Johnson, running as both the Libertarian and the Dad Who Lets You Smoke Weed In The Basement If You Promise Not To Drive Anywhere After candidate for president, totally screwed up his non-existent chance of winning the election on Morning Joe this morning. Asked by journalist Mike Barnicle about the situation in Aleppo, which has been the epicenter of the civil war in Syria since 2012, Johnson flaked.
Running on the Libertarian ticket usually means focusing on destroying the government at home rather than destroying (or propping up) murderous regimes abroad so, if one is being very, very kind to Johnson, this screw-up emerges out of ideological rigidity rather than ignorance: Gary Johnson is so against becoming tangled in foreign wars he doesn’t even know foreign wars are happening!
After the Morning Joe himself, Joe Scarborough, stepped in to help him out, Johnson sort of made that argument. “I do understand Aleppo and I ... understand the crisis that is going on. But when we involve ourselves militarily, when we involve ourselves in these humanitarian issues, we end up—we end up with a situation that in most cases is not better, and in many cases ends up being worse.”
Talking about the horse race implications of anything Johnson does is a bit of a stretch, though he is polling at a respectable 9 percent right now, per Real Clear Politics’s model. But to win over skeptical Republicans and Democrats, Johnson has to seem like a sound, intelligent, and reasonable alternative to Clinton and Trump—someone whom it isn’t embarrassing to cast your vote for. Saying things like “And what is Aleppo?” only raises the already sizable barrier to entry for Johnson.