Johnson: “What is Aleppo?”


Ed Morrissey:

Yesterday, Gary Johnson had Mitt Romney fighting to get him into the debates. After this morning, his own team might be happier to get excluded. MSNBC’s Morning Joe panel offered Johnson a chance to discuss foreign policy, a particular area of concern for Libertarians. Mike Barnicle wondered how Johnson would handle the massive crisis in Aleppo, Syria — and Johnson had no idea what Barnicle meant:

MIKE BARNICLE: What would you do if you were elected, about Aleppo?



JOHNSON: And what is Aleppo?

BARNICLE: You’re kidding.


BARNICLE: Aleppo is in Syria. It’s the – it’s the epicenter of the refugee crisis.

JOHNSON: Okay, got it. Got it.


How many of the current presidential candidates would know Aleppo if it came up in conversation? Hillary Clinton would be almost certain to have understood the question, and Evan McMullin probably would as well. Jill Stein … who knows? Foreign policy barely makes an appearance on her campaign website, other than “end the wars and drone attacks,” and closing 700 or more military bases.

Would Donald Trump have fielded the Aleppo question any better? After this Johnson face-plant, it’s a sure bet that Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Bannon are briefing him on it now, but Trump made it through a 30-minute forum last night without blowing a reference like this.

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Here’s what he’d already said:

I’m gonna say that, without exception, that every one of those military interventions have had an unintended consequence of at best. You know, we, we, we go, we’re, we always deal with atrocity. There atrocities going on. We go in to deal with that atrocity, and at the end of the day, the new dictator, the new despot that we put into place to replace the bad despot, at the end of the day, is just as bad or in many cases worse.
I’m not gonna draw lines in the sand. If you draw any lines in the sand, you’d better be prepared to back up what you said with action.

American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world.
Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid.
We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.

America simply cannot afford to be engaged in foreign policy programs that are not clearly protecting U.S. interests.

2014 Libertarian Party platform adopted in Convention , Jun 30, 2014