The libertarian sounded about as articulate as Donald Trump when asked a basic question about Syria. “>
On Thursday morning, libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson repeatedly admitted he had no idea what AleppoSyrias biggest city, which has been pulverized by many years of waris.
When asked by Morning Joe( and Daily Beast) contributor Mike Barnicle what he would do, if elected president, about the siege of the ancient city that has considered hospitals destroyed and left thousands starving, he stared back blankly and asked, And what is Aleppo?
In a statement to The Daily Beast, Johnson said, I immediately was thinking about an acronym , not the Syrian conflict.
A stunned Barnicle replied, Youre kidding? before having to explain to the presidential candidate on-air that Aleppo is in Syria. Its the epicenter of the refugee crisis.
Got it, got it, Johnson said, before outlining his policy on the Syrian civil war, which includes joining hands with Russia to diplomatically bring the civil war to an end.
The last rebel-held hospital in Aleppo was destroyed by a Russian airstrike last month.
Hillary Clinton couldnt resist piling on at a press conference held Thursday morning.
Well, you can look on a map and find Aleppo, she said.
When approached by Bloomberg Politics Editor Mark Halperin following the MSNBC interview, Johnson admitted that he was guilty of not recollecting or identifying that its Aleppo.
Johnson claimed Aleppo is between the two forces in Syria, except there are several sides in the five-year-old civil war, including troops loyal to Bashar al-Assad, ISIS, an al Qaeda splinter group, Iranian sectarian militias( including those built in Syria and Iraq ), Iranian foot soldiers, U.S.-backed Arab rebels, U.S.-backed Kurdish guerrillas, Turkish-backed Arab and Turkmen rebels, independent Islamist and Salafist rebels, U.S. Special Forces-out personnel, Turkish army soldiers, and Russian warplanes.
Johnson then compared not knowing what Aleppo was to a time when he was asked what Colonias was while operating for governor of New Mexico. Johnson said he was unaware of what Colonias wasand area he now describes as a destitute part of the statebut that his ignorance didnt disqualify him from the statehouse.
Johnson attained his previously scheduled appearance on The View, during which most of the conversation concerned his Aleppo gaffe. He said there was “no excuse” for his embarrassment and called the question “fair game.” He also acknowledged that for some people, including co-host Joy Behar, the moment would be “disqualifying.” If that is the case, he added, “So be it.”
Johnson tried to clarify his reply on Syria in a statement Thursday morning.
This morning, I began my day by setting aside any doubt that Im human, it reads. Yes, I understand the dynamics of the Syrian conflictI talk about them every day. But hit with What about Aleppo ?, I immediately was thinking about an acronym , not the Syrian conflict. I blanked. It happens, and it will happen again during the course of this campaign.