Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson hasn’t been in the news for many gaffes this election cycle, but that ended Thursday morning.
The former governor of New Mexico was on an MSNBC panel Thursday morning when Mike Barnicle asked him what he would do about the situation in Aleppo, the epicenter of the war in Syria and the refugee crisis.
“And what is Aleppo?” Johnson asked.
“You’re kidding,” Barnicle said.
“No,” Johnson said.
After the panelist explained, Johnson then said Syria was “a mess” and the U.S. needed to have diplomatic relations with Russia to bring that to an end.
“Morning Joe” anchor Joe Scarborough asked Johnson about the flub after the fact.
“Do you really think that foreign policy is so insignificant that somebody running for president of the United States shouldn’t even know what Aleppo is, where Aleppo is, why Aleppo is important?”
Johnson said he didn’t agree with that, but didn’t address his own lack of knowledge.
Mark Halperin of Bloomberg interviewed Johnson afterward as well, and Johnson said on an iPhone video that he understood the war and situation in Syria but he didn’t identify the location as Aleppo.
“I’m incredibly frustrated with myself,” Johnson told him.
Halperin told Scarborough that Johnson said he needs to learn this in the future.
“Oh my God,” Scarborough said.
“He was clearly chastened,” Halperin responded.
Johnson gave a full statement later on Thursday.