Cain on the United Nations: I would 'shake them up'
September 17th, 2011
06:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Cain on the United Nations: I would 'shake them up'

(CNN) - Two days before the United Nations General Assembly meets in New York, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain said he would change the rules at the U.N. if he becomes president.

"My approach to the United Nations would be to shake them up," Cain said firmly on Saturday at a town hall in South Carolina.

The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, who's struggling to break into the double-digits in national polls as a 2012 candidate, charged the organization with not giving America "its due," considering the amount of money it receives from the U.S.

According to the U.N.'s budget for 2011, the U.S. was the largest contributor with close to $583 million in member fees.

"I'm not ready to end it at this point, but I am ready to make sure that we get a bigger voice in the decisions that need to be made," said Cain.

The White House hopeful recalled a conversation he had with an unnamed former ambassador, who said there were ways to "create a hurricane" at the United Nations and restructure the rules.

"And I said my name is Cain," said the Republican. "So I'm all prepared for a hurricane."

While not a key topic of discussion in the 2012 presidential race, the issue over U.S. partnership with the United Nations has long been a concern among conservative Republicans.

Many in the GOP criticize the United Nations as an ineffective entity and argue that American involvement denotes a significant threat to national sovereignty.

Proponents of the U.N. say the organization is a necessary force to aid in peacekeeping and international development.

The 66th session of the General Assembly begins Monday, with Palestinians expecting to make headlines by applying for full membership.


Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • United Nations
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Nevis

    This guy is nuts!

    September 18, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  2. Tex Gritter

    Get the USA out of the UN and NOW! If this black man will do that, he will always have the vote of this white Missouri country boy. God bless the USA!

    September 18, 2011 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  3. henry

    The UN has nothing to worry about from this clown, unless they order some crappy pizza from him.

    September 18, 2011 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  4. TM

    That "unnamed former ambassador" was probably that ignorant blowhard Bolton. The same guy who couldn't get the job legitimately by being confirmed by a republican controlled Senate and had to get a recess appointment. Not exactly someone who's advice or opinions about the U.N. hold any weight in serious discussions about diplomacy or foreign policy.

    September 18, 2011 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  5. seneca

    If the U.S. President acts like the U.N. has no power then it doesn't and when you do that then international law falls apart at the seams.

    September 18, 2011 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  6. Crazy with a K

    Whaaaaaaaaaaa???????????????
    Does Mr. Pizza guy even understand what the U.N. is? How can this guy possibly be running for President when he has no clue how any government, let alone ours, operates and what the purposes of international organizations or national governments are?

    September 18, 2011 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  7. Crazy with a K

    This reminds me of Donald Trump discussing how he'd just tell OPEC to change how they do business, and that was somehow an effective energy policy.......

    September 18, 2011 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  8. huxley

    Ya, why does the United States need to be involved in a multinational diplomatic organization?! We should just do whatever we feel like doing.

    September 18, 2011 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  9. Momofour1

    What an idiot – all GOP candidates think they could swagger their way through and just take over matters. That should not be how civilized societies behave. Given our foreign policies under Bush – did not make us any more liked by the rest of the world – hence the 9/11 and other terror attacks. Good luck America – your votes in the 2014 elections would determine how safe we would be in the near future.

    September 18, 2011 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  10. Twilighttrail

    Our way or the highway, again. Is there no end to American arrogance?

    September 18, 2011 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  11. Dan

    Which worked better, the U.N. approach to Libya or the U.S. first approach to Iraq?

    Libya resulted in zero American injuries, resulted in significantly less U.S. debt, and has been repeatedly criticized by the GOP.
    Iraq resulted in thousands of American deaths, tens of thousands more injured for life, over $500 billion more in U.S. debt than Iraq (which is still costing taxpayers money today).

    Oddly, the GOP Presidential candidates and members of Congress still criticize the President for not taking the Iraq approach.

    September 18, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  12. Lenny Pincus

    Yeah, a teabagger poser and his threats. Seems like they all suffer from the same syndrome.

