Cain charges some in black community of racism
October 11th, 2011
05:51 PM ET
7 years ago

Cain charges some in black community of racism

(CNN) – GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain said Tuesday that many liberal Democrats in the black community are "racist" for questioning his political ambitions as a black conservative Republican.

"A lot of these liberal, leftist folk in this country, that are black, they're more racist than the white people that they're claiming to be racist," Cain said Tuesday in a radio interview on the conservative Neal Boortz talk show.

Boortz interrupted Cain, saying he prefers the word "bigoted" to "racist."

"Ok, bigoted," Cain said. "How dare Herman Cain, first, run as a Republican? How dare Herman Cain be conservative? And how dare he move up in the polls, so that he just might challenge our beloved Obama? That's the problem they have."

Cain's comments came just hours before a New Hampshire debate, where Cain, who's surged to top tier status in the presidential race, is expected to take the heat from other candidates now that he's assumed front-runner status.

In the interview Tuesday, he also said that in a hypothetical matchup between he and President Barack Obama, there would "almost be no contest" and argued that he could talk about issues more in depth than Obama.

"He's never been part of the black experience in America," Cain said. "I can talk about that. I can talk about what it really meant to be 'po' before I was poor."

The Republican candidate came under fire recently for saying African Americans are generally on a level playing field with other Americans and sometimes use racism as an excuse for being poor.

"They weren't held back because of racism," Cain told CNN's "State of the Union" anchor Candy Crowley. "People sometimes hold themselves back because they want to use racism as an excuse for them not being able to achieve what they want to achieve."

His comments kicked off a wave of responses from high-profile African American leaders, who argue Cain is out of touch with reality.

"There are disparities in this country in every [socioeconomic] factor that we follow. In every aspect of our human endeavors in this country there is a racial disparity element that's a part of it. It's almost silly to respond to [Cain] because the evidence is so overwhelming," PBS host Tavis Smiley said in the interview with CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux on Monday.

- CNN's Diana Ozemebhoya contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain
soundoff (614 Responses)
  1. arizonamom

    "He's never been part of the black experience in America," Cain said. "I can talk about that. I can talk about what it really meant to be 'po' before I was poor." AND "almost be no contest" and argued that he could talk about issues more in depth than Obama.

    So he grew up "po". Does he think that back in his day only black folks grew up "po"? I can tell him of some white folks I know that grew up without inside plumbing; that couldn't go to school some days because they didn't have clean clothes; that went to school hungry and came home from school hungry. And, what does he know about world politics that would surpass what Obama knows? Yes, he grew up "po" but made a name for himself in the business world. So did Donald Trump and he certainly isn't qualified to be president.

    October 12, 2011 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  2. wow

    He knows how to get white conservatives on his side...just make like racism doesn't exist.

    October 12, 2011 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  3. joe cool

    this guy is not black. don't blame yourself if you're not rich...blame Wall St. and the overpaid US Government

    October 12, 2011 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  4. Brad

    As a Republican & General moderate; I am becoming very intrigue with Mr. Cain’s message. I think he is capable of capturing the taxpaying middle class & Independents with his straight talk. His 9, 9, 9 plan really resonates with many folks. Fine! If you want to tweak the numbers or go for a tiered system based on income I think many on the middle and right would be okay with that. Refining the tax code in itself will reduce government spending (no longer need an army to figure out what you need to pay). You made “X” and you pay “Y”. I think many righty’s be okay with no deductions for Corporate jet’s etc.

    October 12, 2011 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  5. Wyo Cowboy

    Hard work never killed anyone, though it is illegal in some places....

    October 12, 2011 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  6. c'mon america

    I do believe there are some people who use thier personal circumstances as an " excuse " but it only works because there is a certain truth to what they are saying . I believe many more people succeed in spite of racism , in spite of sexism , and in spite of bigotry of all kinds . But to point to those succeses as proof of equality is to disregard and disrespect the spirit and will of those who suceed in spite of such ugliness and oppress those whos battle for equality has yet to end

    October 12, 2011 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  7. Give credit where credit is due

    This is why herman cain can't get any love from the black american communities. He's applying for the most important job in the nation yet he scrutinize the black american communities for questioning his logic. The very comment his stands by deems him unfit for the POTUS. If he cannot show diversity of communication with per say the "Black Communities" than he will not be able to resonate he's message among other ethnic communities, thus, communication failure will deem him unfit to fill the POTUS.

    October 12, 2011 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  8. Boyd

    Ummm...I think Herman Cain just lost the black vote. That didn't take long. He keeps it up and he's going to become the new Michael Steele.

    October 12, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  9. BensonName

    Cain sould be mindfull about racism, let look into graet leader like obama to take amrican strong hold of world economy to graeter highiet.

    October 12, 2011 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  10. Henry

    Maybe they just don't like his positions. That isn't racist it is disagreeing with him.

    October 12, 2011 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  11. M.A.

    How about we view people as people first and foremost. It's all about dignity and treating people with respect with regard for humanity. Politics so frequently turns ourselves against each other. It really begins with oneself whomever we be.

