The Dumbest Things Gary Johnson and Jill Stein Have Said and Done in Their Campaigns (So Far)
Surely a third party can offer us better than this.
Published on October 28, 2016

With one candidate somewhere between hardline conservatism and fascism and another whose centrist values on economics and war don’t pass a modern liberal litmus test, the urge to vote third party has been strong this year. Unfortunately, the third party options are very weak aside from supporting cannabis legalization. Both Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein have done themselves damage over and over again throughout the election season. Here are some of the dumbest moves Gary Johnson and Jill Stein have made so far this cycle.

Johnson’s Aleppo Moment

In September, Gary Johnson had such a notable stumble that foreign policy gaffes have been rebranded “Aleppo moments.” When asked a question about Aleppo on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he responded, “What is Aleppo?” Though most Americans don’t know that Aleppo is a Syrian city at the center of the current refugee crisis, obviously presidential candidates should be held to a higher standard.


Johnson’s “Aleppo Moment” Moment

MSNBC has not been good for Gary Johnson. Later in the same month, Johnson went back on the network, this time with Chris Matthews on Hardball, and again was flummoxed by a simple foreign policy question. Matthews asked Johnson to name a foreign leader whom he respects and looks up to, and he couldn’t name one. His response: “I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment.”


Stein’s “‘Aleppo Moment’ Moment” Moment

In an attempt to mock Johnson for not knowing any world leaders, Jill Stein rattled off a list of politicians she admires—none of whom are actually leaders of their respective countries.


Stein Gets Needled on Vaccines

Though Jill Stein is a doctor, she has tried to walk an odd fine line when it comes to vaccines. In a video posted by the Washington Post, she criticized the FDA and CDC, and has been slow to walk back statements regarding the link between vaccines and autism, even revising a tweet to walk back a firm position on the subject.


Johnson’s Weird Tongue Thing

Once again, Johnson took to MSNBC, and instead of saying something stupid, he just stupidly stuck his tongue out for some reason. He was attempting to make the case for being included in the debate, and instead made the case that he shouldn’t be allowed within 100 feet of any debate—or microphone.


Stein’s Arrest Warrant

Opposition to the North Dakota Access Pipeline has been an important protest, drawing attention to both Native American rights and environmental issues. The protest is also popular among liberals, and has outspoken supporters like Bernie Sanders, and celebrity activists like Shailene Woodley and Mark Ruffalo. Jill Stein, unsurprisingly, took it a step too far. Stein vandalized construction equipment with graffiti and police issued a warrant for her arrest. There is an argument to be had regarding whether or not this is an effective protest tactic, but serious presidential candidates generally prioritize not getting arrested.


Johnson’s Global Warming Solution

No candidate’s position is completely satisfactory on global warming, but Johnson’s may edge out Trump’s for the dumbest. When asked about his global warming policy, he said he takes “the long view.” What does he mean by that? He went on to say, “In billions of years, the sun will actually grow and encompass the Earth.” Yeah, Gary, we were looking for something a little more short-term.


Stein’s 9/11 Truthing

At a September Green Party Town Hall, an audience member laid out his perception of 9/11 as being a “a controlled demolition” and that the hijackers were “patsies.” Stein responded, not by denouncing his claims, but saying, “I think we need the full story.”

Though we may not be rid of the walking insult that is Trump for good by Nov. 9, take solace in the fact that these two won’t make headlines again for a long long time.

Brenden Gallagher
Brenden Gallagher works in television and writing in Los Angeles. He worked on Revenge, Heartbeat, and Famous in Love. His writing has appeared at Complex, VH1, and MERRY JANE. Follow him on Twitter @muddycreekU
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