Top 10 Things Herman Cain Doesn’t Want You To Know About Him


Written by Scott Keyes, a ThinkProgress blogger

After just six weeks, ever-fickle Republican presidential primary voters are cooling to Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), setting their sights instead on a Tea Party favorite: former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain (R).

Though Cain has been running since January, his recent debate performances and straw poll victories have created a boomlet for the former pizza executive. Now, Cain is leading state polls from North Carolina to West Virginia to Nebraska and surging nationally as well. Taking up the mantle once occupied by the likes of Donald Trump and Rick Perry, pollster Tom Jensen declared yesterday that “Herman Cain is the new GOP frontrunner.”

Now, as Cain enters the Republican top tier, it’s worth taking a look back at the former CEO’s policy positions. During his nine months on the campaign trail, Cain has repeatedly shown a lack of understanding on foreign policy matters, a lack of empathy for immigrants and poorer Americans, and a lack of respect for religious liberty.

ThinkProgress has put together the top 10 hits from Cain’s presidential bid:

(1) PLEDGED THAT HE “WILL NOT” APPOINT MUSLIMS IN HIS ADMINISTRATION: In an interview with ThinkProgress earlier this year, Herman Cain declared that he “will not” appoint a Muslim in his administration if he were elected president. In the months that followed, Cain qualified his position a number of times – at one point even telling Glenn Beck that he would appoint Muslims but only on the condition that they take a special loyalty oath – before finally recanting this unconstitutional stance and issuing an apology to Muslim-Americans. Unfortunately, since that time Cain has continued to peddle the ridiculous notion that Sharia law is a threat to the American legal system.

(2) TOLD THINKPROGRESS, “I DON’T THINK THE CURRENT MINIMUM WAGE IS NECESSARY”: During his time as the top lobbyist for the restaurant and fast food industry, Cain fought against an increase in the minimum wage. During a recent ThinkProgress interview, Cain went further, saying “I don’t think the current minimum wage is necessary.” As Greg Sargent noted, not even conservative icon Barry Goldwater supported eliminating the minimum wage.

(3) CONFUSED BY BASIC CONCEPT OF ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE PROCESS: In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Cain was asked his opinion on the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Cain was clearly confused by the question, responding, “The right of return? [pause] The right of return?” When host Chris Wallace explained the issue to him, Cain suggested that Israel wouldn’t have a problem “with people returning,” a prospect Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu fiercely opposes. The incident was not the first time Cain displayed lack of familiarity with international affairs. Previously, Cain said he doesn’t know enough to say what he thinks about the war in Afghanistan.

(4) IMMIGRATION PLAN INVOLVES A “GREAT WALL OF CHINA” AND A “MOAT [WITH] ALLIGATORS”: In a speech to Iowa Republicans, Cain called for building a fence along the entire U.S.–Mexico border, comparing the effort to the Great Wall of China. Building a fence along the nearly 2,000-mile border not only wouldn’t work, it would cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars in the process. Cain also suggested building a moat next to the fence and filling it with alligators.

(5) BELIEVES “WE ALREADY RECOGNIZE” THE GOVERNMENT OF TAIWAN: Discussing U.S.-Chinese relations with ThinkProgress, Cain confirmed fears that he lacked a firm grasp on foreign policy matters when he declared that “we already recognize” the government of Taiwan. In fact, the United States stopped recognizing Taiwan in 1979. Cain, visibly confused about relations between the U.S, China, and Taiwan, refused to say whether this belief meant he planned to send an ambassador to Taiwan, saying instead, “President Cain will get back to you!” Lest the matter seem trivial, Chinese-Taiwanese relations are extraordinarily tense and the matter of diplomatic relations with the United States carries enormous implications for the billions of people living in southeast Asia.

(6) WANTS TO PUT DIRTY ENERGY CEOS IN CHARGE OF EPA REGULATIONS: After an Iowa voter asked about increasing domestic oil production, Cain proposed creating a commission consisting of businessmen from the coal, oil, shale oil, and natural gas industries to gut environmental protections. Cain even said he would appoint the CEO of Shell, claiming the company had been “abused” by the EPA. Cain has close ties to several top oil executives.

