The number one criticism in the media – and therefor, everyone else – of Gary Johnson is his slip-ups in recent interviews. The most reveling part about this publicity is that Mr. Johnson has so little to attack. The fact that the media picks these self-proclaimed “Aleppo Moments” should be a good thing. Those who choose to bring up his slip-ups in casual debates just proves that they really have no idea who Gary Johnson is.
Mike Barnicle, the MSNBC commentator of the Morning Joe program had Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson on for a casual interview. The interview was mostly unwatched except for when Barnicle asked Johnson how he would address the refugee crisis in Aleppo to which he responded, “What is Aleppo?” After some explaining from Barnicle, Johnson responded that the United States must respond with a coalition to improve the situation there.
(Here is Aleppo by the way)
Now, on it’s surface, it does seem like a pretty big mistake. To the simple minded, it would appear Johnson is an airhead who does not know foreign policy basics. But when the conversation arises, I challenge you to ask the accuser to point out Aleppo on the world map. Chances are, they can’t do it. The most outstanding point one could hear is that Aleppo is the Syrian Capital (In fact, there are multiple Aleppo’s in Syria alone). This just proves they do not know what they are talking about. Aleppo is simply the major city in the heat of the Syrian Civil war (the capital is actually Damascus). You can see the video below:
The other, and more recent mess up was also on MSNBC when Chris Matthews, hosting the town hall meeting, asked Johnson to name his favorite foreign leader, or any foreign leader he admires. Again, those with a small attention span will proclaim, “Johnson doesn’t know any foreign leaders!” Some people can be so small minded.
Matthews continued when Johnson couldn’t think of an answer, “Go ahead, you gotta do this. Anywhere. Any continent. Canada, Mexico, Europe, over there, Asia, South America, Africa. Name a foreign leader that you respect.”
Now, keep in mind that Johnson is a Libertarian – typically very skeptical of authority. The lack of an answer was simply due to the fact that Johnson probably does not idolize any living leader. Everyone has their faults and that was what Johnson was probably stuck on. He ended up saying, “I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment in thinking of the name of the former president of Mexico” Luckily, Libertarian Vice-presidential candidate Bill Weld clarified, “Vicente Fox”. The video is below:
Again, the best defense one can use is to turn the question and ask, “who is your favorite foreign leader that you admire?” Most likely, they can’t name one. I honestly can’t name a living foreign leader I admire and Johnson responded recently by saying, “It’s been almost 24 hours…and I still can’t come up with a foreign leader I look up to”
I would love to hear Trump or Clinton’s response to this. Maybe they’d say Putin? I appeal to the fair mindedness of the readers and assume you are of above average intelligence, and I still think these questions would be difficult to answer.
Watch the interview and make your decision and remember: this slip-up is the worst the media has on Johnson – whereas Trump/Clinton have a lifetime of these “Aleppo Moments”