Herman Cain! He’s still running for president! But with the number of crises breaking all around our representative from Godfather Pizza, it can be hard to keep track. Where did they all come from? And how did they happen? Well, The Snob is here to help you out with my handy Black Snob Cain Crisis Watch List!
Cain entered the race as a somewhat fresh face For Beleaguered Tea Partiers Who Considered Political Suicide When Mitt Romney Wasn’t Enuf. He was fun! He was exciting! He sang some gospel songs … badly! But fun! Then he just … kept … talking. And talking. And talking. And as he rose in the polls, the more attention he received from the press and many, many feet wound up taking permanent residency in his mouth.
Here’s a record of those feet.
1) Nein! Nein! Nein!
The Foot: Herman Cain’s controversial tax plan, the 9-9-9 Plan. He says it will promote fairness in our tax code. Critics say it will shift the tax burden on the poor and middle class.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: During a series of debates, Cain’s idea repeatedly got punched in the face with the most fatal blows coming from just about everyone else on the stage, including Mitt Romney during the Las Vegas debate when it turned into an embarrassing discussion of “Apples v. Oranges,” and during the Bloomberg News debate when Michele Bachmann totally went there and said 9-9-9 was a little too close to 6-6-6. Cain’s not Abel! He’s got the Mark of the Beast, according to Bachmann! The power of Christ compells you!
Ultimate Foot Fatality: The makers of the video game Sim City point out Cain’s advisors may have ripped of the 9-9-9 plan from their game, Sim City 4, which was like crack to me.
Cain’s Response: He tried to tweak the plan and still insists that it works. Cain has said 9-9-9 so many times, my mother doesn’t call him Herman Cain, but the “9-9-9 Man.” Typical conversation: “Danielle, did you hear what that crazy 9-9-9 man said today?”
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2) The US-Mexican Border: It’s Electric!
The Foot: Herman Cain suggests that we fight illegal immigration from Mexico by building a fence and sending an electric charge through it, killing people coming here to wash dishes, cut lawns, babysit, repair our storm damaged houses for cheap and pick fruit. Critics say this is both illegal AND immoral. People continue to ask him about this and he keeps having to explain it away. Some say if you lift a sea shell to your hear you can still hear him explaining in the echo.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: The minute he said that shit out-loud.
Ultimate Foot Fatality: When after saying it was a joke he later said, “I don’t like to offend anyone … however, I don’t apologize for using a combination of a fence. And it might be electrified — I’m not walking away from that.” Wait? What!
Cain’s Response: Cain said “America has got to learn how to take a joke.” But the Hispanic Caucus in Congress wasn’t laughing and said the whole thing was “insensitive”and insulting and not a serious addition to our immigration debate.
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The Foot: Herman Cain takes pride in not knowing who the President of Uzbekistan is, celebrating his foreign policy ignorance in a way that reminded me of aChris Rock line from “Bigger and Blacker” about certain black people who take great pride in not knowing things.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: When talking to the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, Brody asked if Cain was prepared for those “gotcha” foreign policy questions presidential candidates often get to test the breadth of their knowledge. Cain responded that he was “ready” for the gotcha questions and famously laid out his strategy of answering a question WITH a question: “And when they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan I’m going to say, you know, I don’t know. Do you know? And then I’m going to say how’s that going to create one job?”
Ultimate Foot Fatality: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Afghanistan PresidentHamid Karzai “got jokes.”
Cain’s Response: Blame “Colonel” West and Harry Belafonte for not wanting black people to think for themselves. (I know. It didn’t make sense to me either.)
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4) Book Tour In The Middle of A Campaign
The Foot: When every other fake candidate is taking up residency in Iowa and New Hampshire, Cain was in Mississippi selling his new book. Critics ask, is this campaign really just an elaborate ruse to push dead trees?
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: During book tour/campaign, Cain said: “My American dream,” he boomed, “was, when I grow up, I want to make me some money!” Well, the book is most certainly doing that!
Ultimate Foot Fatality: Former Cain staffers criticize Cain’s book tour, campaign, organization skills, “diva” attitude in the friggin’ New York Times.
Cain’s Response: He meant to do that. He is sooo campaigning. Alabama has a primary! (Much later.) And, you know? Maybe he’ll need those folks votes. Also, the campaign claims the book tour has helped raise Cain’s national profile and is part of his “unorthodox” strategy.
