If you’re not happy choosing between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, you won’t find much better among the two main third-party candidates this election. Representing the Green Party is Jill Stein, who panders to anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists, believes nuclear power plants are “weapons of mass destruction,” and thinks Wi-Fi is bad for people’s brains. A warrant was issued for her arrest yesterday for charges of alleged vandalism and trespassing at a North Dakota construction site during a protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Ranking a few points above her in the polls is Gary Johnson, who represents the Libertarian Party. Conservatives who won’t consider Donald Trump a true conservative will find themselves closely aligned with Johnson on fiscal, but not social, issues. Johnson’s VP Bill Weld is pro gun control and endorsed Obama in 2008, while Johnson recently was practically triggered when an interviewer dared use the term “illegal immigrant.”
Donald Trump has been criticized for his lack of foreign policy experience, while Hillary Clinton has been criticized for her disastrous foreign policy record. This morning, Johnson made one of his first major gaffes this campaign, giving him the appearance of cluelessness on foreign policy matters.
And with just three words, he may have effectively taken him out of the running (if he ever had a chance to begin with).
Via NBC News:Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate, apparently does not know what Aleppo is. Asked on Wednesday’s “Morning Joe” what he would do if elected president about the city in Syria at the center of the refugee crisis, Johnson earnestly asked: “What is Aleppo?” “You’re kidding me,” responded Mike Barnicle, who had asked the question, and then began to explain what Aleppo is to the candidate.
“OK, got it, got it,” Johnson said, cutting him off. He added: “With regard to Syria I do think it’s a mess. I think that the only way that we deal with Syria is to join hands with Russia to diplomatically bring that at an end.”
“It’s just a mess,” he said.
To Johnson’s credit, he expressed regret about the situation.
Following the “Morning Joe” interview, Johnson told Mark Halperin on camera that he’s “incredibly frustrated with himself.” “No one is taking this more seriously than me, I feel horrible,” the governor said. “I have to get smarter, and that’s just part of the process.”
He also posted the following messages to Twitter:
Must admit, a refreshingly human statement here from Gary Johnson: pic.twitter.com/aYnXVhfbhR
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) September 8, 2016
— Gov. Gary Johnson (@GovGaryJohnson) September 8, 2016
And to be fair, Johnson wasn’t the only one who was unclear about exactly what Aleppo is. The venerable liberal rag The New York Times had to correct themselves as well — not just once, but twice.
On the bright side, Johnson’s odds of becoming the next president have remained unchanged. However, odds of the The New York Times continuing to be viewed as prime source of “truth” — at least among liberals — remain high.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]