YouTube Added: 14.11.2011
– Cain Talks Libya, Pulls A Perry (ZeroHedge, Nov. 14, 2011):
So in the Perry aftermath, is everyone now going for the sympathy “I am just as big an idiot as Dubya” card, or are all Republican candidates seriously insane and/or raving, deranged lunatics? Will it seriously be that difficult to give Ron Paul a full body botox, cut off his frontal lobe, have him grope several women, promise to bomb someone or something, execute a few hundred illegal immigrants, and see him gain 200 extra pounds? Because if that is what it will take to make him “appeal” to the general Joe Sixpack, so be it: if America ends up with one of these other muppets it is doomed. Doomed.
– Cain stumbles on Libya question (Journal Sentinel, Nov, 14, 2011):
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, in the midst of a Midwestern campaign swing, stumbled badly Monday when attempting to answer a question about whether he agreed or disagreed with President Barack Obama’s approach to handling the Libyan crisis.
Meeting with Journal Sentinel reporters and editors before fundraising appearances in Milwaukee and Green Bay, Cain was discussing foreign policy in general when he was asked specifically about Obama’s handling of Libya.
Cain paused for some time, then wanted to clarify that Obama had supported the uprising. Clearly struggling to articulate a response, Cain paused again, saying, “Got all of this stuff twirling around in my head.”
Finally, Cain said: “I would have done a better job of determining who the opposition is. And I’m sure that our intelligence people had some of that information. Based upon who made up that opposition . . . might have caused me to make some different decisions about how we participated. Secondly, no I did not agree with (Moammar) Gadhafi killing his citizens. Absolutely not. . . . I would have supported many of the things that they did to help stop that.”
Cain said the question of America’s involvement in Libya was not a simple yes or no question. “I would have gone about assessing the situation differently. It might have caused us to end up in the same place.”
Told that a number of Republican leaders had praised Obama for his handling of the situation, Cain said he wasn’t criticizing the president, “I just don’t think enough was done relative to assessing the opposition before everything exploded.”
Cain’s answer, which began with a discussion of President George W. Bush’s foreign policy before the Libya question came up, was recorded on video and posted as part of a series of unedited excerpts on the Journal Sentinel’s online site. Each excerpt pertained to a different topic. The video quickly went viral and was linked to and embedded on a number of political websites around the country, as well as national newspapers and nightly cable and network news broadcasts.
After the Journal Sentinel interview and a fundraiser in Milwaukee, Cain rode his campaign bus to Green Bay’s Lambeau Field. As the bus approached its destination, his spokesman began fielding a flurry of media phone calls about his response to the Libya question.
When a Journal Sentinel reporter riding on the Cain bus asked him about the reaction his interview was getting, Cain responded with a smile and indicated he found the reaction ridiculous.
“I paused to make sure I didn’t say something wrong. The fact of the matter is, I didn’t. I didn’t say anything wrong . . . but the fact I didn’t answer immediately – I’m going to be honest with you, that is silly. That is silly!”
Said Cain: “I call it flyspecking every word, every phrase, and now they are flyspecking my pauses, but I guess since they can’t legitimately attack my ideas, they will attack word and pauses. I’m kind of flattered that my pauses are so important that somebody wants to make a story out of it.”
By the time his bus arrived at his campaign tailgate party at Lambeau, a large media scrum was waiting, and the first question was about the way he handled the question about Libya.
In the Journal Sentinel meeting, Cain also appeared to be unclear on the issue of collective bargaining as it involves federal employees.
Asked if he thought federal employees should have the ability to bargain collectively, Cain said: “They already have it, don’t they?”
Told they didn’t, he said, “They have unions.”
The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 600,000 federal government workers in 65 agencies, says that most federal employees don’t have collective bargaining over pay and benefits. They do have collective bargaining power over working conditions.
There are some exemptions to unions in federal government. Air traffic controllers can bargain over wages under a 1996 law that granted full bargaining power to a number of federal workers covered under the Federal Aviation Administration. The U.S. Postal Service, which has hundreds of thousands of employees, has collective bargaining for pay and benefits. But the Postal Service is technically an independent agency of the U.S. government.
Cain’s comments came after he was asked about the battles in Ohio and Wisconsin over public employee unions. Cain was asked whether he thinks public employees should be able to collectively bargain.
“Yes,” he said, “but not collective hijacking. What I mean by that, if they have gotten so much for so many years and it’s going to bankrupt the state, I don’t think that’s good. It appears that in some instances, they really don’t care.”
The bottom line, he stressed, was not creating an undue burden on taxpayers.
