Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson struggled to name a foreign leader he admires in an interview on MSNBC Wednesday night.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who asked the question during a town hall session, responded to a long pause from Johnson with prodding. “You got to to do this. Anywhere, any continent,” Matthews said. “Canada, Mexico, Europe, over there, Asia, South America, Africa.”
“I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment,” said Johnson, referring to a now infamous moment when he failed to recognize the name of Syria’s most populous city on live television. Johnson settled on “the former president of Mexico,” apparently referring to recent Trump critic Vicente Fox, but he could not remember Fox’s name. Finally, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, Johnson’s running mate, lent Johnson a hand with a reminder of Fox’s name.
Johnson’s campaign manager released a statement about the incident on Facebook, calling it “gotcha-ism at its finest.”
“Yes, asked to name a favorite foreign leader, Gov. Johnson didn’t quickly name a specific favorite. That really doesn’t mean much. Most Americans and certainly most political candidates would have to stop and think before responding, with the possible exception of a Donald Trump who is enthralled by Putin,” Ron Nielson wrote.
The awkward exchange comes less than a month after the Aleppo exchange and further weakens his credibility as he tries to position himself as a viable alternative to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.