Cain: Black community 'brainwashed' into voting for Dems
September 28th, 2011
03:52 PM ET
3 years ago

Cain: Black community 'brainwashed' into voting for Dems

Washington (CNN) - The one African-American running for the GOP presidential nomination said Wednesday the black community was 'brainwashed' for traditionally siding with liberal politicians.

"African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view," Godfather's Pizza executive Herman Cain said on CNN's "The Situation Room" in an interview airing Wednesday between 5-7 p.m. ET. "I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it's just brainwashing and people not being open minded, pure and simple."

Cain went on to explain that his interactions with African Americans led him to be optimistic about his own chances with the demographic.

"This whole notion that all African-Americans are not going to vote for Obama is not necessarily true," Cain said.

He continued, "I believe a third [of African-Americans] would vote for me, based on my own anecdotal feedback. Not vote for me because I'm black but because of my policies."

Cain also weighed in on the recent chatter surrounding Chris Christie, saying the recent reports the New Jersey governor is reconsidering a run for president were hurting the electorate.

"It's not insulting as much as it is a disservice to the American people," Cain said. "Chris Christie has been saying for a long time he's not interested in running. The media is trying to create a story by sucking Chris Christie into race, just like they made a story by sucking Rick Perry into the race."

Cain said the media should focus on the candidates who have already declared their candidacy to give voters a better idea of the field.

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Filed under: Herman Cain • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (1,341 Responses)
  1. Spectator

    Hmm..... Cain not brainwashed and a republican so he must thinks he is white. Cain you are too simple if you think that you can win the republican party.

    September 29, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Lynne

    CAIN 2012 - the answer to your question about unemployment is that your wonderful GOP friends in DC keep saying NO to everything the President tries to do to bring down unemployment. When they openly say their number one goal is to make sure he is a one term president and not help American....you know their is a problem.

    Get off you stupid high horse and tell me one straight up jobs bill they have put forth this year???? and don't say "balancing the budget is a jobs bill" cause we all know that is BS. I want one bill that was designed specifically around the concept of job creation only!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You know you cant! So you have to bully poor people to make yourself feel better. Shame on you!

    September 29, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. Stacey

    So tell me Herman the pizza man, are we supposed to be brainwashed into voting for you? LOL! No thanks, Hermie. I prefer to remain brainwashed and vote for President Obama. Mr. Cain and the GOP are pathetic and very desperate.

    September 29, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Judy

    Cain is so right! As he said, blacks who vote for him will do so NOT because of the color of his skin, but rather because of the content of his policies and character. Read "The Big Black Lie" by Kevin Jackson.

    September 29, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. 1CentFree

    How can Cain possibly talk for the black population when he is surrounded by over 95% white/non-blacks in his party? Cain is just a puppet/token candidate and every single republican knows that. The day he is nominated to represent the Republican party is the day Planet-X collides with earth.

    September 29, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. Paul

    Are there no pro-life Blacks anywhere in the country? Something like 96% of Blacks voted for Obama, and will likely do so again. Blacks pay no attention at all to the fact he is the most pro-abortion President in history. So to Blacks electing a Black President is more important than the lives of the pre-born.

    September 29, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Someone explain to me how welfare and affirmative action have helped anyone in the long term."

    Name me a black POTUS from before those programs existed.

    September 29, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Lynne

    jjamerb – if those politicians were around today the GOP would label radical socialist!!!!!!!!!! The right has moved so far right since then that where they were is so far left of Obama it isn't funny!

    September 29, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. emma

    Is it not kind of an alienating statement to make about one's race? How elitist of him.

