After blundering a response to a question about Libya during an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s editorial board on Monday, Herman Cain sought to refute any claims that he was confused. At a campaign stop in Iowa, the Republican presidential candidate told reporters that he was simply gathering his thoughts, the Associated Press reports.
"The Libya comment was a pause to gather my thoughts. I'm not going to back down from that," Cain told a group of reporters. "Remember, if you were being asked seven, eight different questions on seven, eight different topics, and then all of a sudden someone switches to Libya, and they are not clear with the question, before I shoot from the lip, I gather my thoughts. That's all that was."
Cain also said that he doesn’t understand why the pause, which has gotten more than one million views on the newspaper’s Web site, has “created so much quote-unquote controversy.”
During a stop at an Iowa restaurant, the former Godfather’s Pizza executive defined his national security and foreign policy philosophy as an extension of former President Ronald Reagan’s philosophy, “peace through strength,” and repeated his mantra about the importance of knowing who America’s allies are.
"We need to clarify our relationship with friends and enemies around the world and make sure we stand with our friends," Cain said.
The visit to Iowa was his first since the sexual harassment allegations against him surfaced a couple of weeks ago. Cain has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and, according to a Bloomberg News poll released Nov. 15, Iowans believe him. Cain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are statistically tied at 20 percent, 19 percent, 18 percent and 17 percent, respectively, among likely voters in the state’s Jan. 3 primary caucus.
Like many analysts, Michael Fauntroy, a political scientist at George Mason University, attributes Cain’s ongoing high in the polls to the mere fact that he’s not Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor whom Republican voters are still giving the side eye. But this latest bump in the road, he cautions, coupled with the harassment claims, will have Cain soon stepping off of the national stage.
“It is clear that his understanding of what’s going on in the world is limited at best and certainly too limited for someone trying to become president of the United States,” Fauntroy said. “This guy has had an extremely successful life, but he is out of his depth. He’s not a serious or legitimate contender and the attention that he has received exceeds what he’s done in this campaign.”
Fauntroy predicts that voters will quickly decide that Cain is not qualified to become the president or vice president of the United States.
(Photo: Mark Blinch/Reuters)