Between Donald Trump praising Vladimir Putin during NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum and RNC Chair Reince Priebus criticizing Hillary Clinton for not smiling, it’d seem more and more disaffected Republicans and conservative-leaning Independents might opt for Gary Johnson. After all, Mitt Romney said he wants to see the Libertarian nominee on the presidential debate stages in September and October. Unfortunately for Romney, his fellow unhappy Republicans, and all those discerning Independents, Johnson’s enduring a wave of bad press after a disastrous interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
Things went sour when guest host Mike Barnicle asked Johnson point blank, “What would you do if you were elected about Aleppo?”
JOHNSON: And what is Aleppo?
BARNICLE: You’re kidding.
After a short beat (probably induced by disbelief), Barnicle explained, “Aleppo is in Syria. It’s the epicenter of the refugee crisis.” This seemed to trigger Johnson’s memory, who exclaimed “Okay, got it!” and proceeded to answer the initial question. A short discussion followed, during which the White House hopeful suggested a diplomatic resolution with Russia was the only way to stem the ongoing Syrian civil war.
Despite his being in London, however, titular host Joe Scarborough wasn’t ready to let Johnson off the hook for apparently not knowing what Aleppo was:
“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 so important?
Needless to say, Twitter had plenty of snark for the Libertarian nominee’s question.
To Johnson’s credit, at least he was willing to admit he didn’t immediately know what his questioner was referring to. Compared to Clinton and Trump’s performances Wednesday night (lest we forget Matt Lauer’s disastrous turn as interviewer), the third party candidate’s exchange with the Morning Joe panel wasn’t all that bad. Except for when it was.