One of the rising stars in the Republican Party appears to be Herman Cain. He is the former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, and former chairman and deputy chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In 2004, Cain ran for the U.S. Senate in Georgia and sought the Republican nomination facing Mac Collins in the primary. Collins tried to paint Cain as a moderate citing Cain’s support for affirmative action programs. Cain argued that he was a conservative, noting that he opposed abortion except when the mother’s life is threatened. Cain finished second in the primary.
Cain recently made several statements that, in my opinion, will further prevent him from achieving the Republican nomination as its presidential candidate. For example:
His idea for an electric fence on the Mexican border
Cain recently said that if he was elected President, he would put an electric fence on the Mexican border that would kill illegal immigrants trying to cross. Cain later insisted he was joking but after meeting with Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Cain flip-flopped again revisiting the border fence idea saying that, yes, “it might be electrified.”
His foreign policy
Cain says he’s a businessman, not a career politician. But his lack of foreign policy experience has enabled some uncomfortable interview moments. On a recent issue of “Meet the Press,” Cain didn’t know how to respond on the “neoconservative movement” even though it was the standard behind the Bush administration’s insistent foreign policy. “I’m not sure what you mean by neoconservative,” Cain told host David Gregory. And on Fox News Sunday earlier this year, Cain seemed confused by the controversial and well-known idea of the Palestinian “right of return” to Israeli territory. Cain said, “Yes. They should have a right to come back if that is a decision that Israel wants to make.”
His SimCity tax problem
Cain’s most familiar policy proposal is his 9-9-9 plan which calls for a flat 9 percent corporate, income, and national sales tax. Cain’s plan, however, is almost exactly the same as the default tax plan in SimCity 4, a 2003 computer game in which a player is the “mayor” of a fictitious city. So much for creativity.
His theory about who killed Jesus
December 2010, Cain described Jesus as “the perfect conservative” in a column he wrote for RedState. “He helped the poor without one government program. He healed the sick without a government health care system. He fed the hungry without food stamps.” “For three years He was unemployed, and never collected an unemployment check.” Then, Cain said, he was sentenced to death by a “liberal court.”
His plan to ban Muslims from his cabinet
Cain stumbled earlier this year partly due to the negative publicity he got when he said he didn’t want Muslims to serve in his administration. Cain “walked it back” a bit when he said that he would insist that Muslims, but not people of other faiths, take an oath of loyalty to the U.S. “That’s not discrimination. It’s called trying to protect the American people,” Cain said, as quoted by CNN. “This nation is under attack constantly by people who want to kill all of us, so I’m going to take extra precaution.” After a flurry of criticism, Cain “walked back” his comments again.
His willingness to negotiate with terrorist
Recently Cain had to retract his remarks regarding his comment that he would free every Guantanamo Bay detainee if it meant saving a single American soldier. “I could see myself authorizing that kind of transfer,” Cain told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. After an avalanche of criticism, Cain reversed himself, saying: “If I said that I spoke in error. Maybe I didn’t understand the question.”
Cain’s “claim to fame” apparently came as a result of his “tea party” rhetoric and his simple tax reform initiative. As you probably know, Cain’s “9-9-9 tax reform plan” has three taxes: a 9 percent income tax, a 9 percent business tax and a 9 percent federal sales tax. The first two resemble cuts because payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare would be repealed. The sales tax would be in addition to existing state sales taxes.
PART II TOMORROW
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