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What is Aleppo,’ asks presidential candidate

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If it was greater attention Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson wanted, he got it but probably not the kind he wanted.

As part of a media blitz in New York to try to raise his polling numbers enough to qualify for the upcoming presidential debate, Johnson fielded a range of questions Thursday with the aim of demonstrating he can take on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But one very pressing question stumped him.

“Whatwould you do about Aleppo?” Johnson was asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Thursday, referring to Syria’s largest city, which has been engulfed by the country’s ongoing civil war.

Libertarian candidate “What is Aleppo?” Mr. Johnson responded.

Syria’s 2011 pro-democracy uprising, which gradually devolved into civil war, has sparked a refugee crisis across the Middle East and Europe as millions fled their homes for safety. When reminded by MSNBC on Thursday, Mr. Johnson said he’d work with Russia to find a diplomatic solution to the civil war and that the conflict was an example of the dangers of meddling in the region.

Mr. Johnson’s blunder has sparked widespread mockery, with #WhatisAleppo becoming a trending hashtag on Twitter, and Hillary Clinton chuckling at a press conference when asked about Johnson’s flub. “You can find Aleppo on a map,” she said.

Mr. Johnson acknowledged to another MSNBC reporter afterward that the attention to the error was deserved and apologized in a statement, saying he was thinking of an acronym, not the Syrian city.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 4:30:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/What-is-Aleppo%E2%80%99-asks-presidential-candidate/article14628810.ece

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