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5) Abortion Is A Private Decision We Should Outlaw
The Foot: Someone asked Herman Cain his opinion about abortion and he gave an answer that made no sense. Critics on both sides wondered if Cain was pro-abortion. Cain said he was not.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: Cain told Piers Morgan the government shouldn’t interfere with “personal” family decisions. But he also thinks life begins at conception and abortion should be illegal. So … he’s for people breaking the law if it suits them?
Ultimate Foot Fatality: Rick Santorum compared Cain’s abortion position to Hillary Clinton. Calling a Republican “Clinton-esque” is almost akin to calling someone a “Niggerhead Ranch Lover.”
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6) Courting Black Voters By Insulting Them
The Foot: Herman Cain says black people are “brainwashed” into not liking him because he’s a conservative. Critics, who also happen to be black people, tell Cain he needs to put down “the symbolic crack pipe.” Columnist Leonard Pitts wondered if Cain was “ashamed” to be black.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: Herman Cain gives his racialized political theory on why black people overwhelmingly vote Democratic while chatting with CNN’sWolf Blitzer. He says they thoughtlessly won’t consider the conservative POV, so all black people, everywhere, must be brainwashed.
Ultimate Foot Fatality: Cain implicitly calls all black people stupid and will follow anyone who gives them a biscuit, which is just about the most self-loathing thing ever. Other conservatives, who happen to be white, repeat this ad nauseum with glee. The fact that no one points out how racist this logic is in the media is beyond annoying. It’s no different than blanketly labeling any group with a stereotype and ignores the last 60 years of American politics as if it never happened.
Cain’s Response: Eh. You can insult black people when you’re not really trying to get their votes. Cain is trying to get Tea Party votes from people who think the only real racism that exists today is against poor, beleaguered rich white people.
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7) Broke? It’s Your Fault
The Foot: Herman Cain goes after the Occupy Wall Street protesters, dismissing the movement during a time when most politicians had backed off from criticism and have gone into “wait and see” mode. Especially with a plurality of Americans liking the whole idea of someone being mad as hell and not taking it anymore.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Cain admits he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about, but these protesters are bad news and should only blame themselves if they don’t have jobs.
Ultimate Foot Fatality: Saying out loud, “I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration. Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!”
Cain’s Response: Despite the criticism, Cain is unrepentant. He recently said the protesters should “Go home and get a job and get a life.”
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8) Negotiating With Terrorists
The Foot: Herman Cain, who obviously has never read the book “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie …” says he’d release every prisoner in Gitmo in a trade with Al Qaeda if terrorists nab one of our people. Critics everywhere experience violent head explosions. Clean up is expensive.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: Cain makes the mistake of giving another interview to discuss foreign policy with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Nothing good can come from Cain talking to anyone at this point.
Ultimate Foot Fatality: Not remembering that the United States DOES NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS! Ever. No exceptions. You get snatched and all you’ll get is a sternly written letter from Obama talking about “we’ll build a really nice statue in your honor when we get your corpse back, and I’ll revenge murder the people who murdered you!” Hell, most US citizens are shit out of luck if they get snatched by sovereign countries we have flaky diplomatic relations with. You better hope Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton or some other “private” but influential citizen comes to get your ass, because the government ain’t doin’ it.
Cain’s Response: After another CNN debate, Cain tells Anderson Cooper that he “misspoke.”
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9) No Negotiation For Palestinians, But Negotiate For Palestine!
The Foot: Herman Cain botches his pro-Israel talk during a debate when after saying “no negotiations” for Palestinians, he says he’s for negotiation their “right of return” to their homeland. Oops.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: During aFOX News debate, Cain started smoothly with his whole never negotiate with Palestinians big man talk. But revealed he actually knew nothing about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis when host Chris Wallace asked Cain what he thought of the Palestinian “Right of Return.” Cain answered: “That is something that should be negotiated.” And, “They should have a right to come back if that is a decision that Israel wants to make.”
Ultimate Foot Fatality: Cain digs in deeper with his “don’t know much about foreign policy” chat when he admits to Chris Wallace in an interview “he has no idea what to do about the war in Afghanistan — and he promised not to make a plan until he’s sworn in as President.” Oh, OK.
Cain’s Response: He misspoke, again.
