After having another “Aleppo moment,” the campaign of Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson is defending the candidate’s inability to quickly name a foreign leader he respects.
Appearing on MSNBC for a televised town hall on Wednesday night, Johnson struggled when host Chris Matthews asked him to name his favorite foreign leader.
On Thursday morning, Johnson’s campaign manager, Ron Nielson, defended Johnson on Facebook by saying: “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.”
Nielson said the criticism of the candidate “is gotcha-ism at its finest.”
“Not by Chris Matthews, but by too many looking for any opportunity to pounce,” Nielson said. “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.”
Taking aim at both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Neilson said: “Why are the #ClinTrump supporters and political insiders so afraid of Gary Johnson? Hillary Clinton is spending millions to stop Gary. I guess when they see an outsider showing strength among millennials, independents, Hispanics, the active military and the LGBT communities, they get nervous.”
“Gary Johnson is a real person,” he added. “A pragmatist and the kind of leader that people can respect and trust. Unfortunately, as most Americans have come to realize, this is not the case with Clinton and Trump.”
During the town hall, Johnson said: “I guess I’m having an ‘Aleppo moment.’” That’s in reference to his recent gaffe by blanking when asked about the conflict in Aleppo, Syria.