s experience resulted in an “End the TSA Money Bomb” that raised funds for the presidential campaign of his father, Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul.
The TSA’s invasive search tactics would subside if he is elected, Johnson promised, but he did not rule out the possibility of “racial profiling” as a part of what his campaign website describes as a “risk-based approach to airport security.”
In the meantime, the former New Mexico governor said he is “optimistic” about his chances in November and will continue to fight the TSA.
“I fill out a [complaint] form all the time,” Johnson said. “I’ve never received a response, not one response for all of my complaints.”