"He understands America’s position in the world, and we are certain that once the weight of leadership is on his shoulders, he will meet that responsibility," they wrote.
On Twitter, Johnson celebrated with a joke at Donald Trump's expense. (As of now, no newspaper has endorsed Trump over Hillary Clinton, though several are expected to.)
But Johnson's self-described "Aleppo moment" on Wednesday night's MSNBC town hall proved irresistible for critics and rivals. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who has fallen even further back in polls than Johnson, took the opportunity on Thursday to name the foreign leaders she admired — if anyone was curious. (No one she mentioned is currently serving as the head of government in any country.)
Johnson's MSNBC wipeout also undermined the cause of his campaign: access to the presidential debates. On Monday, Johnson had angrily rejected the idea that his "brain freezes" suggested he would not be helped if he shared the stage with Clinton and Trump. On Friday, his campaign planned to protest the Commission on Presidential Debates at its D.C. office; in the meantime it was pushing back against the idea that the televised gaffes previewed what he would do in front of 80-odd million viewers.
"The reason these moments stand out so much is that people don’t know what he is," said Terry Michael, Johnson's media adviser, who wrote the original 1987 news release announcing the CPD. "The classic gotcha is 'What's the name of a leader?' 'What's the name of a place?' But it's just a gotcha. He knows as much about foreign policy as any governor who’s run for president in the last few years."