Gary Johnson Insists His Lack of Foreign Policy Knowledge Is Actually an Asset

“Maybe I think too much.”


Gary Johnson appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday to defend himself against critics who say his lack of foreign policy knowledge should disqualify him from serious consideration as a presidential candidate. The concern emerged after two separate incidents; one in which the Libertarian presidential candidate asked “What is Aleppo?” and in another interview in which he was unable to name a single foreign leader he respected.

But while attempting to assert his competence, the former New Mexico governor appears to have stumbled into yet another gaffe by suggesting that somehow his ignorance of foreign policy is actually an advantage. After all, Johnson argued, you can’t engage in war with a country you can’t accurately locate. He also claimed that the geographical knowledge of our leaders puts “our military in harm’s way.”

“We wonder why our men and service women suffer from PSD [sic] in the first place?” Johnson said. “It’s because we elect people who can dot the I’s and cross the T’s on these name and geographic locations, as opposed to the underlying philosophy which is let’s stop getting into these regime changes!”

He suggested to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell “maybe I think too much.”

(h/t Alice Ollstein)

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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