Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Video: Is Journal-Sentinel Interview Herman Cain's 'Rick Perry' Moment?

Two unfortunate and noteworthy gaffes from Herman Cain here. In much the same way that Rick Perry's gaffe in last week's debate was made worse because of his reputation for not doing well in debates, the way Cain seemed to draw a blank in response to a question about Libya was made worse because of his reputation for not having a firm grasp on foreign policy issues. In this exchange with Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporters, Cain has two painful moments. The first comes right off the bat when he's asked whether public sector employees should have the right to collectively bargain. He actually answered, "yes." Frankly, it doesn't matter what was said after that. The fight in Wisconsin showed that the issue of public sector unions is a very sensitive one for the conservative base that Cain needs passionately in his camp to secure the nomination.

As for the Libya question, I got the sense in watching this that it wasn't so much about Cain not having an opinion about how Obama handled the removal of Gadhafi as it was a matter of his wanting to be overly careful about how he expressed his opinion. At the beginning, one is left to conclude one of two things. Either Cain is exhausted and the sexual harassment allegations are wearing on him OR he doesn't have a coherent position on Libya. Toward the end of this clip, he does lay out some issues of concern but he avoids associating the rebels there with either the Muslim Brotherhood or al-Qaeda. Cain knows of these entities quite well, which leads me to believe he decided to be too safe with his answers instead of saying what he believed.

When pressed about what he would have done vs. how Obama handled it, Cain could have drawn a clear line of distinction by saying that the removal of Gadhafi led to the planting of an al-Qaeda flag atop the Benghazi courthouse. Instead, he came across as ignorant or unwilling to express a strong view.

This was not good.

Here is the entire interview:

h/t Hot Air

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