Herman Cain subbed for Sean Hannity today and opened with a rant on why calling it ObamaCare is factually wrong when Obama doesn’t care about the unintended, and intended, consequences of the White House Health Care Tax:
After being on board for so long, I just look at this and think, “What could have been…”
Herman Cain, the insurgent populist whose candidacy has been ensnared by allegations of sexual impropriety, said Saturday that he is leaving the race for the Republican presidential nomination, saying that the allegations have cast a “cloud of doubt over me and this campaign.”
“As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign,” he said at an event in Atlanta. “I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt . . . on me, on my family, not because we are not fighters, not because I am not a fighter.”
Cain’s campaign had sent mixed signals as to his future since Ginger White, an Atlanta woman who claims to have had an affair with Cain for more than a decade, went public with her story earlier this week. While Cain has said he has been “reassessing” his candidacy, he also, at times, has been fiercely defiant, suggesting that unnamed enemies have been trying to do him in and vowing to press forward.
Today, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain announced that tomorrow, he would be making an announcement.
I’m guessing he’s had enough:
One supporter who has been summoned to the private session said he believes that Cain is likely to announce he is ending his candidacy.
Another who has been invited to the morning meeting says attendees have been told he has made no decision, but wanted to meet with some of the supporters to express his gratitude.
Several sources indicated that Cain is likely to announce his plans publicly at a news conference after the meeting. Cain had already scheduled an event on Saturday — the grand opening of his national headquarters in his hometown of Atlanta, as well as the announcement of his campaign’s freshly minted senior leadership team for the state of Georgia.
Allahpundit notes a Newsweek article that claims Cain’s wife wants him out of the race, but also asks:
If he’s on his way out, what’s with the brand new “Women for Cain” section on his website?
I imagine it’s part of the damage control his communications team is scrambling to put in place. They took some heat for using stock photos rather than real female supporters of Cain. I’m guessing his team is working overtime to keep the allegations from sticking, while Cain is on the phone with his family making the decision to quit the campaign.
I think tomorrow, he’s going home for good.
What do you think?
Dennis Miller announced on The O’Reilly Factor tonight that he was off the Cain Train for one reason – Herman Cain can’t win:
According to a new Bloomberg poll, Ron Paul is now a top tier candidate in Iowa, joining Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrinch.
A Bloomberg News survey indicates 20% of Iowans likely to take part in the Republican caucuses say they support businessman Herman Cain for the nomination, with 19% backing Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who’s making his third run for the White House. Eighteen percent say they support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who’s making his second run for the GOP nomination and 17% backing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
It’s basically a four-way tie for the top spot when taking into account the survey’s sampling error. The poll’s Tuesday release comes seven weeks before Iowa’s January 3 caucuses, which kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar.
Good news for Ron Paul supporters, bad news for Perry, Bachmann and Santorum supporters. Especially Santorum, who has worked his hind end off getting to all 99 counties in Iowa.
Ed Morrissey writes:
Bloomberg makes sure to point out in its report that it used the same polling firm as the Des Moines Register, whose caucus polling is considered the gold standard for Iowa predictive surveys. The sample size is more than adequate at 503 likely caucusgoers. At an MOE of +/-4.4%, this basically shows Iowa at a dead heat among the four contenders.
I think Cain is going to drop a bit before January 3rd, leaving the door open for Paul or Gingrich to be the Not Romney candidate. Considering Paul’s organization in Iowa, it’s conceivable he could win Iowa.
But then what? In New Hampshire, Paul is in third place behind Cain, who trails Romney by 22 points. Yeah, 22 points.
In South Carolina, Paul is in fifth place behind Rick Perry.
Before you Ron Paul supporters get giddy with excitement, you need to remember that winning Iowa doesn’t equal winning the nomination. Just ask Mike Huckabee.
Head, meet desk. Desk, head.
There are two videos making the rounds today, both featuring an interview Herman Cain did with reporter from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
First one, Cain’s answer to a question about President Obama’s handling of Libya:
God. Awful. Answers.
The Cain campaign says he was operating on four hours sleep.
That’s no excuse. If he’s not fit mentally for an interview, then he should reschedule. But I don’t think this was a lack of sleep, but a lack of knowledge.
And I’m not alone. Here comes the linkaround:
His bumbling responses to the Journal-Sentinel are particularly troubling, because it’s not like they are questions that should have caught him off guard. Collective bargaining was the political issue in Wisconsin this year, so of course he was going to get a question on it. And Republicans just had a foreign policy debate on Saturday. As an aside, Mark Hemingway raises an good point on Twitter: “Why is Cain talking to a Wisconsin editorial board anyway? Shouldn’t he be in Iowa?”
To be clear, I don’t mean to suggest that Cain is a stupid man. He was clearly a talented businessman, for instance. But there are a lot of intelligent business people who don’t follow domestic and international politics that closely. And that’s totally fine for most people. But it’s inexcusable for somebody running for president.
It’s his continued lack of preparedness on, and familiarity with, basic domestic and foreign policy issues. Sorry, Cain fans. Tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. But like Rick Perry, Herman Cain is just not ready for prime time. The real Cain scandal: He can barely form a coherent thought on Libya when put on the spot and garbles collective bargaining 101 facts.
