WASHINGTON — Texas Gov. George W. Bush was hit with a surprise quiz on foreign affairs and scored only 25%.
The Republican presidential front-runner sat down Wednesday with WHDH-TV in Boston and was asked to name the leaders of four world hot spots: Chechnya, Taiwan, India and Pakistan. He was able to give a partial response to just one.
That drew immediate criticism from the camp of Democrat Al Gore, which said the vice president could have answered all four correctly. The Bush campaign brushed off the incident.
"The person who is running for president is seeking to be the leader of the free world, not a 'Jeopardy!' contestant," said Karen Hughes, Bush's communications director.
"I would venture to guess that 99.9% of most Americans and probably most candidates could not answer who is the president of Chechnya," Hughes added.
The questions were put to Bush by political reporter Andy Hiller. "Can you name the president of Chechnya?" he asked.
"No, can you?" Bush replied.
Asked about the leader of Taiwan, Bush responded, "Yeah, Lee," referring to Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui.
Bush could not name the prime minister of India (Atal Behari Vajpayee) or Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who took control of Pakistan in a military coup. The president in Chechnya, the Russian breakaway republic, is Aslan Maskhadov.
Also Thursday, Bush aides said he will soon unveil a tax plan that will include a proposal to phase out inheritance taxes.