GOP senator mistakenly says drinking age is 18, not 21

GOP senator mistakenly says drinking age is 18, not 21
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonKavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow House panel advances DHS cyber vulnerabilities bills MORE (R-Wis.) said on Saturday that he has no plans to lower the drinking age in the U.S., after suggesting earlier that it should be 18 instead of 21.

Johnson said in an appearance on "The Devil's Advocates" radio show earlier on Saturday that people old enough to join the military ought to be able to buy a gun or purchase beer.

"We're sending 18-, 19-, 20-, 21-year-olds over to Afghanistan, and they're dying and sacrificing their lives for our freedom," he said. "They ought to be able to vote, they ought to be able to have a beer, and they ought to be able to buy a gun to hunt with as well."

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Johnson's comment came in response to a question about whether the minimum age for purchasing a gun should be raised from 18 to 21.

When asked about whether he would support lowering the drinking age, Johnson asked: "Can't they do that now? What is the age nowadays?" He later said that he would support lowering the drinking age.

The senator later told Today's TMJ4 in Milwaukee that he was not planning to push for a younger drinking age. Rather, he said, he was referring "back to 50 years when we went through the same thing during the Vietnam War. If you can draft somebody at 18 they should have a beer."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed a measure on Friday that raised the minimum age for purchasing firearms from 18 to 21. That measure came in response to a deadly shooting at a South Florida high school last month.