    September 29, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Angi Stamm

    Judging by the comments, a good portion of the black community is brainwashed. Someone actually said the Republicans fought against the Civil Rights Movement...NOT! It shows how much people don't know about history. The great Abolitionist Frederick Douglas (who was born a slave) was a outspoken Republican and said they are the party of freedom and individual liberty. The original 1957 Civil Rights legislaiton was introduced by President Eisenhowr a Republican that also issued a Executive Order to disegrigate the military. Democrats actually obtructed the Civil Rights legislation from the beginning, one of the biggest obstructionist was Harry Reids father. President John F Kennedy and his brother Robert, who was the US Attorney General, had Martin Luther King investigated and were not initial supportors of Civil Rights legislation. I could go on forever, but it would be a book by the end. The bottom line is the black population has been used for a long time, the Democrats have played them and what they look to as black leadership (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton), sold them out a long time ago. Lets face it, if they don't keep the race issue going they don't make money. Not only that the NAACP, and ther black leaders sold out to Planned Parrenthood and the Pro-Choice (or Pro-Abortion) groups and have allowed over 17,000,000 black babies to be aborted. Would the black community be upset about this genocide, if those babies has made it out of the womb? Have you ever wondered why the black population is still such a small minority in society? There are unfortunately, many blacks out there that define themselves by the color of their skin and continue to be slaves to the government and allow themselves to be victims, it is time you challenge your beliefs and what you know about the world.

    September 29, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. Kay

    Wow, Cain way to go to win over the masses. You big dummy!!! Nice try, come again.

    September 29, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Judy

    Why does CNN say "Comments are not pre-screened before they post." - yet my comment per this site "is awaiting moderation?"

    September 29, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. CollegeRepublican

    Cain brings a valid point that most people have kicked to the curb. Im not a racist but in the previous election the media play Obama to be a celebrity and the whole "first man of color" to be President overshadowed the election.

    September 29, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. making a point

    the comments on this site simply mirror the underlying problem in our country... blind idealogy trumps any degree of willingness to objectively examine/question our personal belief systems

    September 29, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. readthebook

    yeah, right. blame it on the gullible brain-washable blacks. republican politics catering to the rich, white and christian has nothing to do with it.

    September 29, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. WIlliams

    Your absolutely Right! Stolen from our native country,stripped of all wisdom and knowledge of self and forced into poverty by for a better word willie lynch's forms of education. Banished our leaders and enforced our neighborhoods with drugs and guns. Wolia brainwashed, need I say more?

    September 29, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Texas Doc

    It should be obvious to anyone that A. The GOTea is not what I would consider a race frieindly party and B. They seem to go way out of their way to demonize or villify anyone who isn't white,rich, christian, staight, or smart for that matter. So Mr. Cain, if you are not any of the things I just mentioned why on earth would you ever consider the Republican party?

    September 29, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. ken

    Cain says, "Blacks have been brainwashed into voting for Democrats". This is true because it is the only way we can stop the Republicans that have been brainwashed into beleiving that the only way our nation can survive is by doing their bidding.

    September 29, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. matrix09

    I only see one brainwashed black here, and his name is Cain.

    September 29, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. toledofan

    Mr. Cain is a true American, a patroit, and I'm sure one great dad and grandfather. He has always been my favorite and I think he would make a great President. That's the real problem, the main stream media should have been paying attention before but hasn't or won't because then they would really have a dog fight on their hands; Cain would out class Obama in a heartbeat. They know it and will do whatever they can to take him down a notch or two.

    September 29, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Rhonda Lee

    Wow, this fool will say anything to try and get the spotlight on him. He's actually blaming the media for "sucking Rick Perry into the race"? Never mind that Perry is actually leading a lot of GOP polls. Cain fears that Christie may be a threat as well.

    September 29, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Darryl Cox

    The struggle over which political party – the Democrats or the Republicans – deserves to be the dance card favorite of black voters presents one of the more intractable, if not paradoxical, problems on the American political landscape. No group of political party pundits and activists seem to secrete more sweat and angst over this issue than black conservatives. Their anxiety is understandable and not just because they might be feeling a tad bit lonely given the lack of support black voters give to Republican Party candidates at all levels.

