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November 16th, 2011

Cain Blames The Media for His Libya Blunder

Herman Cain’s presidential campaign continues to spiral out of control. Cain’s campaign has been rocked in the last few days after a video of his interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was made public. The video shows Cain searching for an answer in regards to the Libyan conflict. Cain also surprised people when he came out in favor of collective bargaining in the interview, a claim that he reiterated in Dubuque yesterday morning.

After his Dubuque stop, Cain made his way to Des Moines to shoot a television ad at the Machine Shed Restaurant, where he spent five minutes taking questions from the media. The first question that Cain was asked dealt with his interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and specifically the portion dealing with Libya. Cain was asked why he doesn’t take responsibility for making a mistake on the campaign trail like other candidates, such as Rick Perry, have done recently.

“First of all, you need to understand what happened at the editorial board,” Cain said. “Being in a room where you’re being asked question after question about different topic after different topic, I paused, and I don’t understand why that pause created so much quote-unquote controversy,” he added.

Cain’s defense was the same that Rush Limbaugh used on his national radio show earlier in the day. Limbaugh, who has become a loyal defender of Cain as of late, is once again claiming the media is being unfair to Cain. After listening to both Cain and Limbaugh yesterday, it’s clear that they believe this was just a one-time occurrence and that the media is over-hyping Cain’s pregnant pause.

While Cain and Limbaugh’s defense of what happened on Monday will appeal to some voters, the media scrutiny that Cain in receiving on issues of foreign policy is more than justified. Throughout the entire campaign, Cain has showed himself to be weak on foreign policy issues. Had Cain’s 11 second pause that contained nervous eye blinking and exasperated facial expression that said ‘oh $h!%’ been a one time occurrence, it would be one thing, but it wasn’t.

Cain has repeatedly failed at answering questions about American foreign policy throughout the campaign. It began in the first Fox News debate when he admitted his lack of knowledge on Afghanistan. It continued when he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he would negotiate with terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda. Then in an interview with PBS, Cain claimed that part of China’s threat to the United States stems from its attempts to develop nuclear weapons. China has been a nuclear power since 1964.

Any time a candidate, any candidate, with that kind of track record in a campaign has a moment like Cain experienced in Milwaukee this week, it warrants media attention. But for as bad as Cain looked in the interview on Monday, the most troubling part of the video was not his non-verbal reaction, it’s that he asked the reporters in the room leading questions in hopes of gleaning some sense of direction where he could take his answer.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interview made Cain look like a smart-aleck kid who was called in to the principle’s office for cheating on a test. When asked a simple question, he not only affirmed that he’s never learned the material, he confirms that he’s not all that smart. Cain is running to being the leader of the free world, the commander of the most sophisticated military force on the globe, and yet some are shockingly not troubled by his lack of understanding on foreign policy issues.

Cain tried to explain away his embarrassing moment by saying that he was being quizzed about a number of issues and just needed to collect his thoughts. That answer is acceptable for the common man, but not a man who wants to be the President of the United States.

Presidents don’t have the luxury of being able to focus on one issue at a time. As Cain lamented about how difficult talking to two reporters in Milwaukee was for him, I couldn’t help but recall the image of Chief of Staff Andrew Card whispering into President George W. Bush’s ear that America was under attack on the morning of September 11, 2001.

As we all know, President Bush was reading a children’s book to a group of students in Florida at the moment he was informed about the 9-11 attacks. This serves as a grim reminder that foreign policy crises never call set up an appointment.

In the last election cycle, Hillary Clinton’s campaign ad ran a television ad that highlighted the necessity of the President being able respond to a crisis taking place in the world, even if it’s 3 a.m. in the morning while the rest of the nation is at sleep. The ad highlighted Barack Obama’s inexperience on foreign policy issues.

Our Constitution clearly states that the first responsibly of the President is to serve as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States. Foreign policy issues are critically important, especially in the times in which we live. If Herman Cain can’t answer a foreign policy question at 3 p.m. in the afternoon, how can we expect him to answer the call when it’s 3 a.m.?

Photo by Dave Davidson,

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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