    September 18, 2011 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  13. factcheck912

    No doubt he'd start by canceling UNICEF until it turned a profit...

    September 18, 2011 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  14. 1crusader

    The U.N.hasn't always been the most efficient body, but it is important for its symbolism, and to have some mechanism to call nations to account, especially rogue nations.It also sends peace-keeping forces into war-torn regions, and administers aid to the impoverished.It's more useful than many think.

    September 18, 2011 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  15. MarineDad05

    The UN was formed in 1944 (BrettonWoods, England) with the express purpose of bring in all nations together, and to make sure peace prevailed throughout.

    There is the Security Council, and the Permanent Members – the US is a permanent member. Yes, the US does contribute the most, but the UN is NOT supposed have more (or less) say for members.

    Republicans keep bragging – 'not under the UN flag' and some other rah-rah stuff.

    Well, we've had GW Bush, Ronald Reagan, and other Repubs – WHY didn't they get out of the UN. Why is that you guys always complain when a Dem is in office.

    GW used and manipulated the UN to his full advantage (remember Powell misleading the world with his 'yellow cake' in Niger).

    Cain, when (and if, a big IF) you get to be Prez, yeah sure get out the UN ... till then y'all need to just shut up... You are boring the rest of us.

    September 18, 2011 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  16. McCain-in-4

    And I thought Ross Perot was a tightly wound nutcase! Image this fool with access to Nuclear-tipped missiles and WWII era B-52s.

    September 18, 2011 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  17. fernace

    I would have hated to be an employee for this dude at the pizza joint, he gives no quarter! He is out-Tea Partying the Tea partiers to the point of being a radical! Seems the New Repubs Pride themselves on who is more staunchly conservative & faaaar right! I think Cain is definitely a contender in that department! Ps. He's the guy who wanted to impeach Obama a few months ago! No Quarter, I tell ya!!

    September 18, 2011 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  18. themiddleman

    ...Um Herman Cain I have a wonderful question to ask? How are you going to do that without wrecking the UN. The US already has the most power in the UN and yet you want more. Unilaterialism and imperalisitc policies do not go over well in today;s world

    September 18, 2011 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  19. JamieIRL

    It's impressive how the GOP manages to be on the wrong side of everything, every single time. It must be exhausting being that good at being bad.

    September 18, 2011 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  20. JJ

    Shut your piehole, Herman. You don't have the standing to so much as serve food at the UN cafeteria. Shoo.

    September 18, 2011 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  21. MrManhattan

    How about you stick to delivering them pizza instead?

    September 18, 2011 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  22. Ian

    He makes a good point. Right now America has barely any say in international politics.

    September 18, 2011 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  23. Name king

    Cain you should tell them to stop focussing on the supply side of the economy, and start focussing on the demand side. I am sick and tired of all the mail clogging up my post box begging and pleading for me to buy their product, I don't need and don't want. It even get worst on the Internet with pop up bloggers and on my phone lines with robo calls. Our supply systems is packed to the brim, and a lot of businesses cannot get their product sold because we are in a demand crisis, which the repugs are doing their best to blind the American people from seeing. The last time we had a consumer crisis the president build up our infrastructures to get our demand power up to speed. Now these repugs are blocking every move this president makes to bring consumer spending up. They have been waging war on consumer confidence ever since Obama took office, by constantly threatening to cut their spending money. Forcing consumers to save for the day the repugs make good on their words, as they stop spending to keep local businesses running and hiring.

    September 18, 2011 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  24. Jon

    *sigh* oh, do you mean the same way that joshua Bolton "shook things up" at the UN? Because that worked out so very well for us. Just a small fact of life, ladies and gentlemen - acting like jerks and cowboy diplomacy? Doesn't win us any friends.

    September 18, 2011 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  25. RayJacksonMS

    Someone should explain to this idiot that the president of the US isn't dictator of the UN and has no power to change the rules on his own.

    September 18, 2011 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
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