As if the past accusations of sexual harrassment and subsequent handling of the issues weren’t bad enough, Herman Cain lack of knowledge on foreign policy issues remains a serious concern about this candidacy.
We’re not hearing about it much, but during an interview on Monday, Cain said that China was “trying to develop nuclear capability.” No one let Cain know that China has had this ability for nearly 50 years:
Asked how he would react to China’s growing military influence, Cain said that he was worried that the country is “trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have.”
China tested its first nuclear weapon in 1964, and has been a nuclear power since then.
Comments like these are why much of the Republican establishment don’t take Cain seriously as a presidential candidate, despite his strong showing in primary polls. It’s not the first inaccurate comment he’s made on foreign policy. In the early stages of his campaign, Cain declined to specifically respond to many foreign policy questions, instead saying he’d defer to his military advisers, if he was elected president. His dismissal of foreign policy towards “Uzbeki-beki-beki-stan-stan” as a gotcha question highlights his mentality on the subject.
It has certainly been a bad week for Herman Cain. Instead of Cain’s campaign getting a handle on the story past allegations against him, it has only gotten worse as more allegations have surfaced; including a more recent claim made by a influential talk show host based in Iowa:
A third woman considered filing a workplace complaint against Herman Cain over what she deemed aggressive and unwanted behavior when she and Cain, now a Republican presidential candidate, worked together during the late 1990s, the woman told The Associated Press on Wednesday. She said the behavior included a private invitation to his corporate apartment.
The woman said he made sexually suggestive remarks or gestures about the same time that two co-workers had settled separate harassment complaints against Cain, who was then the head of the National Restaurant Association.
This woman isn’t bound by a non-disclosure agreement since she didn’t file a formal complaint. As noted another accusation came from talk show host Steve Deace:
In a cryptic comment made at National Journal’s Election 2012 Preview event Tuesday, Mark Block, Herman Cain’s campaign manager, made reference to an incident involving Cain and a receptionist for a radio talk show host.
We’ve focused a lot on the negatives of Mitt Romney, the man who may very well be the GOP nominee in 2012. There things about the guy I’m not fond of, including RomneyCare and the frequency of which he changes his beliefs on an issue. But the case for Romney needs to be heard, and Michael Gerson offers it up:
Romney’s main political vulnerability is a serious one. Running for Massachusetts’ governor in 2002, he was a pro-choice, economically centrist, culturally liberal, business-oriented Republican. Running for president in 2008, he was a thoroughly pro-life, orthodox supply-side, culturally conservative, Fox News Republican. Romney’s shape-shifting 2008 campaign only reinforced the impression of a consultant-driven candidate.
The story continues to play out over the alleged instance of sexual harrassment against Herman Cain. At this point it’s not so much whether the allegation actually occured, Cain himself has confirmed it and most of the details in the original Politico story, but whether or not we’re getting a clear picture from the campaign. Over at The New American, Raven Clabough explains:
Cain’s varying assertions regarding the events have been inconsistent. He first indicated that he was unaware of the allegations, then reported that he was “vaguely familiar” with the claims, before ultimately answering specific details regarding the accusations and the financial settlements with certainty.
Also inconsistent are Cain’s statements in light of a statement made by the National Restaurant Association. When Cain first acknowledged that he at least recalled the allegations, he indicated that the restaurant association and the human resources department had conducted an investigation into allegations about his conduct in the late 1990s.
“I recused myself and allowed my general counsel and my human resource officer to deal with the situation and it was concluded after a thorough investigation that it had no basis,” claimed Cain. In contrast, the head of the association’s human resources department indicated last week during an interview with Politico that she was unfamiliar with any complaints from female employees about Cain.
I’m always heartened to see third parties, of any stripe, get more attention in the news media. Such as this story from the Daily Caller:
The Occupy Wall Street protests have attracted significant support from Democratic Party politicians. But two of the country’s most significant third parties say that the message of the protests is that the two-party system is broken.
Green Party Media Coordinator Scott McLarty told The Daily Caller, “the claim from some people that the Occupy Wall Street and related ‘Occupy’ protests express support for the Democratic Party is more than disingenuous, it’s plain dishonest.”
“Organizers have made it repeatedly clear that the protests are not partisan, to the point of barring representatives of political parties from speaking publicly at the protests,” McLarty said. “The protests aren’t only driven by anger over the Wall Street’s greed and recklessness, but also by the two party political status quo that enabled Wall Street’s theft of the country’s future.”
