Gary Johnson Wouldn't Name North Korea's Leader, Kim Jong-Un

Yet another embarrassing Aleppo moment for the Libertarian presidential nominee.

06/10/2016 4:23 PM AEDT | Updated 07/10/2016 4:15 AM AEDT
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Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential nominee, can’t seem to catch a break.

After a couple of very public mistakes, including asking an interviewer what Aleppo was and the time he struggled to name a foreign leader he admired, the former governor of New Mexico on Wednesday had another embarrassing moment.

When The New York Times asked Johnson if he knew the name of North Korea’s leader, he answered simply, “I do.”

But when the Times pressed him to produce a name, Johnson reportedly said, dryly, “You want me to name ... Really.”

Johnson didn’t name the North Korean leader, the Times article suggested. (The dictator’s name, by the way, is Kim Jong-un.)

The lapses seem to suggest that Johnson needs to brush up on his knowledge of the world and U.S. foreign policy if he wants to be president. 

According to the Times article, Johnson followed up his vague North Korea answer with a response similar to one he offered during an MSNBC interview on Tuesday while addressing his “foreign leader flub.”

“Because Hillary Clinton can dot the I’s and cross the T’s on geographic leaders, of the names of foreign leaders ... the underlying fact that hundreds of thousands of people have died in Syria goes wayside,” Johnson told the Times. He added that Clinton is partly responsible for what’s happened in Syria.

Similarly, when MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked Johnson about his foreign policy expertise ― or lack thereof ― during an interview, he said, “You know what? The fact that somebody can dot the I’s and cross the T’s on a foreign leader’s geographic location then allows them to put our military in harm’s way.

“It’s because we elect people who can dot the I’s and cross the T’s on these names and geographic locations as opposed to the underlying philosophy, which is, let’s stop getting involved in these regime changes,” he added.

Clarification: This story’s headline has been amended to reflect that Johnson would not name North Korea’s leader. It’s not clear whether he knew Kim Jong-un’s name.

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