Herman Cain says people like him because of his "plain talk," but the plainest of language still cannot make sense of some of the more interesting stuff Cain says. Our tally of his most interesting but least explicable folksy statements about public policy.
- To anyone who listens to Karl Rove: Rove used a dry-erase board on Fox News Monday morning to highlight all the problematic things Cain has said. Cain told the Washington Examiner's Byron York: "It's a good thing the voters are not looking at Karl Rove's little whiteboard ... I believe it is a deliberate attempt to damage me because I am not, quote unquote, the establishment choice. But why not go with the choice that the people seem to like?"
- To those who might question his motives: Delivering a speech at the Value Voters Summit in Washington earlier this month, Cain said, "Why are you running for president? To be president!" Oh good. Naked ambition never hurt anyone.
- To "Cain Train" doubters: "Take a look at the latest Des Moines Register poll." Politico notes that the poll was released in June.
- To those confused by his abortion position: "I am pro-life, period," Cain said on Fox Monday. Cain had to clarify, having said last week, "I'm saying is it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president, not some politician, not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn't have to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue." And then following up, "Ultimately it gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president. Not some politician." And then following up again, "Look, abortion should not be legal. That is clear. But if that family makes the decision to break the law, that’s that family’s decision. That’s all I'm trying to say."
- To supposedly brainwashed black people: Fox' Gretchen Carlson asked Cain to respond to a New York Times story in which black leaders said he used old black stereotypes to appeal to white Republicans -- phrases like "aw shucky ducky." Cain said no. "That is absolutely false and ridiculous ... I am who I am and when Herman Cain makes fun of himself and Herman Cain uses analogies like black walnut ice cream there is no hidden meaning there. It is what it is. And you know, as far as some of the rhetoric that I have been accused of relative to saying that black people, some of them are brainwashed and if they look at the tape, I stand my ground. Some of them are brainwashed because they won't consider another alternative. But I always say the good news is a large percentage of black people are thinking for themselves, that’s all I'm trying to do."
- To those who haven't noticed Cain is black: "Incidentally, my handle seems to be sticking to me. One member of my staff ... insists that when I'm president, my Secret Service name is going to be 'Cornbread!'" "Will I be the flavor of the week?" ... the answer is an emphatic, 'No,' because Haagen-Dazs black walnut tastes good all the time." "I left the Democratic plantation a long time ago." "[Obama's] never been a part of the black experience in America." "Most of the ancestors that I can trace were born here in the United States of America... And then it goes back to slavery." "Right now, every time someone criticizes Barack Obama, they try to play the race card, the White House, all his supporters, they try to play the race card." "That color happens to look good against this beautiful dark skin." “This isn't why I’m running, but my candidacy would take race off the table."
- To those people with 'Jesus was a liberal' bumper stickers: Digital Journal points to this Christmas message Cain wrote for Red State last year about how Jesus was "the perfect conservative." Jesus offers important lessons, Cain writes:
He helped the poor without one government program. He healed the sick without a government health care system. He feed the hungry without food stamps.For three years He was unemployed, and never collected an unemployment check. Nevertheless, he completed all the work He needed to get done.
But they made Him walk when He was arrested and taken to jail, and no, He was not read any Miranda Rights. He was arrested for just being who He was and doing nothing wrong. And when they tried Him in court, He never said a mumbling word.He didn’t have a lawyer, nor did He care about who judged Him.His judge was a higher power.The liberal court found Him guilty of false offences and sentenced Him to death, all because He changed the hearts and minds of men with an army of 12.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.