The city of Aleppo has long been at the center of Syria's civil war—most recently in claims that the Syrian regime dropped chlorine gas bombs on its own people—so one might think presidential candidates would be pretty familiar with it. Not Gary Johnson. "What would you do, if you were elected, about Aleppo?" the Libertarian candidate was asked on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday, per Politico. His response: "And what is Aleppo?" Once his stunned interviewer explained that it's "the epicenter of the refugee crisis" in Syria, Johnson suggested the US work with Russia to solve the "mess." But it was his question, not his answer, that began trending on Twitter.
In an interview later Thursday, Johnson admitted he should be "smarter" on certain issues. "I'm incredibly frustrated with myself," he said—though Philip Bump at the Washington Post believes he should cut himself some slack. "It would be easy to describe [the interview] … as having doomed his third-party candidacy for president were it not for the fact that his candidacy was already doomed," he quips, comparing Johnson to the Titanic had it "begun sinking but then blew up." Meanwhile, Fusion's Katie McDonough points out that while at a convention in June, Johnson asked, "Who's Harriet Tubman?" per the New Yorker.