Gary Johnson Struggles to Name a Single Foreign Leader He Admires

The libertarian candidate calls the flub another “Aleppo moment.”


Gary Johnson appeared at an MSNBC town hall on Wednesday, where the libertarian presidential candidate was asked to name a foreign leader he admired. Host Chris Matthews gave him a chance to name any living leader, from anywhere in the world.

But Johnson appeared visibly flustered with the relatively simple question and struggled to deliver an answer. He shrugged and described his inability to name a foreign leader he respected as another “Aleppo moment”—a reference to his disastrous MSNBC interview where he asked “What is Aleppo?”

When a stunned Matthews pressed him, Johnson finally offered up the “former president of Mexico” as a response, but could not specify which former president he was referring to. That’s when his running mate William Weld swooped in with a much-needed assist.

“Fox?” Weld asked, referring to former president Vicente Fox.

“Fox! Thank you,” Johnson replied with relief.

It’s another cringeworthy moment for the presidential hopeful, but at least viewers didn’t have to witness another tongue-wagging moment:

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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