Sunday, May 22, 2011

What if this had been Sarah Palin?

I have nothing against Herman Cain. As far as I can tell, he seems like a strong conservative and a great guy. However, I have a few questions after watching his appearance on Fox News Sunday.

What if Sarah Palin had flip-flopped on whether to raise the debt ceiling in the span of a few days?

What if Sarah Palin had offered the following answer when asked about her position on Afghanistan?
“The right approach is that the day I’m elected, I would start on that plan.”
What if Sarah Palin had articulated such a lack of understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
In an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Mr. Cain –widely considered to be a long-shot contender for the Republican Presidential nomination – appeared to be somewhat confused by the idea of the Palestinian “right of return” to Israeli territory.

The “right of return” is among the many seemingly unbridgeable divides in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and a concept to which Israel is firmly opposed.

Just this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel is “not going to happen. Everybody knows it’s not going to happen.”

CAIN: Right of return? Right of return?

WALLACE: The Palestinian right of return.

CAIN: That's something that should be negotiated.

When asked again about whether he believes in the Palestinian right of return, Cain seemed unclear about the Israeli position on the matter, as well as his own.

CAIN: Yes, but under - but not under - Palestinian conditions. Yes. They should have a right to come back if that is a decision that Israel wants to make…. I don't think they have a big problem with people returning.
I don't expect Cain's campaign to make it past Iowa if this is an indication of what's to come. In fact, he may not even make it that far.


Anonymous said...

If he were six months out his CEO position with Godfather's Pizza, his mistakes on foreign policy might not seem as big. Learning foreign policy takes time, and I understand that a CEO's time is very tightly focused on the business. However, Mr. Cain has been out of the restaurant business since the late 90's. He ran for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia in 2004. He's been doing talk radio for a while. He's had opportunity to educate himself on foreign policy. If he hasn't done so, he either doesn't understand the job of the president or doesn't know how to prepare.

I wouldn't draw this conclusion if he had made only one mistake, but the Israel question comes after his fumble on the Afghanistan question in the South Carolina debate. Many experts on Afghanistan and the issues around that region are not in government service right now. They could talk freely with him about the primary issues and facts that are involved. They may still know some secrets that they couldn't share directly, but they could educate Mr. Cain enough to give better answers. Considering his status as a talk radio host, former Senate candidate, and potential leader in the GOP, many of those people would have been happy to talk to him.

I like Mr. Cain, but if he can't turn around his answers on these kinds of issues, he's not going to be a viable candidate.

marK said...

You ask some very good questions, RWN. While Cain's goofs do remind me somewhat of the 2008 edition of Sarah Palin, I can't imagine the 2011 edition of Sarah Palin making them this badly.

Every candidate makes gaffes now and again. They are only human, after all. But these Cain gaffes betray a distinct "not ready for prime-time" quality about him.

Too bad.

Pablo said...


I have to agree with you. Everything that came out of Cain's mouth was pure red meat. I now know why the folks at Red State love him so much. Cain appears like he has no idea what he is talking about or he is just pandering to the base. He is wrong about the debt ceiling. He is wrong about the fair tax. He is wrong about the "right of return." He is wrong about Israel.

And by the way, I have criticized him in the past. Hopefully the Republicans won't fall for his silver tongue.

GetReal said...

If Palin had given those answers, we'd probably be hearing complaints about that snake Wallace and his "gotcha" questions... ;)
but seriously, this is really bad news for Herman Cain.

Right Wingnut said...

Even The Right Scoop (very favorable to Cain) hammered him for this performance.

Right Wingnut said...


Erick Erickson and Herman Cain both have redio shows in the Atlanta area. Erickson fills in for Cain on a frequent basis.

I like the design of their site, and the ability for anyone to post a blog and get a lot of exposure, but I can't take some of their commenters, and ESPECIALLY the mods. I got banned for about a week for next to nothing.

ellie said...

RWN, you, bill and OJ, would have strapped on the rosey glasses and said we just hate, hate hate palin if that's what we read into the statements she might have made.

And you know it.

Right Wingnut said...

Hot Air commenters (usually Cain friendly) are taking him apart too.

Doug NYC GOP said...

The answer to all three questions posed is -
If Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty answered questions the way Cain has, they'd all desrve the thrashing he's getting right now.

Hopefully our eventual nominee will be able to articulate their positions in a succinct, cogent and persuasive manner, considering Obama is a tiresome stutterer, when deprived of his teleprompter (uh... er...oh...ummm...)

I also hope this is not the start of a trend, measuring how much a candidate is trashed or not, compared to Palin. We can do without that distracting sidebar conversation.

Let's just agree now, no one ever has or will again, will face the critical onslaught she has endured, and move on.

A non-paranoid Doug NYC GOP ;)

TexasConservative said...

I have been surprised by Herman Cain's responses to foreign policy questions.

He clearly had no idea what the right of return was today on FNS.

Seems like he needs to have a quick tutoring session with Bill Kristol and his foreign policy friends.

Noelle said...

Herman Cain is certainly a good guy, and a strong conservative, but he is clearly not ready for the presidency. I don't understand how he thinks his answer "my plan to not raise the debt ceiling won't work" is an acceptable answer, and he is not up to speed on foreign policy. I wish him all the best, but he has a long way to go before he is ready for a legitimate run for POTUS.

Right Wingnut said...

Wrong document, Herman.

Touted by the media as a “Tea Party” Candidate, Cain pointed to a key Tea Party principle, upholding the Constitution. "Keep reading," Cain said of U.S Constitution. "Don't stop at life, liberty and pursuit of happiness."

Anonymous said...

Herman Cain is no more qualified or ready to be president than Palin. Neither one of them have a clue about the intellectual qualifications necessary to be president.

Anonymous said...

scrubbed from Cain's official story is his long tenure as a director at a Midwest energy corporation named Aquila that, like the infamous Enron Corporation, recklessly dove into the wild west of energy trading and speculation—and ultimately screwed its employees out of tens of millions of dollars.

Revolution 2012 said...

GetReal nailed it!