Gary Johnson’s Latest Gaffe Has Even His Supporters Cringing

Libertarian forums are filled with criticism after Johnson fails another foreign question

"I guess I'm having an Aleppo moment." — REUTERS
Sep 29, 2016 at 6:29 AM ET

Commenters on Libertarian forums shared their shock and shame over their candidate Gary Johnson and his latest gaffe on a foreign policy question.

During a televised town hall interview with MSNBC host Chris Matthews, the Libertarian Party candidate failed to name a single world leader he respected when asked the question and given “any continent, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa,” to choose from.

After several seconds to ponder, Johnson could only answer with: “I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment,” referring to an interview earlier this month when he was asked about the crisis in the Syrian city and answered with “What is Aleppo?” His response drew a wave of outrage and ridicule from around the world at the time.

Johnson’s vice presidential pick Bill Weld tried to help by naming the recently deceased former Israeli leader Shimon Peres, when Matthews interjected for either of them to name someone who wasn’t dead. Johnson struggled to recall even the name of former Mexican President Vicente Fox. Eventually, Weld came to the rescue by offering “Merkel,” _ German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Prospective voters for the third-party candidate were cringing on Ron Paul Forums and Reddit’s /r/Libertarian, two of the largest online communities for Libertarians. One said: “being stoned has it’s draw backs [sic].”

Another user thought the Aleppo gaffe was less of a problem than Johnson’s eventual answer of Vicente Fox.

Libertarians on Reddit were similarly disappointed by Johnson’s answer, with some making comparisons to the more well-travelled Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Others tried to rationalize his response as saying that there are no foreign leaders he respects, although the fact that Johnson mentioned having an “Aleppo moment” seemed to undermine this line of reasoning.