    October 12, 2011 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  12. sharon

    My mother always says it takes a fool to argue with a fool. Cain is so blind he doesn't even realize the repub, party& the GOP are using him as a front man. He is only going to go so far then they will chops him off at the knees. Such a little foolish man.

    October 12, 2011 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  13. dave

    of course Cain feels he can argue a point better than anyone. When challenged he either says he was misquoted or misunderstood . If that fails he goes on auto pilot with his 9-9-9 plan snake oil. When questioned on where he came up with the 9-9-9 plan he wouldn't reveal the "secret" economists who helped with its creation. That was a direct " heard it with my own ears ..fact. So he can not say he was misquoted.

    October 12, 2011 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  14. Gabriel

    Herman Cain "in my own opinion" is a mosquito in the Republican race that wont go away. Plus he really never tells you how he can solve anything its always nine nine nine. I will be saying the English version of that to him No no no. The man is pathetic and he is unelectable. He will never get elected because nobody gives a flip about a business man that is trying to make the Presidency whether he's white or black they want a governor or a senator who has had years of experience. No for those of you who are insane for cain and you think his policies are so great. Your lying to yourselves. You think with his simple policies he's going to come into the Whitehorse and sweep up everything and make things better, another thing you all probably didn't listened to. cain was a part of the federal reserve oh yeah thats right the federal reserve the same place where Ben Bernanke is now. Now you tell me if the guy couldn't deal things right then, then how can he deal things now. You idiots that are supporting this joker tell me "oh but sir he's different he's no obama, he's policies are simple and he's not from Washington, everyone just run around and say yeah for herman cain, frankly its pathetic and your pathetic for supporting a joke, and he is a joke for the GOP nomination. I will be shocked if he gets the nomination but I know he wont' So you all keep bullshitting yourselves into thinking this guy gives a dam about you because he doesn't he just wants to ruin america and the only way to do that, Get on the GOP side.

    October 12, 2011 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  15. judy king

    I think that Herman Cain should be ashamed of himself, you should thank the good Lord everyday that you made it rich, stop spitting on people that is poor and have to worry about the next dollar, yes I agree that some people are victims of their own choosing but stepping on someone when they are down and out is not the way to go. You are not fit to run for President, you are arrogant, selfserving and for a black man to think that racism is over in America you are also lying your way through white America. I have news for you Mr. Cain talk about President Obama like he is dirt, he might very well be a one term president, however he has principles, and really cares about people black and white, you Pizza man WILL NEVER BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT EVEN GET THE NOMIMATION, greetings from your next door neighbour in Canada, you know the country with free health care, high taxes, we love to spread the wealth around.

    October 12, 2011 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  16. Darrell

    As a middle-aged, educated, professional, business-owner African-American, I am proud of Mr. Cain's accomplishments. However, this man makes too many generalizations about our community. Many African-Americans have never heard about Mr. Cain and don't know his business background....In fact, many of us would celebrate his success as a person who worked hard and won.

    It is so sad that it is Mr. Cain is not in tuned with the majority of African-Americans.

    October 12, 2011 01:55 am at 1:55 am |

    Sorry Cain,.. you're not selling pizza to the electorate here,.. your 9 9 9 shtick, sounds like a cheesy, cheap pizza promotion, with baloney being the main toppings.. you're in over your head against Obama. ,.. give us something we can sink our teeth in.

    October 12, 2011 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  18. rich

    Finally, a man that's not afraid to say it like it is!

    October 12, 2011 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  19. thomas

    Vote Yes on No !

    What a concept !

    October 12, 2011 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  20. missbri

    Just watched his interview with lawrence o'donnell...why does hermain cain think that all workers pay 15.6% of their income in taxes, i'm low income (and no my fam is not on welfare) and I pay 6% in taxes, under herman's plan that increases to 9%...this means i'm bringing home less mone. 9% increase in sales tax means I pay more for goods, how will I be able to take care of my kids under these conditions...the problem is there are many more who have it worse than me, if herman cain wins the rep ticket obama is surely getting my vote!!!

    October 12, 2011 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  21. josh

    Cain is a racist. He hates black people. And white people... and poor people. Mainly poor people. He doesn't really care what color they are, if they aren't rich they're useless.

    October 12, 2011 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  22. LouieD

    So the guy who recently said that racism exists but is of little hindrance to the success of blacks, now invokes racism to cater to his own needs: pandering to racist conservative whites. Like most Republicans, he's probably blind to the irony.

    October 12, 2011 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  23. The Unselfish Meme

    Oh now Smiley is jumping on the BelefonWest wagon. No surprise.

    October 12, 2011 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  24. Hotdog

    This is man is an embarrassment to the Afro-American community. He has a right to run for the for POTUS as a conservative Republican. I can not see any one selecting him to sit on a panel to have an intelligent discussion about racism in this country.

    October 12, 2011 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  25. AndyBlue

    Cain is the perfect tea party candidate. A black guy who say blacks are "worse" than whites. I wouldn't vote for any of these candidates that resemble circus misfits in side shows. They all cater to one hate group or another. People would actually vote to put your children's futures in these peoples hands? Yikes.

    October 12, 2011 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
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