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10) Block Being Block But Who the Hell Is Block?
The Foot: That commercial featuring some dude you don’t know talking about Herman Cain that ends with a camera person rudely interrupting his smoke break. Critics said, “Huh?”
Moment when Foot Entered Mouth: Reporters discover Cain has a YouTubechannel filled with quixotic video ads, causing pundits and comedians to roast Cain and his campaign chief of staff Mark Block for several days straight.
Cain’s Response: Let Block be Block!
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11) Remember 9/11 By Offending Everyone
The Foot: Herman Cain puts together a 9/11 tribute video that features the “terrorism porn” most TV networks have avoided showing over the past decade due to not wanting to disrespect the sheer horror of the day nearly 3,000 people died.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: That video!
Ultimate Foot Fatality: He’s singing on the track over the carnage!
Cain’s Response: They were proud of it. Said Cain recorded the song in one take.
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12) Is Herman Cain An Old, Sexually Harassin’Cat Daddy?
The Foot: Politico gets the scoop that Cain was accused of sexual harassment during his tenure with theNational Restaurant Association.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: Throughout the day after the story break Cain went from “What you talkin’ bout, Willis?” to “Oh yeah, THAT sexual harassment claim.”
Ultimate Foot Fatality: The controversy is still going strong because Cain is still talking, still adjusting his position, a third woman has surfaced, Block is being Block and has accused the Rick Perry campaign of pushing this story, the Perry campaign is blaming Romney, Block said some radio station in Iowa may also have a sexual harassment complaint too (!!!), Obama sits back and shouts, “DANCE! PUPPETS, DANCE!” as he slaps on another nicotine patch.
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13) World War III Starring Iran
The Foot: Herman Cain says bring it when it comes to a shooting war with Iran over … wait? What are we doing again? Oh yeah. Something, something foreign policy. Critics are forced to reassemble their re-exploded heads only to have them violently errupt again.
Moment when Foot Entered Mouth: In an interview with Bill O’Reilly on FOX News, Cain botches foreign policy yet again, actually shocking Bill O. when Cain says he’d place warships armed with ballistic missiles near Iran. When O’Reilly suggests that the Iranians might see this as an act of war and fire on us, Cain was all good with starting World War III. It’s cool, man. No worries. We can take ’em.
Ultimate Foot Fatality: When your jingoism is scaring Bill O’Reilly you’ve gone too far. Also, Cain doesn’t know what the word “neoconservative” means, proving once again, Cain should punt on all foreign policy questions. Or, hell. Just all questions. Stop talking!
Cain’s Response: He claimed these ballistic missiles could potentially stop an assassination plot (referencing the recent plot the Obama Administration claimed they thwarted of a Saudi ambassador), but then, later admitted to noted Neo conservativecolumnist Charles Krauthammer that those missiles totally wouldn’t have stopped an assassination plot. It’s reported that Krauthammer is still in a coma from the head implosion his conversation with Cain caused.
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14) Fears of A Nuclear China That Already Has Nukes
The Foot: Obviously to distract you from botching that Iran thing, Cain said we need to worry about China getting the bomb … that they have had since the 1960s. The world of political criticism is shocked to its foundation when it’s reported that Charles Krauthammer finally came out of that coma to only fall back into it again. Also, somewhere in a corner crying, is a traumatized Bill O’Reilly.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: During an interview on PBS NewsHour, Cain started talking about foreign policy again (sadly) and mentioned nuclear proliferation. He said he had concerns about China developing nuclear capabilities, despite the fact China has had the bomb since 1964 and possesses a hefty nuclear arsenal.
Ultimate Foot Fatality: Oh, he also thinks China, America’s number one payday loan lender and maker of things we buy at Wal-Mart, is a military threat. World War III: It’s On Like Hong Kong!: “Yes, they’re a military threat,” Cain said on the PBS NewsHour, in response to a question from Judy Woodruff. “They’ve indicated that they’re trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have. So yes, we have to consider them a military threat.”
Cain’s Response: Cain tells Clarence Thomas’ wife Ginni Thomas (!!!) he misspoke.
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15) Campaign Funding? How Does It Work?
The Foot: The New York Times is reporting Herman Cain may have broken election, tax and campaign finance laws by taking money from a group run by the infamous smoking man, Mark Block, who is also his chief of staff. Critics have now all given up and gone home to be with their families, think of better days.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: Today.
