While most eyes were on the Pence-Kaine vice presidential debate on Oct. 4, Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson made a surprising statement that same day (video below).
Johnson appeared on CNN where he defended his not naming one foreign leader whom he admires, and claimed that he had "never been involved in politics before," even though he is the former Republican governor of New Mexico.
Johnson told CNN host Alisyn Camerota:
Well Alisyn, what is it five days now after the "name your favorite foreign leader," I still can't do that ... Favorite foreign leader, I can't name a, you know, getting involved in politics, having never been involved in politics before, I held a lot of people in this country on pedestals and then I get to meet them up front and personal and I find out that they're all about getting re-elected, that they're not about issues, a lot of empty suits that I held up on pedestals.
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So, I'm a real skeptic when it comes to elected leaders. OK, so I point out an elected leader, a foreign leader that I admire and all of a sudden I have to defend them against things that I'm not even aware of. So in that context, Alisyn, look, if that's a disqualifier to run for president, so be it.
Johnson, who was unaware of Aleppo, Syria, during an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" in September, slammed the U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war, and mocked geographical knowledge as part of being President of the United States:
But I guess because you can dot the I's and cross the T's on foreign leaders and geographic locations, that now somehow you're qualified to put us in that situation? Hey, if that ends up to be the case, so be it. I guess I wasn't meant to be president.
Meanwhile, Johnson's vice presidential running mate, William Weld, told The Boston Globe on Oct. 4 that he is going to focus on stopping Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump:
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I think Mr. Trump’s proposals in the foreign policy area, including nuclear proliferation, tariffs, and free trade, would be so hurtful, domestically and in the world, that he has my full attention ... I have had in mind all along trying to get the Donald into third place, and with some tugging and hauling, we might get there.