By Eli Watkins, CNN
Gary Johnson is trying to be a major figure on the world stage, and it doesn’t sound like he’s doing it for the company.
The Libertarian presidential nominee was asked by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews during a town hall forum to name his “favorite foreign leader.”
Johnson began to restate the question, and Matthews interrupted: “Any one of the continents, any country. Name one foreign leader that you respect and look up to, anybody.”
The former New Mexico governor sighed, and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, said his would be Shimon Peres, the recently deceased Israeli statesman.
“I’m talking about living. You gotta do this. Anywhere, any continent. Canada, Mexico, Europe, over there, Asia, South America, Africa. Name a foreign leader that you respect,” Matthews said.
Johnson, still struggling to answer the question, offered: “I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment … the former president of Mexico.”
The third party candidate was referencing his now infamous on-air appearance from the beginning of September when he responded to a question about Aleppo — a city at the center of Syria’s civil war and the heart of a refugee crisis as a result — asking: “What is Aleppo?”
His failure to identify a city that has become a focal point of the war in Syria, its human toll and resulting refugee crisis, signaled to many he was lacking in basic foreign policy knowledge.
On Wednesday, as Johnson continued to struggle with the “favorite world leader” question, calling it a “brain freeze,” Weld offered up “Vicente Fox,” the former president of Mexico who has become among the most outspoken critics of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Johnson confirmed Fox was the leader he was thinking of, and Weld went on to say his favorite living world leader was German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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