See also: Cain Drops Out.
REPORTER: Mr. Cain, do you think the Libya comments reinforce the idea that you don’t have a thorough understanding of foreign policy?
CAIN (shakes head, then): Nine nine nine.
Seriously think Saturday Night Live should do a Herman Cain/Herman’s Head sketch.
Gloria Cain, wife of GOP candidate Herman Cain, has given her first televised interview ever, to Greta Van Susteren of Fox News. The interview is scheduled to air Monday night, but according to partial transcripts already released, Mrs. Cain strongly defends her husband against the allegations of sexual harassment.
“You hear the graphic allegations and we know that would have been something that’s totally disrespectful of her as a woman. And I know the type of person he is. He totally respects women.”
Sorry, Mrs. Cain, but I’ve seen way too much television to fall for that.
The current responses to the Cain scandal on both sides of the political spectrum are also depressing. Pundits on the right, of course, should be ashamed for giving him a pass. They continue to do this despite the fact that he has to change his story every time new facts come to life. It appears they have decided to use the “paint the victim as gold digger” strategy as well. The left punditry is almost as bad. Pick a blog or column at random, and here is the message you find: The real scandal is what a terrible response team Cain has, and how it shows he is a very poor candidate and not a serious Presidential contender.
The real scandal is the sexual harassment.
Presidential hopeful Herman Cain isn’t just a former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and head of the National Restaurant Association. He was also once a prolific writer, who up until January 2011 produced a weekly opinion column published by the conservative website WorldNetDaily.
The columns ranged from heavy economic pontification to colorful treatises on topics like why Tiger Woods should run for President in 2016. But a common thread running through much of his writing was a startlingly poor power of foresight – and not just about Woods, whose “character, discipline and leadership” Cain lauded in 2006.
In at least one column, Cain seemed to condemn a proposal that is now a pillar of his highly touted 9-9-9 tax plan. On November 12, 2010, Cain wrote a column about rumors that Democrats would propose a consumption tax called a VAT. “The worst idea is a proposed national sales tax,” Cain wrote. A 9% national sales tax is now one of Cain’s three nines.
The problem, Cain argued in 2010, is that similar national sales taxes have “eventually gone up or expanded” in other countries. This argument echoes current conservative critics of 9-9-9, including Americans For Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist, who claim that enacting a national consumption tax would make the government more vulnerable to revenue-hungry bureaucrats.
At the conclusion of the column, Cain did endorse eviscerating the current tax code and replacing it with a flat tax, which is consistent with what he wants to do now with 9-9-9. “Mr. Cain has been a proponent of the Fair Tax and Flat Tax over the past 15 years,” says Cain campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon, who denies that there’s any contradiction between 9-9-9 and the 2010 column. “To take something out of context in a 600-word commentary, out of over 500 columns published over 15 years, frankly does not make sense.”
Nonetheless, with Cain surging in the polls, his rivals for the Republican nomination may seek to use his past statements against him. And tax policy was not the only area where Cain may have misjudged the future. Throughout 2008, Cain repeatedly wrote that the creeping economic downturn was an invention of the mainstream media.
Herman Cain clarifies his remarks on a deadly border fence and acknowledges his tax plan would result in higher taxes for some.
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Andrew Sullivan responding to Herman Cain’s claim that homosexuality is not a choice.