Introducing a “lightning round” during Wednesday evening’s Libertarian town-hall meeting on MSNBC, host Chris Matthews said, “This is where we have fun, and maybe make some news.” Third-party candidate Gary Johnson ended up doing the latter when he was asked to name his favorite world leader and drew a complete blank. Johnson’s running mate, Bill Weld, attempted to save him by jumping in to name recently deceased former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres as his favorite, but Matthews wouldn’t let Johnson off the hook, asking him to name any living foreign leader. “Any continent, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, name a foreign leader that you respect,” Matthews implored.
“I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment,” Johnson said, referring to his embarrassing incident on Morning Joe last month when he admitted he did not recognize the name of the city at the center of Syria’s civil war. He mentioned the former president of Mexico, but was not able to say which one he meant. It was only after Weld helped him by naming a few that he confirmed he was talking about Vicente Fox, who has been one of Donald Trump’s biggest critics. Weld did not hesitate in choosing German Chancellor Angela Merkel.