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. Enough Already!

    I've had enough of Cain and the Obama crowd all screaming racism. It's like the boy who cried wolf–no one is listening and no one cares anymore!!

    October 12, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  2. Tim

    Heaven help the African-American male who doesn't toe the democratic party line. Cain is a free thinker. And when that thinking is politically correct, watch the left come down on him with their own brand of very clever yet mindless hatred.

    October 12, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  3. JR White Bear Lake MN.

    The GOP loves Herman cause he says all the racist crab the white GOPers would love to say about black folks but wouldn't dare say.

    October 12, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Swarkowski

    He is absolutely right. Wow, finally someone said it.

    October 12, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. Inrealityhere

    There is still prejudice in a lot of places: some people dislike skinny people, some dislike fat, some dislike white, some dislike black, some dislike successful people, some dislike those on welfare.... get the picture yet? Well, Obama and Cain prove that it does't matter what race you are. Work hard and practice the Golden Rule (the original one from the Bible, and you don't even have to be a Christian to benefit from it) and you will be successful.

    October 12, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. Stpn2me

    Blacks did not bash Powell for being a Conservative.

    That's because Powell wasnt a conservative. He is a liberal in Republican clothing..

    October 12, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. Jay

    There is nothing scarier to liberals than a successful black Republican. You see, it makes it very difficult for the weenies to argue that Republicans are racist when Republicans have Cain at the top spot in the polls. *Gasp* You mean to tell me that we just have different views on policy that have nothing to do with the color of one's skin? Shocking. Find another card to use, libs. No one benefits more from continued racism than you.

    October 12, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. RG in NJ

    "And the wind-up, the pitch is on it's way"
    Anyone could see this fastball coming.

    Herman Cain, the racially insensative businessman that brought us "Godfather Pizza" throws the race card.
    As an Itailian American, I would not frequent a restaurant with a slur toward my ethnicity. I don't think Mr Cainwould like if I opened a Lil Black Sambo Ribs & Chicken in his neighborhood..

    Mr Cain, go find some Muslim friends, they are not all terrorists.

    October 12, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. the truth!

    Finally!! Someone is speaking and will act on the truth!! That is all I ask for! Cain has my vote! However he needs to rethink the 9-9-9 plan, something to simplify the tax code is needed, but not a consumption tax.

    October 12, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  10. Jay

    Rob R:

    Republicans don't like the poor? What a silly comment. Maybe Cain, as a black man, things it's time to stop shooting for "warm fuzzies" in the black community (he's not alone in that thinking within the black community) and shoot for hard realities that actually might help the black community.

    October 12, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  11. RJ

    Bicyclist1977.... Speaking as a Caucasian, I begrudgingly find myself agreeing with some of your supposition. It does frustrate me that 'the race card' is used like a tissue by a person with a runny nose. However, as a lifelong conservative (not zealot) I found myself voting for Mr. Obama in 2008. I, like i believe most Americans, just wanted something other than the next politician in a long line of them. It frustrates me to read the back and forth about the racism in the election process. Can't I not like a candidate's views and not vote for them... even if they are Black? Or, in the case of Obama in 2008, I appreciated his charisma and viewpoints (at least on the campaign trail). I found myself stating to a group of colleagues, of various ethnicities, that started the 'Race' discussion again... "The difference between you and me is that I voted for a candidate in spite of a different ethnicity, than my own.... but you voted because of it... Now who is really the racist"? Times are tough, it is time to stop trying to blame everything on race.... or glandular problems... or I wasn't popular at school... or whatever. Every individual needs to take accountability for his/her actions and just try to make their way through a bad economy... "Vote the candidates virtues, not the ethnicities"

    October 12, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  12. Jay

    There is nothing funnier to me than watching the white liberal elite call a black man racist. There is no more out of touch group in this country.

    October 12, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. Inrealityhere

    Oh yeah, AND don't live above your means and then blame others for your mistake. We can't afford the "I want it now!" mentality anymore. BTW, I'm middle age and don't have all the bells and whistles most teenagers have... by my own choice... but I live in a real nice house with the mortgage paid off.

    October 12, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Independent Voters

    Cain is on the stage for a reason just to be popular and to sale his book. Cain maken hisself look bad just like the republican party.

    October 12, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. RG in NJ

    What is his economic plan? 9-9-9?
    What is that, a pie with 1 topping for $9.99?

    October 12, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  16. T'sah from Virginia

    ►@Max Thunderdome who posted a very informative blog and he ended with:

    James Brown and I can say this: Say it Loud, I am Black and Proud.◄

    I could not have said it better – Cain “cannot” say that and will REFUSE to say it!! To him, being a “proud” BLACK American does not sit well with the far-RIGHT. What happened to Michael Steele will happen to Cain and it’s beginning now – They are beginning to “pick him apart.”

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 12, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  17. calvin

    Mr Cain, Get a Clue!! God Help You!!

    October 12, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  18. AHAHHA

    HEY!!–I'M BLACK!!! and I know how to make my party happy, get some publicity and denigrate others-I am a true republican-(wink) (wink)

    October 12, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. Irene

    Mr. Cain, only because words "leftists" and "liberals" in its current American connotation have not been invented some 200 years ago those who fought to abolish slavery have not been labeled as such. If not for "leftists and liberals and progressives", there is a chance that Uncle's Tom cabin and endless fields of sugar cane to cut and cotton to pick could remain a reality for your peope for much, much longer... Tell me, why are you SOOOO conservative – despising poor, rejecting your own people, manipulating the truth by sprinkling bits and pieces of truth and facts over a huge pie of lies or half-truth and misrepresentations.. There was a moment when I was willing to listen to you again. That moment came and went. You turned out to be one cheap shot!

    October 12, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  20. Truther

    Herman, just wait and see how your GOP supporters will put you in your place when the time comes. Harry Belafonte: ehmm, Cain has been denied intelligence and insight, the poor man.
    In the mean time, Herman, spout off your totally ignorant comments on 'racism" that doesn't really exist in this perfect democracy. You'll make a few GOP friends for a while. After that, back to retirement.

    October 12, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    So, this is what the New Republican Party has come to? I'm a better black man (Cain) ... I'm a better woman(Bachmann) ... I'm a better Christian (Perry) ... I'm a better businessman (Romney). Sounds very ego ridden and juvenille, which is why none of these fools running for President will ever become President. Not one of them represents anything even remotely close to middle class America and the concerns we have been facing these past 4 or so years. Fact is, not one of these hopefuls cares what is happening in America beyond their own little world of childish dreams.

    October 12, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  22. Arun

    This man is an idiot!!! Hey Herman, the people are probably questioning your views on issues not your race. For a moron who doesn't believe in racism, except when it helps him, he sure likes to use it a lot!!

    October 12, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. coolbreeze

    Cain, I challenge you to come and take a good look at rural areas in the south, u.s.a...Then you will change your mind. You don't live in everyones shoes..

    October 12, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  24. maggie

    Sheila - his plan is 9-9-9. hahahaha

    RWB1956, amen. All they did was bash Obama in last night's debate and put forward the same tired policies that didn't work before. No wonder the GOP is bored with their current lot.

    October 12, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  25. coolbreeze

    Come to the rural areas of the south, u.s.a..People will throw watermelons at you. Even if you are rich and a republican

    October 12, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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