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October 20th, 2011

Do We Really Know Who Herman Cain Is?

Herman Cain has charmed his way to the top of the polls in the race for the Republican nomination for president. While Mitt Romney and Rick Perry and others get in to heated arguments on the debate stage, Cain’s charm offensive and outsider resume continue to appeal to voters. One only needs to look at the Real Clear Politics poll averages to see how well Cain is doing nationally – he leads all candidates.

Even though Cain is in the lead, it seems that we don’t really know that much about him. His 9-9-9 tax plan is catchy and simple to understand, but it has been repudiated by all of Cain’s GOP rivals, as well as Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Even one of Cain’s economic advisors has publically stated that a new nine percent federal sales tax won’t sell to voters.

However, it’s not Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan that should make voters nervous. Overhauling the tax code is a discussion that needs to take place in every election cycle. What should make voters nervous is everything else. It seems that Cain is either constantly misunderstanding questions poised to him on what should be easy, fundamental issues, or he admits to having misspoke after it is pointed out that the position he has stated is not that of a conservative.

In the last two days, Cain has had two more of these gaffes. One was on a matter of foreign policy, the other on the issue of abortion.

Last night, Cain sat down for an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan.

Cain stated that he personally believes that life begins at conception, that homosexuality is a sin, and that he doesn’t support abortion under any circumstances. That is a position that would appeal to the pro-life community, but then Cain added:

No, [what] it comes down to is, it’s not the government’s role — or anybody else’s role — to make that decision. Secondly, if you look at the statistical incidents, you’re not talking about that big a number. So what I’m saying is, it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president. Not some politician. Not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision.

When pressed further, Cain added:

I can have an opinion on an issue without it being a directive on the nation. The government shouldn’t be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to a social decision that they need to make.

Basically, Cain’s position as a candidate is that of pro-abortion activists. The government has no right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body. The difference is that a pro-life individual believes that child inside the womb is a life with inherent rights and that the mother should not be allowed to infringe it’s right to life.

Cain will likely clarify his position, but how many times and on how many different subjects will he be allowed to ask for a “do-over” before he loses trust and credibility with voters?

Other instances.

Foreign Policy – Cain would negotiate with terrorists groups on hostage exchange.

He later said he misspoke.

Gun Rights – States have the right to restrict firearms

Economic Issues – Cain Supports TARP

Cain has consistently stated that he supports the concept of TARP, where the federal government purchased assets and equity from financial institutions and other privately held companies, like Chrysler and General Motors, in an effort to strengthen the financial sector and entities.

Cain says that he disagrees with how TARP was implemented because it picked winners and losers. Conservatives knew from the beginning that the program would pick winners and losers and that is why many of them believed it was a horrible concept.

Had Cain misspoke one time, it would be one thing, but this is a disturbing pattern that has developed. Do we really know what Herman Cain believes and why? If he can’t comprehend the questions that he is being asked by CNN personalities, how is he going to hold up against foreign leaders who are hostile to America?

Herman Cain has been campaigning for over a year now, and with only about two months until people start voting in caucuses and primaries, I’m more confused about where Herman Cain stands than ever before.

Do we really know who Herman Cain is?

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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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