Cain sees 'double standard' with Obama
May 27th, 2011
10:51 AM ET
3 years ago

Cain sees 'double standard' with Obama

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain defended his limited foreign policy experience by comparing his history to that of President Barack Obama.

"President Obama didn't (have any) either. So why is it, it's a double standard," Cain said Friday on "CNN Newsroom."

When pressed on the comparison, given that Cain is frequently critical of the president, he said Obama's failings are because he lacks "problem solving experience," something the former Godfather's Pizza CEO said he has.

"I have taken organizations that were troubled financially and made them very successful," Cain told CNN's Carol Costello. "It appears as if some people want to give President Obama a pass for lack of experience but yet they don't want to acknowledge my problem solving experience."

He also stood by an earlier statement that he would be uncomfortable with a Muslim serving in his administration, before adding he has "always hired the best people, regardless of race, creed, religion preference etc."

"I'm going to have the best people in my administration," Cain said. "The question was would I be comfortable (with a Muslim in my cabinet) and I was honest, no. But that doesn't totally exclude there possibly could be a Muslim in my administration."

"Any other type of extremists I would also be uncomfortable having them in my administration,' he said.

And when asked about his apparent confusion over "right of return" - the idea that those Palestinians who lost their homes in 1948 could return to their land - last Sunday on "Fox News Sunday," Cain said he was "caught off guard."

"If Chris Wallace (host of "Fox News Sunday") had said Palestinian right of return when he asked the question it would have triggered what he was talking about. He asked me about right of return and so it didn't register," Cain said. "I didn't know where he was going with that question."

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Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • President Obama • TV-CNN Newsroom
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. AZ DEM

    Herman Cain will learn just like Michael Steel had to..they do not want him representing their party and its as simple as that. He doesnt have foreign policy experience..I didnt hold that against Obama and if Cain's positions on the issues resonate with the people than fine. Regardless he can only hope to get on the 2 spot on the ticket at best

    May 27, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    Another conservative with a victim mentality. Oh dear, someone criticized us, it must be because we are conservatives. Cain has no clue on how to deliver government services: all he has to do is look at Rick Scott, John Kasich, or any othe multitude of GOP governors who are seeing their ratings tank and their effectiveness evaporate because they don't understand what they are dealing with. Cain is no different. He may have a compelling story, but his arrogance and self-righteousness will not win over GOP primary voters, much less the independents required to win a general election.

    May 27, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. Bill from GA

    Repugs are so fond of putting down our President, such as saying he has no problem solving experience. Yesterday, on a CNN Money article about the GDP last quarter being low, the chart starts with the last quarter before President Obama took office; GDP was MINUS 6.8 %, at the end o 2009 it was at PLUS 5%. Pretty good problem solving, Barry. Too bad the repugs then got the ability to block his efforts, with the loss of their 60 seat super-majority in the Senate.

    May 27, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Amazon Girl

    Oh, and what's this NONSENSE about being afraid to hire a Muslim? This is AMERICA, where we have things like freedom of religion, and the founders made it crystal clear in their Declaration of Independence that ALL men are created EQUAL. Muslims live here, Muslims serve in our military(Cain NEVER did), Muslims work as cops, doctors, lawyers, embassy workers, and a thousand other jobs Cain isn't qualified for. And in case Cain hasn't noticed, Muslims are attacked and killed by terrorists more than any other group of people. If ANYBODY understands how much terrorism sucks, it's the Muslim men who've been struggling to provide for their families and shield their kids from terrorist whack-jobs, and Muslim women who've been subjected, by terrorists and extremists, to kidnapping, human trafficking, and daily harassment about everything from their clothes to people giving them a gift. Cain needs to look down and smell what he's shoveling.

    May 27, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. ArtInChicago

    Mr. Cain, at least Obama was a legislator. I had your pizza and it really wasn't that good.

    May 27, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. kakaraka

    How making pizzas and managing pizza store with less than $20000 budget a year qualify you to be president? Duuuuuuh.

    May 27, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Joshua Ludd

    A double standard? Obama has been lambasted for that lack of experience since he announced he would run.

    May 27, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. ThinkAgain

    I would argue that President Obama DID have foreign policy experience when he ran in 2008, given the fact that he had actually lived overseas.

    I say this because I, too, lived in a foreign country as a child growing up (for three years, in Latin America) and the experience left me with a much better understanding of how the rest of the world sees our country. I also gained enormous appreciation for how fortunate we are to live in a country governed by the rule of law, under the protection of the Constitution. We are also very fortunate to enjoy infrastructure, public education and the myriad other benefits of simply being American (which, BTW, we too often take for granted – and lately don't want to pay for in the form of taxes).

    While our country isn't perfect, compared to third-world nations that are owned and controlled by a small, wealthy elite that don't give a rat's behind about their citizens, we have it made.

    May 27, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. JustMe

    Mr. Cain is wrong – it is not a double standard, because although Mr. Obama didn't have a whole lot of foreign policy experience when he became President, he did have some, Mr. Cain does not have any. President Obama had been a U.S. Senator for 4 years and held positions on the Foreign Relations Committee. It may not be a lot, but unlike Mr. Cain it is actually something.

    May 27, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. Justin

    Obama didn't have any foreign policy experience? Doesn't have any problem solving experience?

    You're the one campaigning that you don't have any experience in Washington. How's THAT for a double standard?

