Cain Wreck: Just Like That, Herman Cain’s Candidacy is Over

He’s done. Herman Cain is done. Toss him in the air, cover him in cheese and pepperoni, put him in the oven, and stick a fork in him — Herman Cain’s candidacy for president of the United States is over.

Don’t watch this video if you are prone to fits of anger, frustration and/or unbearable queasiness:

And that’s not even the worst of it. Yes, Herman Cain was caught on video painfully fumbling his way through a terrible answer on military incursion in Libya–an answer that he tried to rationalize by claiming that he was not privy to all of the information known by President Obama at the time, an irrelevant fact–but it gets worse, as he was also caught supporting collective bargaining rights for unions while exhibiting glaring confusion over private sector collective bargaining rights and the union-busting bills in Wisconsin and Ohio.

A few excerpts from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, from whom the video also came:

On the issue of collective bargaining, Cain said he supported the right of public employees to bargain collectively.

“But not collective hijacking. What I mean by that, if they have gotten so much for so many years and it’s going to bankrupt the state, I don’t think that’s good. It appears that in some instances, they really don’t care.”

Asked about last week’s vote in Ohio, in which the state’s new collective bargaining law was rejected by voters, Cain said that “maybe they tried to get too much and as a result it failed.”

Asked if the Ohio Legislature had gone too far in stripping collective bargaining rights for public employees, including fire and police personnel, Cain said that Ohio legislators “may have tried to get too much in one bill.”

Ohio’s collective bargaining law differed from Wisconsin in at least one key aspect: Wisconsin exempted police and fire personnel from the law.

In an interview with the Journal Sentinel last month, Cain said that he was “right in the corner of Gov. Scott Walker 100%” in Walker’s battle with public employee unions.

Cain also appeared to be unclear on the issue of collective bargaining as it involves federal employees. Asked if he thought federal employees should have the ability to bargain collectively, Cain said: “They already have it, don’t they?”

Told they didn’t, he said, “They have unions.”

The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 600,000 federal government workers in 65 agencies, says that most federal employees don’t have collective bargaining over pay and benefits.

They do have collective bargaining rights over working conditions.

On other issues, Cain said:

* He believes public employees should be allowed to bargain collectively on wages and other benefits as long as it does not create an undue burden on taxpayers.

Meeting with Journal Sentinel reporters and editors before fundraising appearances in Milwaukee and Green Bay, Cain was discussing foreign policy in general when he was asked specifically about Obama’s handling of Libya.

Cain began to answer the question, but wanted to clarify that Obama had supported the uprising. He paused twice, saying at one point that he had “All of this stuff twirling around in my head.”

Said Cain: “I would have done a better job of determining who the opposition is. And I’m sure our intelligence people had some of that information. Based upon who made up that opposition… might have caused me to make some different decisions about how we participated. Secondly, no I did not agree with (Moammar) Gadhafi killing his citizens. Absolutely not. I would have supported many of the things that they did to help stop that.”

Cain said the question of America’s involvement in Libya was not a simple yes or no question. “I would have gone about assessing the situation differently. It might have caused us to end up in the same place.”

Please don’t get me wrong — I like Herman Cain. Pressed on the issue this past weekend at BlogCon 2011 in Denver, I told quite a few fellow new media types, including Ace from AceOfSpadesHQ, John from VerumSerum, John Hawkins from RightWingNews and others that among the candidates Herman Cain had my gun-to-the-head support.

I like the guy.  I thought him competent where it mattered.  Watching that video, though, has disappointed me to the core.

I’ve been wrong before when it comes to the success or failure of a given candidate’s campaign structure.  Back in May, I wrote about how Newt Gingrich’s comments characterizing Paul Ryan’s budget plan as “right-wing social engineering” would be among several issues that would tank his campaign before it even started to gather momentum.  I was wrong, and in fact I expect Newt will garner much of the support from disaffected and disappointed Cain supporters.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m wrong about Herman Cain.  I think he’s done.  Not only that, I worry about him filling a VP spot, given how well he would stack up against Vice President Joe Biden in a foreign policy debate.

It’s a shame, too.  I like Cain.  I trust Cain.  He just is no longer my candidate in the GOP primary.



  1. That was painful.

    And I still don’t know what he was trying to say.

  2. Kahleeka says:

    I had heard of this video, but it was much more painful viewing it. Lordie, Lordie, Lordie be . . . THAT was BAD! I still take comfort from your article showing who were the frontrunners a year before the election of 2008 . . . things can change! I am still shaking my head – I am not knowledgeable about foreign policy but didn’t we just deal with Libya? Shouldn’t this be fresh in his memory or did he not pay attention? How can he be THAT bad? I don’t get that . . . someone explain it to me! I really liked Cain as a person but flubbing his way miserably for 5 minutes instead of just admitting he wasn’t knowledgeable, dang . . . he can ALWAYS learn but 5 minutes of um, duh, um, duh . . . pathetic!

  3. Jeff says:

    Ace has posted that perhaps it is time to give Perry a second look. Aside from the blanking out, he has been getting progressively better since his “heartless” comment (which is what I believe really led to his downfall). In the foreign policy debate, he did very well and his 0 based foreign policy idea had Newt and some of the others agreeing. (Before anyone claims he walked it back over Israel, go back and watch it again. He said that even Israel would start at 0, but since they were one of our most stalwart allies, he was sure they would qualify.) Regardless, look at Perry’s policy ideas. Look at the people who have joined him with this campaign and are giving him advice. I agree with Ace that he is worth a second look…..

  4. 2010, 2012 says:

    there really is a thing as “peaking too early…”?
    i believe none of the front runners at this time will be the nominee and only one will end up in the top three.

    Palin’s prediction was right on target: this will be an unconventional campaign for the 2012 nomination.

    and i still strongly believe this will be the time a woman takes the nod. will it be Bachmann?

  5. 2010, 2012 says:

    two more of these perry-type meltdowns with two other candidates and the filed begins to thin rather quickly. do not stand near Perry; it’s contagious.

  6. 2010, 2012 says:

    as far as debating Biden goes i do not think it’s a Cain-factor. i mean, really.

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