(CNSNews.com) - A moment of stunned silence on the MSNBC "Morning Joe" set this morning, when Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson asked, "What is Aleppo?"
"Morning Joe' contributor Mike Barnicle asked Johnson, "What would you do, if you were elected, about Aleppo?"
"About?" Johnson said.
"Aleppo," Barnicle repeated.
"And what is Aleppo?" Johnson asked.
"You're kidding," Barnicle said.
"No," Johnson replied.
"Aleppo is in Syria," Barnicle explained. "It's the -- it's the epicenter of the refugee crisis."
"Ok, got it. Got it," Johnson said.
"Well, with regard to Syria, I do think that it's a mess," Johnson said. "I think the only way we deal with Syria is to joins hands with Russia, to diplomatically bring that to an end.
"But when we've aligned ourselves with -- when we've supported the opposition, the Free Syrian Army -- the Free Syrian Army is also coupled with the Islamists -- and then the fact that we're also supporting the Kurds -- ah, and this is -- this is just a mess."
Johnson said "this is the result of regime change," which lead to a "less safe world."
Asked if Russian President Vladimir Putin is a reliable partner for the U.S., Johnson said the solution is "joining hands with Russia to bring the civil war to an end."
Host Joe Scarborough returned to Aleppo, calling the Assad regime's siege of the city a "terrible humanitarian crisis."
"You asked, 'What is Aleppo.' Do you really think foreign policy is so insignificant that somebody running for president of United States shouldn't even know what Aleppo is, where Aleppo is, why Aleppo is so important?" Scarborough asked Johnson.
"Well, no, I do understand Aleppo," Johnson said. "And I understand the crisis that is going on. But when we involve ourselves militarily, when we involve ourselves in these humanitarian issues, we end up in a situation that in most cases is not better and in many cases ends up being worse.
Press reports say Syrian government forces have been dropping chlorine bombs on Aleppo, perhaps as recently as this week.