Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A self-inflicted wound: Herman Cain and Muslim appointees

Last week Herman Cain attended the Conservative Principles Conference in Iowa (see video of his speech here). After the event someone from the lefty site Think Progress asked Cain if he was comfortable appointing Muslims to his cabinet or the Supreme Court. Herman Cain gave a very straight up answer.

Needless to say, a mini firestorm erupted. Herman Cain then went on Neil Cavuto's show and again stood by his words.

I understand where Cain is coming from. Because of Muslim extremists, a certain amount of caution must be used when dealing with Muslims. Failure to do so is both foolish and dangerous. However, given the way Cain has handled the question, it is all too easy for the left to twist his words into something else.  It would have been far better to answer the question in the positive rather than the negative.  For example: Yes, I would appoint a Muslim to my cabinet or the Supreme Court, but only after I was 100% sure they were not a closet extremist trying to push Sharia Law.

As I have stated on this blog several times, distractions are going to highly sought after by Obama and the left in 2012. They have little choice but to look for distractions given Obama's abysmal performance on the economy, jobs and the debt. Any candidate who provides Obama with distractions, will find themselves struggling to stay on message when it comes to those three big issues. Gingrich has destroyed his 2012 chances by setting up several distracting topics for the left. Cain's Muslim answer fits this bill as well.

Herman Cain also has another problem. He is relatively unknown outside conservative circles. Therefore it is crucial that he gets to define himself before the left defines him. Cain's blunt answers to this Muslim question makes it very easy for the left to define him as a bigot. For independents who are just casual followers of politics, the bigot charge can really stick.

Fortunately for Cain it is still early enough to repair this self-inflicted wound. However, Cain must understand that he cannot afford to give the left another opening like that again. If he does, he will make himself a sure loser just like Gingrich did.

Disclosure: I still like Herman Cain and he is still one of the few I am considering for 2012. One of my chief concerns about him is how he acquits himself against a left wing onslaught. How he handles this issue going forward will be quite telling for me.

Via: The Blaze
Via: The Blaze
Via: Just a Conservative Girl


Stogie said...

Wow, Cain said that? I agree with him 100%. Would you, Mr. Cain, appoint a follower of a totalitarian, anti-semitic, misogynistic ideology that advocates lying to advance the faith? No? Neither would I.

My opinion of Mr. Cain just improved dramatically. I'd vote for this guy in an instant.

RightKlik said...

I'm okay with Cain being honest. If Cain can't win telling the truth, then I suppose America doesn't deserve honest conservative leadership.

SecondComingOfBast said...

It doesn't matter. If he answered the question the way you suggest he should have, the left would have just accused him of using weasel words, and frankly, that's what they would have been. I'm fine with his answer. More importantly, the people whose support he will need to win the nomination will be fine with it. The left doesn't matter. He's not going to win them anyway. What matters in the end is the independents, and I have a feeling the majority of them either feel the same way or are on the fence.

FIREBIRD said...

Everything I've see of Cain impresses me but he needs to avoid shooting himself in the foot. As long as he's not the frontrunner, the press will do hit and runs.... but if he starts to gain national notice, the left will do anything to take him out, including stalking him with a camera, much the same way they took out George Allen with his 'makaka' moment (not defending Allen - what he said was stupid) The left is relentless and completely hypocritical in their coverage and criticism of conservatives and WE need to NOT give them fodder

Fuzzy Slippers said...

He needs to hire you as a consultant. You're right, he should have said exactly what you said he should have said. That would have done two things: show that he is not against ALL Muslims (some actually do defend American principles and law) and also get the conversation around to the very real threat to American sovereignty and society that radial Muslims pose.

trinity said...

I have absolutely no problem with what Cain said. I am glad that he has the courage to say exactly what he's thinking and not back down from it. There are entirely too many cowards in D.C.

bd said...

all well said...

the problem w/ top private-sector executives "fresh" into politics: they trend towards aggressive approaching ruthless; blunt approaching acerbic (practically a job requirement at that level)

but politics requires artfulness in language, demeanor, etc - sorry to say, style points count right along w/ ideology, policy positions, coherence, etc.

note sp continues honing and has been subjected to several years under fire

hc? no wine before its time

Just a conservative girl said...

I agree with you, it was mistake. Not a fatal one, but it will come back and haunt him if he starts picking up steam.

As you know I LOVE him, and when I heard it I cringed. But he did a good job on Cavuto the next day and as long as he sticks with that narrative he should be fine.

Related Posts with Thumbnails