    In truth there was no liberal fairy dust sprinkled over the heads of black voters that caused them to flee from the arms of the Republicans. The more likely cause, as many blacks recall, was the unapologetic embrace of American apartheid by the Republican Party’s presidential nominee Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964 and the party’s efforts to establish a new base for itself among disaffected southern white Democrats. Although a higher percentage of Republicans in the House and Senate voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Bill than did Democrats, Goldwater, armed with the legal and intellectual arguments provided by two of his aides, future Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist and Robert Bork, voted against the bill. 

No liberal ideologues caused Ronald Reagan to kick-off his campaign in 1980 by visiting the notorious Philadelphia, Mississippi – where three civil rights workers were murdered – and declare his support for states’ rights. The reality is that Democratic Party liberals did not destroy the relationship between black voters and the Republican Party. White Republican political conservatives, many of who left the Democratic Party in disgust in1964, managed to accomplish this dubious achievement on their own; and, they and their fellow black Republicans need to own up to this fact if either hopes to persuade more blacks to vote for Republican candidates in the future. 

If black Republicans truly desire to recruit more black voters to their party then they will need to create a political agenda that moves beyond attempting to use issues such as abortion, gay marriage and prayers in school to drive a wedge between African American voters and the Democratic Party.

    The fact that an overwhelming majority of African American voters profess a belief in a divine force animating the universe does not mean that a similar number look to heavenly or Biblical guidance when making decisions about who will represent them in the state house or the White House. Consequently, there is only a certain amount of guidance and direction that they will take from their ministers.

Black voters, given their unique history and experiences in the United States, are particularly adroit at understanding and navigating the complexity of American electoral politics and they are not likely to throw over their allegiance to one party or candidate based on issues that they view as tangential to their lives. Black Republicans might employ, for example, an organizing tactic that was used to great success by the Civil Rights movement: engaging in direct action within the black community.

    If black Republicans genuinely care about persuading more black voters to cast their ballots for GOP candidates then they will have to be willing to get in the trenches and dig hard for black votes. In operational terms, this means walking the streets in black neighborhoods, knocking on the doors of black voters and helping black people organize around issues directly affecting their lives and communities. Republican candidates, black and white, are not going to get black votes by simply doing S&Ws (smiles and waves) at black churches or getting endorsements from the black clergy or black business groups.

    As long as the Republican Party, for whatever reasons, seems not able or not willing to recruit and sponsor attractive black political candidates who can either win or run extremely well in predominantly black or substantially black voting districts then the Republican Party will make little or no headway among black voters. Until that time comes, if it does at all, comments and speculations about the motivations (and, by implication, the intelligence) of black voters will seem like nothing more than the childish whining of sore losers.

    Former Representative J.C. Watts and others may be correct in asserting that blacks have a greater affinity for the values embodied in the platform and legislative agenda of the Republicans than they do for the Democrats. The truest test of his contention lies, however, in the voting booth. The potency and credibility of these claims cannot be established through the op-ed pages of newspapers and the pronouncements of black intellectuals affiliated with various conservative foundations and “think tanks.” Black voters may be acting contrary to their best interests by putting all of their political eggs into the Democratic basket but, to date, too many black Republicans seem baffled and turned off by the heavy lifting required to move any black eggs into their party’s basket.


    September 29, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. Heath

    Herman Cain says that African-Americans have been "brainwashed" into voting democratic. It actually may have something to do with conservative characterization of poor African-Americans as bloodsucking leeches for so many years, and in turn, their opposition to many welfare policies. Aka brainwashing I guess.

    September 29, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Jason

    90%+ of Africican Americans are brainwashed? You don't give much credit to your race, Mr. Cain.

    September 29, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  25. Alan Robertson

    Herman Cain is a problem solver. As Dennis Miller said, "If Cain is the Republican candidate, it will be Cain against Unable."

    September 29, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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