Asked about last week’s vote in Ohio, in which the state’s new collective bargaining law was rejected by voters, Cain said that “maybe they tried to get too much and as a result it failed.”
Asked if the Ohio Legislature had gone too far in stripping collective bargaining power for public employees, including fire and police personnel, Cain said Ohio legislators “may have tried to get too much in one bill.”
Ohio’s collective bargaining law differed from Wisconsin in at least one key aspect: Wisconsin exempted police and fire personnel from the law.
In an interview with the Journal Sentinel last month, Cain said he was “right in the corner of Gov. Scott Walker 100%” in Walker’s battle with public employee unions.
Cain also said he expected no major infractions to be found by an inquiry into a Journal Sentinel report that a nonprofit headed by Cain’s chief of staff and deputy chief of staff may have picked up the cost of computers, chartered flights and travel expenses for Cain’s campaign. The Journal Sentinel has published internal financial documents by the nonprofit Prosperity USA that said it was owed about $40,000 by the Cain campaign.
Cain refused to name the law firm he said his campaign had hired to conduct the inquiry. “If there is any wrongdoing, we will correct it. We happen to think, initially, they will not find any major infractions,” he said.
On other issues, Cain said:
He supported what he called opportunity zones where there would be tax incentives to help the poor empower themselves. He said his 9-9-9 tax plan would allow businesses to get tax deductions to help them rebuild the economy and create jobs. And in opportunity zones, he said, businesses would get additional incentives, such as possibly being able to deduct some or all of their payrolls.
Several people came to mind that he admired and would consider bringing into a Cain administration if he is elected president. He mentioned former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), former Ambassador John Bolton and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
Cain singled out Ryan, saying he admired how Ryan put a Medicare reform plan on the table, knowing he would be criticized for it. Asked which job Ryan would be considered for in a Cain administration, Cain declined to say.
“I don’t want to pin it down. I don’t want to get pigeonholed,” Cain said.
– TRENDING: Cain stumbles over Libya (CNN, Nov. 14, 2011):
Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain took a moment Monday to clarify his position on Libya: He needs more information.
After an uncomfortable eight-second pause to collect his thoughts, the GOP contender explained that he would need to know more before he could unequivocally agree or disagree with President Barack Obama’s actions in the conflicted country.
Cain was meeting with the editorial board of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel when Libya came up.
“Okay, Libya,” he responded when asked whether he agreed with President Obama’s actions in the region. Eight seconds later, after looking up, biting his lip and blinking repeatedly, Cain asked, “President Obama supported the uprising, correct?”
“I just want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing before I say ‘Yes, I agree’ or ‘No, I do not agree.”
But just as Cain, a former conservative talk radio host, started to respond to the question, he then changed his mind.
“I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reasons – um, no, that’s a different one,” he said, before uncrossing and crossing his legs, shifting position in his seat, and adjusting his jacket.
“Let’s see, I’ve got to go back, see,” he continues. “(I’ve) got all this stuff twirling around in my head.”
“Are you asking me did I agree or not agree with Obama?”
Cain finally settled on a response after hearing the question rephrased a second time.
“It’s not a simple yes/no because there are different pieces and I would’ve gone about assessing the situation differently, which might have caused us to end up at the same place, but I think more could’ve been done was, what’s the nature of the opposition?”
He explained that he would have gotten more information on determining who the opposition was, but said, “I’m sure that our intelligence people had some of that information.” Although he declined to criticize the president, Cain said he didn’t think enough was done.
And before he was challenged on the clarity of his response, Cain asserted, “I’m not trying to hedge on the questions, it’s just that’s my nature as a businessman, I need to know all of the facts, I would need to know all of the alternatives.”
“It’s not a clear yes/no,” he said again. “Because of all those things I think that should have been assessed… I don’t know that they were or were not assessed.”
“I didn’t see reports of that assessment.”
Campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon described the video of Cain’s awkward moment as “out of context in some measure.”
“He just had to think about it,” Gordon said, because the candidate “had been getting a lot of briefings on the subtleties of the Arab Spring.”
Gordon pointed out that Cain had been fielding questions from several editorial board members for 45 minutes and “skipping around from every topic from A to Z.”
Cain’s popularity fell 11 points in a CNN/ORC International Poll released Monday, falling to third place behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Cain’s candidacy has been plagued by allegations of sexual harassment in recent weeks, which he has said are not true.
And he had a simple explanation for his apparent stumble at an event in Wisconsin late Monday: “I mean, they asked me a question about Libya, and I paused…so I could gather my thoughts,” he said. “You know, it’s really complimentary when people start documenting my pauses. You know it’s one thing to document every word. It was a pause. That’s all it was. Good grief.”