Ultimate Foot Fatality: No one on that campaign understanding tax, election and campaign finance law.
Cain’s Response: Pending.
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16) “Excuse Me!”
The Foot: Tired of taking questions on that sexual harassment scandal, Cain shouts at reporters that he won’t answer their questions. Reporters respond with showing him yelling in a loop on TV; making hilarious Herman Cain “Excuse Me!” ring tone.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: When he told a bunch of people who get paid to ask questions to stop asking questions. Obviously, he’s never seen the things the media does with camera footage. Or an episode of “classic” Geraldo-by-the-way-of-“classic”-Mike-Wallace-by-the-way-of-your-local-TV-stations-“investigation”-team ambush grifters on video. Somewhere as he suddenly jolts from a nap Wallace shouts to no one in particular, “MIKE WALLACE! THIS IS ’60 MINUTES!'”
Ultimate Foot Fatality: You can’t lose your cool in front of a camera. Mike Wallace isn’t dead yet.
Cain’s response: “EXCUSE ME!” *pushes me out of the way* He also tells Ginni Thomas (Again? !!!) that the media is out to get him: “That is the D.C. culture, guilty until considered innocent.”
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17) Read My Lips! No Muslims In Cain Cabinet
The Foot: This was so old, I almost forgot it. Cain once said he wouldn’t appoint Muslims to his cabinet because Islam = Sharia Law = Holy War = All Muslims Are Terrorists. Critics, who then were still young and spry and full of hope, pursed their lips with shame or made fun of the then harmless seeming pizza man.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: Back in March when fewer people were paying attention, Cain told ThinkProgress he wouldn’t appoint a Muslim to anything because they’re so icky. Something, something SHARIA LAW IN AMERICA! Americans who also happen to be Muslim didn’t really appreciate these statements. Keith Ellison, a member of Congress who happens to be Muslim, summed this up nicely by saying, “BIGOT!”
Ultimate Foot Fatality: Ellison saying, “It seems like a week doesn’t go by without Cain saying something incredibly offensive, so I can only guess that he’s doing it on purpose.”
Cain’s Response: He misspoke, of course! He’s totally cool with people who like to name their sons Mohammad and their daughters Fatima, guys! He’d totally appoint one. Hewishes he never said that. He’s just afraid of the violent ones!
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18) Ginni Thomas Cares If Don’t Nobody Else Care
The Foot: For some reason Cain agreed to sit down with Ginni Thomas, wife of Clarence Thomas for a video interview for The Daily Caller. Clarence Thomas wasfamously accused of sexual harassment 20 years ago during his confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court. This year, Thomas’ wife Ginni brought back the 90s ALL OVER AGAIN when she drunk dialed theBrandies professor on a Saturday morning wanting to know if Hill would ever apologize for being so attractive to her gross husband. I still hold a grudge against Ginni for making that gross book by Lillian McEwenhappen, where she chronicled all her nasty sex with Justice Thomas, happen. There will never be enough bleach for my brain.
Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: When he agreed to sit down with Ginni Thomas and today when the video was posted online.
Ultimate Foot Fatality: Not understanding how this would look. Ginni Thomas!?!?!?
Cain’s Response: Pending.
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Did I forget one? (There are sooo many, and I’m only human.) Add them in the comments and I’ll update the list! What do you think was the most fatal hot mess Cain’s mouth talked him into? I’d say it was “declaring his candidacy for president of the United States,” but you might feel otherwise.
What would you say?
Danielle C. Belton was born and raised St. Louis, Mo. on a healthy diet of news programming, pop culture, black history and “snark,” Danielle C. Belton examines the irreverent side of American life.
With two million readers in less than two years, Belton is best known as the editor/writer of her pop culture-meets-politics blog The Black Snob. The site has a readership spanning political junkies, journalists, fellow bloggers, political pundits, authors, academics, legislators and political strategists. The Black Snob has earned both critical acclaim, appearing on CNN and in Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Observer (UK), The Daily Beast, NPR, Good Morning America and on ABC’s Nightline, as well garnering the attention of academia as a featured panelist discussing black media as part of Harvard University’s Black Policy Conference in 2009. Belton also regularly appears on NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin and PBS’ To The Contrary with Bonnie Erbe.