Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson stunned hosts and viewers of MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier this month when he responded “What is Aleppo?” to a question from guest co-host Mike Barnicle as to how, if elected, he would handle the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Aleppo, Syria.
Johnson is once again raising eyebrows after giving a bizarre interview with NBC reporter Kasie Hunt in which he stuck out and bit his tongue to indicate that, if included in the presidential debates, he wouldn’t even need to speak to be successful because voters would just welcome knowing that they have a third choice in candidate.
Hunt asked if Johnson believed that being included in the presidential debates would enable him to break even with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, to which he replied:
There would be an examination of me and [Vice Presidential candidate] Bill Weld as who we are and what we’ve done.
And then, somewhat inaudibly with his tongue out and clenched between his teeth, he continued:
I’m not gonna stand up there for the whole debate and not say anything and… [indistinguishable speech]
A national Quinnipiac University poll conducted on September 14 found Johnson polling at 13%, and although he will be on the ballot in all 50 states he will not be included in the presidential debates alongside Clinton and Trump, as the threshold for debate inclusion is 15% in national polling.
While his tongue reveal won’t help him get on the debate stage, it may help him with campaign donations. Johnson told Bloomberg during an interview earlier this week that his Aleppo flub actually had a positive impact on his fundraising efforts; he stated that his single highest fundraising day was the day of the Aleppo incident, and the second biggest was the day immediately following the interview.