On Wednesday night Gary Johnson was at an MSNBC town hall along with running mate Bill Weld. Chris Matthews from MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews was hosting the event. While conducting the interview, he asked the question of Gary Johnson:
Who’s your favourite foreign leader? - Chris Matthews
Gary Johnson repeated the question back to him and appeared to be a bit stumped by it. Interviewer Chris Matthews pressed harder listing continents and countries he could pick from, and saying it was something he had to answer. Garry Johnson was searching for the name of a former Mexican president, but could not seem to come up with it. In response to the question he ended up saying:
I guess I'm having an Aleppo moment in the former president of Mexico. - Gary Johnson
This was in reference to a previous interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe, where Gary Johnson did not recognize the name of Aleppo, an important city in war torn Syria.
With some help from Bill Weld, who started listing off former Mexican Presidents, the answer was eventually reached being Vicente Fox. There have been plenty of mistakes made by all candidates this election year, and Johnson is certainly not alone in this regard.
In response to this particular incident Johnson’s campaign manager posted a statement to Facebook regarding the interview:
The Clinton and Trump supporters are at it again. This is gotcha-ism at its finest. Not by Chris Matthews, but by too many looking for any opportunity to pounce. Anyone who watched the entire hour tonight on MSNBC saw Governors Johnson and Weld answer every question and deal with the entire spectrum of issues. A very fine performance. Yes, asked to name a favorite foreign leader, Gov. Johnson didn’t quickly name a specific favorite. That really doesn’t mean much. Most Americans and certainly most political candidates would have to stop and think before responding, with the possible exception of a Donald Trump who is enthralled by Putin. - Ron Nielson, Campaign Manager for Gary Johnson