You won’t believe me until you click play but this is much worse than Perry’s brain lock at the debate last week. Perry lost his train of thought; Cain doesn’t have a train at all here, to the point where he needs confirmation from the interviewer of what Obama’s position on Libya actually was. Eventually he produces some boilerplate about not supporting the opposition until you’re sure who’s in it and of course not making a decision as president until he has all the information, which is a standard Cain fallback talking point whenever he gets in trouble on a question, but the first two minutes or so are pure agony. The board actually took pity on him, I think, by not following up.
Sorry guys, but I’ve been behind Cain for a long time and I can’t support him any longer. He is sounding worse and worse as time goes on and that Libya answer…it was horrible. It’s like he’s afraid to say the wrong thing and his fumbling around was cringe worthy. There are other videos at the Journal Sentinel and you can go there and listen and read. I don’t think anything he could say now will convince me to support him. I need competence in a president.
Another look at Newt?
No debate formats, no moderators, no time limits. And this is what Herman Cain gives us. Pathetic.
Update: NBC’s Chuck Todd posted this on Twitter:
Campaig[n] says Cain was on 4 hrs sleep: “Didn’t say anything wrong or in accurate, it just took him a while to recall the specifics of Libya.”
First of all, taken as a whole Cain’s answer was still a muddle of incoherent nonsense so, the last part of the statement is pure puffery. If the first part is true, then the campaign was wrong for letting the candidate go into an important interview, that was being recorded on video, unprepared and exhausted. Either way, this make Cain look incompetent and foolish.
I’ve actually been surprised at how resilient Cain has been in the polls after the sexual harassment scandals broke. But those scandals aren’t going anywhere (Sharon Bialt’s boyfriend from the 1990′s told the media today that she told him of the alleged sexual assault contemporaneously to hit happening), and those problems on top of these problems mean, what?
Time to rally around Newt Gingrich, as one reader emailed me earlier today?
Maybe so. Not that I like Newt Gingrich.
Yeah, I know what you mean, Rob.
As an unabashedly strong passenger on the Cain Train, I’m having a hard time dismissing these gaffes. I don’t expect a candidate to know everything, but I expect him to be able to recognize two things: what he knows and what he doesn’t know. And I expect him to build a team around him to show him what he doesn’t know he doesn’t know.
And I expect him to work his hind end off to reinforce what he knows and learn what he doesn’t. He doesn’t have to be an expert on it, but at least have a working knowledge.
Cain’s ability to do that has left me doubting his main selling point, that he’ll rely on advisers to help him identify the problem and take the right actions to solve it. If Cain’s team in fact let him go into this interview fatigued, they are once again negligent. Couple that with the failure to handle the sexual harassment allegations well and you have, in my book, grounds for issuance of walking papers.
But since Cain has decided to dance with the one that brung him, he shows a lack of ability to make the necessary decisions for correcting the problems with his candidacy.
Finally, can you consider the impact would be if Cain took the stage with President Obama and showed the lack of depth on issues that he showed in Milwaukee? It would be devastating.
I’m not confident Cain is ready for prime time. It’s that simple.
Let me know where you stand in the comments.
In a recent interview with GQ, Herman Cain was asked about a statement he made to ThinkProgress regarding Muslims in his administration. His answer was very controversial and ended up with him having a sit down with American Muslim leaders and apologizing for those statements.
In the GQ interview, he was asked if he thought there was “a greater tendency among the Muslim faith for” extremism.
Cain said he didn’t have enough data to form an opinion himself, but someone in the Muslim community that he trusts thinks as much, and that’s good enough for him.
Devin Gordon: What did you think about the fuss around your comments about Muslims. [Cain said in March that, if elected, he wouldn't feel "comfortable" appointing a Muslim to his cabinet] Did you think that you were treated fairly in that conversation?
Herman Cain: No, because a lot of people misrepresented what I said. I know that there are peaceful Muslims, and there are extremists. I have nothing against peaceful Muslims. Nothing whatsoever. But I also know that we must be careful of extremists and we must be careful of the tendency by some groups in this country to infuse their beliefs into our laws and our culture.
Devin Gordon: Do you think that there is a greater tendency among the Muslim faith for that kind of extremism?
Herman Cain: That would be a judgment call that I’m probably not qualified to make, because I can’t speak on behalf of the entire Muslim community. I have talked with Muslims that are peaceful Muslims. And I have had one very well known Muslim voice say to me directly that a majority of Muslims share the extremist views.
Chris Heath: A majority?
Herman Cain: Yes, a majority.
Devin Gordon: Do you think he’s right?
Herman Cain: Yes, because that’s his community. That’s his community. I can’t tell you his name, but he is a very prominent voice in the Muslim community, and he said that.
Chris Heath: I just find that hard to believe.
Herman Cain: I find it hard to believe.
Chris Heath: But you’re believing it?
Herman Cain: Yes, because of the respect that I have for this individual. Because when he told me this, he said he wouldn’t want to be quoted or identified as having said that.
