Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson is dealing with his first major campaign gaffe.
While appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Mike Barnicle asked what the Libertarian would do as president “about Aleppo.” Johnson appeared perplexed and said “What is Aleppo?”
As gaffes go it may not be as major as Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s mistake earlier this month, where she boarded the wrong plane and ended up in the wrong city in Ohio, making her supporters wait two hours for her to drive to a scheduled rally.
And as far as forgetfulness goes it may not compare to Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton forgetting some 20 times, as shown in the recently released transcript of her FBI interview, about what she knew, who she met, or what she did with classified emails.
Since Mrs. Clinton has now admitted to having had a blood clot and blamed her amnesia on it, one internet wag asked: “Johnson forgot something just one time; Hillary forgets things 20 times in a single FBI interview. Maybe she should try pot for that clot?”
Johnson’s gaffe seemed to generate even more gaffes, with the New York Times coverage then mistakenly reporting that Aleppo was the capitol of ISIS — something the newspaper then “corrected” incorrectly, leading to a correction to a correction at the bottom of the story.
Johnson was roasted throughout liberal provinces of Twitter and other social media, as well as Democratic media including the Daily Beast, for his mistake. He later appeared at a scheduled interview on ABC’s The View where discussion of Aleppo dominated his segment.
Johnson then released an apology noting that he was only human to the Daily Beast and was rumored to have cancelled his remaining interviews for the day. Earlier he had also filmed a brief interview with MSNBC’s Mark Halperin on his gaffe.
Libertarians and others on social media also responded to the gaffe, praising Johnson for his honesty and noting that they don’t want a president who pays more attention to meddling in foreign cities than he does to the Constitution and the rights of U.S. citizens.
Liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias tweeted:
I kind of suspect that Mike Barnicle doesn’t really know what Aleppo is either. pic.twitter.com/p41Yq8nq5f
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) September 8, 2016
A conservative on Twitter speculated on what Trump would have said:
MJ: What would you do about Allepo?
Trump: I’d make it so much better. Believe me. We wouldn’t have it anymore. Have you seen the CNN poll?
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) September 8, 2016
I weighed in with two replies for Hillary supporters. On Facebook:
Bruce Powell Majors Gary Johnson just forgot.
Everyone knows where Aleppo is.
It’s where that warlord lives who donates $1 million to the Clinton Foundation every time he lynches a gay guy.
And on Twitter:
— Bruce Majors (@BruceMajors4DC) September 8, 2016
One has to wonder if MSNBC was actually tasked, as a de facto Democratic Party political action committee, with asking Governor Johnson, who is something more of a jock than a scholar, a question about the Middle East and the refugee crisis by means of somewhat recherché and obscurantist terminology.
In some recent polls Johnson is breaking into double digits in many states, and this correlates with Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers dropping while Donald Trump’s stay the same. Clinton cannot attack Johnson directly for bleeding her of voters — then she might have to allow him on the debate stage with her. But she can have the Democratic media — or as conservative radio talk host Chris Plante says “but I repeat myself” — try to take him out.