(7) BELIEVES IRAQ SHOULD PAY U.S. BACK FOR INVADING THEIR COUNTRY: Cain suggested in a 2008 interview that Iraq should pay the United States back for invading and occupying their country. Even Rick Santorum, who nobody would confuse as a moderate, strongly disagreed with this idea, saying, “I think that would send every possible wrong signal.” Since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have died and millions have been displaced.

(8) TRIED TO HIDE HIS GAY TREASURER: A former staffer to Cain, Kevin Hall, testified in court that Cain attempted to cover up the involvement of his openly gay PAC treasurer Scott Toomey. According to Hall, the campaign was trying to cover up Toomey’s involvement due to his sexuality. Cain’s lawyers declined to dispute the allegations.

(9) SAYS HE WOULD SUPPORT A NATIONAL PHOTO ID LAW: With an increasing number of conservative governors implement new requirements for voters to present photo identification at the polls, Cain told ThinkProgress he’d support such a bill on a federal level. “If you need a picture to get on an airplane, why shouldn’t you need one in order to be able to vote?” Cain asked. To be clear, voting is not like getting on an airplane – only one is the basis of our very democracy – and requirements that citizens present photo IDs instead of other forms of identification has the potential to disenfranchise millions of voters, especially minorities and poorer individuals.

(10) BELIEVES THAT AMERICANS HAVE THE RIGHT TO BAN MOSQUES: During a Fox News Sunday interview, Cain professed his belief that if a community wants to ban a mosque, “they have a right to do that.” Rather than idle banter, Cain’s comments came fresh off his speech blasting the proposed expansion of an existing Islamic center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee because it was, in the former pizza executive’s estimation, “not an innocent mosque.” Cain’s view is squarely at odds with not only the Constitution, but basic precepts of tolerance and diversity as well.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


Related Stories:

96-Year-Old Chattanooga Woman Denied Voting ID

Cain: If You Aren’t Rich, You Have Yourself to Blame

Cain: I Believe a Third of African Americans Would Vote for Me


Photo from Gage Skidmore via flickr


Christina B.
Christina B6 years ago

Ι am a little confused as to why the "national photo ID law" is such a bad thing. In Greece, our IDs have pics on them and we think that's perfectly natural.

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S6 years ago

Can you say C-R-A-Z-Y.

Gail Lopez
Gail Lopez6 years ago

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain has cast himself as the outsider, the pizza magnate with real-world experience who will bring fresh ideas to the nation's capital. But Cain's economic ideas, support and organization have close ties to two billionaire brothers who bankroll right-leaning causes through their group Americans for Prosperity.
Cain's campaign manager and a number of aides have worked for Americans for Prosperity, or AFP, the advocacy group founded with support from billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, which lobbies for lower taxes and less government regulation and spending. Cain credits a businessman who served on an AFP advisory board with helping devise his "9-9-9" plan to rewrite the nation's tax code. And his years of speaking at AFP events have given the businessman and radio host a network of loyal grassroots fans.

taken from article by RYAN J. FOLEY - Associated Press

Oh my, as if Cain should ever have been considered . . .

joyce dean
J D6 years ago

@Steven B. FYI RAPE is rape, & in this country currently, a women's rights are protected - and despite sharia law/religious beliefs practiced by the dominant male in a marital contract, her individual rights over her body should be protected. In this country, if the wife is not fulfilling her obligations, the partner has a right to divorce. In this country the rights protect the individual from rape, & there is NO excuse in OUR society - not even some sharia law belief. A judge denying the claimant in a rape case based on the perpetrators religious belief is anti American.

I DO AGREE with some of your observations. I do not understand YOUR categorization of groups, which seems prejudicial, especially in light of your argument based AGAINST prejudices. it seems Ironic, that.

