World Bulletin / News Desk
“What would you do if you were elected about Aleppo?” MSNBC’s Morning Joe commentator Mike Barnicle asked Johnson.
“And what is Aleppo?,” was the response from the puzzled former New Mexico governor.
Johnson said he wasn’t kidding when asked back if he were just kidding.
After Barnicle explained that Aleppo is “the epicenter of the refugee crisis” in Syria, Johnson seemed to find his bearings.
In Syria, he said, Washington needs “to join hands with Russia to diplomatically bring that at an end” and the Free Syrian Army rebels the U.S. has been supporting are “coupled with the Islamists.
“Then the fact that we're also supporting the Kurds and this is, it's just a mess,” he added.
Following the interviews, Johnson admitted he dropped the ball on the question. "I'm incredibly frustrated with myself” and needs to get “smarter” on certain issues, he told the station’s political analyst Mark Halperin in an impromptu talk in the hallway of the studio.
Johnson released a statement shortly after his appearance.
“I blanked. It happens, and it will happen again during the course of this campaign,” he said. “Can I name every city in Syria? No. Should I have identified Aleppo? Yes. Do I understand its significance? Yes,” it said.
The third party candidate has been able to gain marginal traction because of the high unfavorability ratings of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.
In a recent poll by CNN/ORC, Johnson has 7 percent support from voters.