‘Aleppo moment’ as Gary Johnson can’t name single foreign leader

Libertarian US presidential candidate freezes when asked to name his favourite leader

Libertarian US presidential candidate Gary Johnson, asked during a televised town hall-style meeting to name a foreign leader he admires, struggled to come up with a single one, saying that he was having an "Aleppo moment".

On Wednesday, Mr Johnson and his running mate Bill Weld were being interviewed by MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who posed the question: "Who's your favourite foreign leader?"

“Anybody,” he added.

Mr Johnson exhaled hard.


"Mine was Shimon Peres, " Mr Weld, a former governor of Massachusetts, interjected.

But Matthews pressed Mr Johnson. "You gotta do this. Anywhere. Any continent. Canada, Mexico, Europe over there, Asia, South America, Africa – name a foreign leader that you respect."

“I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment,” Mr Johnson said, then quickly added “the former president of Mexico”.

In the end he was rescued by Mr Weld, who leaned over to identify the name Johnson was scrabbling for – Vicente Fox – and put Mr Johnson out of his misery.

Mr Fox, who preceded Mexico’s current leader, Enrique Peña Nieto, has been extremely vocal in his opposition to Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the border between the two countries. “I am not going to pay for that f***ing wall,” he said in February.

Guardian service