Black/white, Left/Right - it's ALL the same thing; the peasants are being ignored, manipulated, & denied access to the legal venues, defenses, and controls implemented by the constitution meant to protect an individual's rights, as well as the constitution of the country. It's about power, control, money, & from what I see there is no candidate that can replace the erosion of those protections, especially with this current trend under this adminsitration. peace.

joyce dean
J D6 years ago

during the Bloomberg debate this week, RON PAUL exposed Herman Cain in a LIE, which herman Cain flatly denied; Ron Paul then offered to provide the evidence. AFTER the debate, the Bllomberg post debate conversation supposedly addressed SPECIFICALLY the falsehoods, or lies or mis-statements or disinformation any of the candidates may have exposed. NOT ONE MENTION was made of RON PAUL at ALL! NOT that Ron Paul made any false statements, but THE FALSE STATEMENT THAT HERMAN CAIN MISREPRESENTED, CONTRADICTING HIMSELF ON RECORD, & THEN FLATLY DENIED WHEN CAUGHT WAS NOT EVEN ADDRESSED. Also a lot of positive comments were made on the main mass media propoganda 'news' channels, & NOT ONE MENTION OF THIS CONTRADICTION (diplomatic way of saying he lied; either he lied before, or lied in the debate) & NOT ANY MENTION OF RON PAUL.

p.s. I WAS following Herman Cain & had considered backing him; now I think "NEIN! NEIN! NEIN!"

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Diane O (cont'd)
We are going to send the Tea Baggers packing, the Koch's can give them all one-way tickets to Disneyland for all we care, but the rest of America knows that once the Kochs see that these people cannot be used anymore they will drop them like like an elevator that has snapped it's cable.The Tea Baggers and their Republican comrades have sold their souls to the devils and more than likely will not get whatever the devils promised them in return.

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Diane O
I see no buyers remorse on here at all. The only remorse I have seen from the left is to the fact that a good number allowed hollow-headed individuals like you to be elected to positions where they have no idea of what they are doing and are vainly trying to push through every social agenda of the right because they know they will not be in those positions after the 2012 elections. It has been 280 days since these idiots were sworn in and they have not put forth one bill that would add jobs to the economy which is all that they ran on in 2010. Walkers recall effort is in full swing, Ohio SB 5 is on the fast track to being repealed and the movements started in those states are now spreading across the nation in the form of the OWS protests. Bloomberg got over 500,000 petitioner signatures and hundreds of thousands of calls just since yesterday afternoon, telling him not to try to stop the protestors from exercizing their First Amendment rights and he backed off completely. The majority of Americans are sick and tired of political hacks like you trying to drive a wedge between portions of the citizenry like your ilk has done for the last 30 years. This is not a left-right issue anymore, Americans of every political parties have been victims of the policies you so desparately try to smoke-screen for. We are going to send the Tea Baggers packing, the Koch's can give them all one-way tickets to Disneyland for all we care, but the rest of thinking America knows that onc

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Theodore A
The fact that you state "some are afraid of a Natural born American winning" shows that you still hope to discredit Obama right to govern because of his citizen status just shows how far, far to the right you are ideologically. Obama has shown both long and short form Birth certificates, The Republican governor of Hawaii has verified the fact that Obama was born there and anyone who still tries to cast doubt on his citizenship is an idiot. In the very same sentence you use the term "1/2 white American citizen" which is in direct conflict with the feeble attempt at bringing the birther inanity by the use of; "some are afraid of a Natural born American winning". The use of "1/2 white" shows the real racism behind your post so I doubt any proof Obama shows would not satisfy you or the other die-hard, racist birthers who plague our society today. You are a stupid, racist who tries to hide behind inane
innuendoes that just verify without a doubt that the afore-mentioned is held to be true.

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Don I
I want to see a verifiable source of your clain that Sharia law was used in an American court. If you cannot show us a source then we all are to treat your posts as what they BS.

Because an immagrant continues the traditions that may have been legal in his or her home country is not a case of Sharia law in our court system...duh. Every one of those cases the father or the parents if the mother was involved, have been prosecuted under American law to the fullest extent of the law.

We will be awaiting your posting of the source of the case you cited pertaining to Sharia law being used in a US courtroom. knowing full well that you cannit.

Kenneth M.
Kenneth M6 years ago

Hey Theodore A.: my previous comments were not directed specifically at you, but you fit the description perfectly. You Teatards all behave alike. Just what did your mindless comments have to do with the article at hand? You are a stupid ass.

But thank god you are unembarrassed by your stupidity, and are proud to show it via your free speech rights. Thank you for warning the rest of us about your special brand of malignancy.

~230 comments....and I haven't found one that credibly defended any one of the 10 idiocies by Cain that are highlited in the article....idiocies that rightfully brand Cain as a rightwing political retard, and therefore also brand him as an obvious frontrunner in the [R] nomination.