Alan Richman: Are you talking about the Muslim community in America? Or the world?
Herman Cain: America. America.
The anti-Cain crowd have latched onto this as Cain going “back to hating Muslims.”
And I have to admit, it’s not hard to see that Cain has some serious distrust of the Muslim community. However, at least 21 percent of Muslims have witnessed “support for extremism … among Muslims living in the U.S.”
Nevertheless, a significant minority (21%) of Muslim Americans report that they see a great deal or a fair amount of support for extremism in the Muslim American community. That is far below the proportion of the general public that sees at least a fair amount of support (40%). And while nearly a quarter of the public (24%) thinks that Muslim support for extremism is increasing, just 4% of Muslims agree.
That’s not “a majority,” as Cain suggests. It is an uncomfortable statistic, though, and I have to wonder the amount of Muslims polled who have witnessed support for extremism and said they had not.
Which brings me to my next point. Define extremism. Someone needs to ask Cain what he means by “the extremist views?”
Does Cain mean a majority of American Muslims support the use of suicide vests to kill innocent people?
Does he mean flying passenger filled jets into the New York business district? I’m not buying that.
If so, I don’t know how he comes to that conclusion, aside from taking the word of a single Muslim voice he trusts.
But there is another line of thinking he could have. Does he mean merging Islamic law with our laws? Is he referring to separate Sharia courts like they have set up in Great Britain?
I’m sure that will be how his communications team tries to spin it, that this isn’t about the “religion of peace,” blowing stuff up and killing folks, but about the push to integrate Islam into the American legal system.
CBS Atlanta took the press conference speeches of both Sharon Bialek and Herman Cain to a private investigator TJ Ward. Using software that analyses the stress in a person’s voice, among other factors, Ward says he was able to detect who was telling the truth, and who was lying:
CBS Atlanta’s Mike Paluska played Cain’s speech for Ward into the software and watched as it analyzed Cain’s every word.
If he is hiding something this thing would have spiked way down here,” said Ward. “He is being truthful, totally truthful. He is a man with integrity and he talked directly about not knowing any incident he is accused of.”
The software analyzes the stress level and other factors in your voice. During the speech, when Cain denied the claims, the lie detector read “low risk.” According to Ward, that means Cain is telling the truth.
During the section of Bialek’s news conference where she says, “He suddenly reached over put his hand on my leg under my skirt and reached for my genitals he also grabbed my head brought it towards his crotch.”
During the analysis of that section the software said “high risk statement.” Ward said that means she is not telling the truth about what happened.
“I don’t think she is fabricating her meetings,” said Ward. But, she is fabricating what transpired.”
For what it’s worth, this same software is used by “nearly 70 law enforcement agencies nationwide use the voice software” and “has a 95 percent success rate.”
It’s not Cal Lightman, but it’s close.
Bill Kurtis was on WLS in Chicago and said the scuttlebutt where he worked was there was more to the Bialek allegations, including thoughts that it’s likely she was actually coming on to Cain:
Last night on Hannity, Herman Cain’s chief of staff Mark Block claimed the second accuser, Karen Kraushaar, had a son that worked at Politico, and now works at the National Journal.
Thing is, it’s not true:
“We’ve confirmed … that he does indeed work at POLITICO and that’s his mother, yes,” Block said.
But the man whom Block appears to be talking about–Josh Kraushaar–said he’s not related to Karen Kraushaar. He previously worked at POLITICO but now works at National Journal, a news outlet that covers public affairs.
“Mark Block doesn’t have his facts straight,” Josh Kraushaar said in a statement obtained by CNN. “I am not related in any way to Karen Kraushaar, and I haven’t worked at Politico since June 2010.”
Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon acknowledged Block’s mistake in an email to CNN.
“Based upon information available at the time of Mr. Block’s Tuesday night interview on Fox News, the campaign was led to believe that Mr. Josh Kraushaar, currently with the National Journal and a former employee of Politico, was the son of Karen Kraushaar,” Gordon said. “Mr. Josh Kraushaar is in fact, not related to Ms. Karen Kraushaar.”
As Bryan Preston noted at the PJ Tatler, this isn’t the first time Block as made a false accusation:
That’s the second innocent man the Cain campaign has accused in this whole thing, the first being Curt Anderson. Well, third, if you count Rick Perry. None of Block’s accusations have held up more than a few minutes.
I know I didn’t make any friends in the Cain campaign when I wrote:
…someone needs to lose their job. I don’t know if it’s Mark Block or J.D. Gordon, but someone needs to be shown the door and Cain’s supporters need reassured that Cain can recognize a problem and solve it quickly.
But I stand by that today more than ever. And Block, as nice a guy as he might be, is making the choice easy. He may have reached a form of the Peter Principle, which reads, “in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”
While Block may have been able to run a campaign to a certain level, when the campaign became higher profile and the waters turned rough, he failed to lead the crew to calmer seas. Cain needs to reassure his followers that he is a competent executive who can recognize problems and then take the difficult steps required to solve them.
I met Mark Block back in December and he seems like a genuinely nice guy. But he might be in over his head now and need replacing.
What do you think?