    May 27, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. vet in texas

    Poor Cain, thinks he's equal to people who will never see him as their equal regardless of what he attains, sadly he's falling into the "tell them what they want to hear" category, and now being questioned about telling them what they want to hear. Unfortunately Cain is a little too dark and a little too aggressive in his speaking, when he gets to the level where he has to tell someone powerful in the establishment.......he'll be "uppity" in their eyes.

    What everyone needs to realize is that anyone who considers themselves not part of the establishment, will eventually have to become part of the establishment and take their marching orders......Once they don't need you, they will disown you and you'll be looked down upon, it happened to Alan Keyes, It happened to Michael Steele, It will happen to Herman Cain, and will happen to Alan West. The GOP only wants you to prove they are not racist, and could care less about anyone who can't generate money, votes, or positive media attention. Once that is over......then your over. I'm sure General Powell could vouch my opinion, once he "kept it real" and told the truth about Iraq, and Palin.......he was a goner, Mr. Cain, you will be too.

    May 27, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Kenneth Krieger

    I like and trust Herman Cain. CNN has Cain under a microscope. CNN never shines the light of day on Obama.He is smarter than Obama and is an American who happens to be Black. Obama is a Black first and socialist liar who is President. Cain is a work horse while Obama is a show horse. Cain is one of us. Obama is not one of us. Ken Krieger Cape Coral, Florida

    May 27, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. Dennis

    Obama spent his formative years in Inonesia and Kenya. I guess that counts as foreign policy experience.

    May 27, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. ThinkAgain

    Amazon Girl: I couldn't agree more!

    I would also like to add that NOWHERE in the Constitution does it mention "God" (it does use the common phrase, "In the year of our Lord," in reference to the date). The Constitution also does NOT define "God" or any entity that one must worship in order to be a citizen of our country, nor upon which our country was founded.

    What the framers of the Constitution DID DO was explicitly say in the First Amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

    Since Islam existed when the Constitution was written, it follows that Muslims are free to practice their religion in the US, protected, as all people are, to do so.

    May 27, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. insert sarcastic remark here

    "President Obama didn't (have any) either. So why is it, it's a double standard,"

    Um, were you in a pizza induced food comma during the entire 2008 campaign season? Obama was slammed by his lack of foreign policy experience. Especially from the Democrats before he got the nomination.

    May 27, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. BlackPanthers2020

    Well Mr.Cain if you read these comments , you can clearly see that America doesn't want what you or any other republican is selling .......................what's that phrase " the proof is in the pudding " !

    May 27, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Dave

    How can it be a double standard? Obama was and is still mocked endlessly about his experience. The difference is that Obama demonstrated that he knew what he was talking about while Cain offers up excuses about being caught "off-guard." This is just like Palin being caught off guard by Couric's difficult questions about what news materials she reads. In the end, Cain and Palin are very similar. They are both obnoxious, power-hungry, dumb, and great at running their big mouths.

    May 27, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. sun52shine

    Just because you say does not make it true. President Obama and First Lady Michelle has endured more against odds than any other President in US history. Now, just because you stand and yell in a micro we the people are suppose to believe you, right!

    Cain, what are your plans to fix the unemployment in the US?

    May 27, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. Ancient Texan

    Herman Cain is very impressive, both as a man and as a candidate. His business world experience will serve him well and if elected he'll surround himself with knowledgable foreign policy experts.

    May 27, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. shoegazer

    You can tell the character of a man by the pizza he eats..........Godfathers is just plain lousy.

    May 27, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. Slowgun

    The republican party are the ones that criticizing Obama's lack of expirence. Cain states the he has that same lack of expirence. Yet nobody in the republican party is attacking him about it...so what's the double standard here?

    May 27, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. ThinkAgain

    "I have taken organizations that were troubled financially and made them very successful," Cain told CNN's Carol Costello.

    I hate to break it to you, Cain, but our country isn't a pizza parlor. I'm tired of all these yahoo candidates claiming that since they know how to make a buck (often in unscrupulous ways, like Romney who broke up companies, laid off workers and outsourced jobs to give a temporary boost to stock prices, or Trump who thinks he could go up to foreign leaders, threaten to screw them, and get them to do what he wants), doesn't mean they know how to govern.

    President Obama taught Constitutional law; he made a point of listening to people all over our United States in an effort to better understand the people he hoped to represent; he understands the benefit of strengthening ties with our alliances; he is a long-term strategist when it comes to the economy; he is mature enough to know that fixing the mess he was left with will take time; and while he is known as an orator, he offers practical solutions, hope and an optimism in our country and her people that are sorely lacking in the hate-filled, divisive yahoos the Republicans seem intent on foisting upon us.

    Oh, and he ordered our military forces to take out the Somali pirates and Osama bin Laden (to all those who think he doesn't know how to be Commander in Chief).

    Cain? Eh, he makes lousy pizza and shoots off his mouth ...

    May 27, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. Earthchild

    Get lost Mr. Cain. You can never be ppresident Obama

    May 27, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. steven harnack

    For calling itself the party of personal responsibility Republicans seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in excuse making, blaming others, and just plain whining about how put upon they are.

    May 27, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Michael

    Cain is going to learn that the liberals only support black candidates who believe in the welfare / big government programs that help keep minorities dependent on government (the new social slavery).

    I don't believe that Cain will get the protection from CNN, MSNBC, etc. that Obama still enjoys.

    May 27, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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