Now, I may not agree with the Green Party on a lot of things, but I completely agree that it was both parties that led us to where we are today (and if we look at the unemployment trends for the next decade, then yes, I also agree that they “enabled Wall Street’s theft of the country’s future,” via bailouts, bad regulation, and out-and-out collusion.)
If you watched the Republican debate last night, you noticed the increased scrutiny on Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. The criticism isn’t without risk. If they hit him too harshly, they risk victimizing him and emboldening his base of support. If they’re too lenient, the quick-witted Cain wll turn make sure that it blows up in their face.
But Cain has tipped his hand in what he has to come back with as conservatives lay out very serious concerns about the proposal; and it’s clear that he isn’t ready to argue on substance. His staff has responded to criticism with a simple line, “the problem with that analysis is that it is incorrect.” Cain’s own recent defense of the plan laid out in an editoral leaves more questions than answers.
Even the editors at the conservative National Review are unconvinced that Cain’s good intentions will bring the benefits that he claims:
Could Occupy Wall Street be helping Republicans? Neal Boortz seems to think so:
We’ve seen demonstrations like this before. As George Will writes:
“From 1965 through 1968 the left found its voice and style in consciousness-raising demonstrations and disruptions. In November 1968, the nation, its consciousness raised, elected Richard Nixon President and gave 56.9 percent of the popular vote to Nixon or George Wallace. Republicans won four of the next five presidential elections.”
That’s why I want these protests to continue. Step ‘em up if you Occupiers can manage that as well. I need more occupiers calling my show to tell me that the top 1% of income earners in this country earn “about 75% of all income” and that the corporate tax rate is “15%”. We need more video of occupiers telling America that for every dollar individuals pay in income tax “corporations only pay 25 cents. I know because I read that on-line.” I need to hear from more experienced “activists” who have glommed on to the occupiers push such things like opposition to the death penalty.
These occupiers are the best campaigners the Republicans have right now. Keep it up and keep the spotlight on them. I’m loving it.
In what some see at the Republicans beginning to coalesce around the eventual nominee, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who decided against a bid for the GOP nomination last week, endorsed Mitt Romney yesterday:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he is backing Mitt Romney for president as “the man we need to lead America” and said attacks on his Mormon religion are “beneath the office of the president of the United States.”
Christie announced his endorsement at a surprise appearance in New Hampshire with the former Massachusetts governor on Tuesday.
A senior Romney adviser told NBC News that Romney secured the endorsement on Saturday when he and his wife, Ann, met with Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, at the Christie home.
Romney described Christie as an “American hero” who has battled to “rein in the excesses of government in New Jersey.”
Christie’s support — which was considered to be coveted among the GOP field — could come with his network of donors and admirers.
I’m not trying to downplay the importance of this endorsement; but, was anyone actually surprised by this? It was obvious that Christie wasn’t going to get behind Rick Perry. Jon Huntsman, the only other candidate that would be up his alley, is doing terribly in the polls and the other candidates in the race seem are too far out there for him. Not to mention that a prominent Christie fundraiser immediately went to Romney after his guy opted against a run.
Despite his dwindling poll numbers and poor debate performances, Rick Perry is still hammering Mitt Romney over the health care law that he signed in 2006, which served as the blueprint for ObamaCare.
The ad, made by the guy that did Tim Pawlenty’s epic campaign videos, hits Romney hard with frequent imagery between the GOP frontrunner and President Barack Obama and uses his own words against him. It repeats the fact that Romney removed the line from his book about taking RomneyCare national; now that it has become politically unpopular:
Back in May, Herman Cain answered a few questions from Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic dealing with Libya and civil liberties issues. Cain’s answers on the USA PATRIOT Act were disappointing; and quite frankly, showed a severe lack of respect for the Fourth Amendment, especially for someone that supposedly wants to restore the Constitution.
Oddly though, Cain rejected the idea of a president authorizing the death of American citizen, as in the case of Anwar al-Awlaki, without due process guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. Here the relevant part of the interview (Friedersdorf’s questions are in bold):
President Obama has said that he has the authority to assassinate American citizens if he’s declared them an enemy combatant in the War on Terror. Al Awlaki is one guy who is on the official government list where he can be taken out. Do you have any thoughts on that? Is it a good policy because it allows us to take out Americans who may have joined Al Qaeda? Or is it a bad policy-
Well first of all, this is the first that I have heard - you’re saying it’s okay to take out American citizens if he suspects they are terrorist related. Is that what you said?!
Yes, that’s what I said.