Cain charges some in black community of racism
October 11th, 2011
05:51 PM ET
3 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. C57

    He seems to "get it" concerning African Americans limiting themselves, but I prefer that he not dwell on the color of his skin in this race, just like I prefer religion to be left out of politics. Color and religion aren't issues to me.

    October 12, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. MM

    Everytime this guy and the rest of the GOP "hopefuls" open their mouths it makes me wonder what color the sky is in their world.

    October 12, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Tia observed:
    My problem with Cain is that he is always trying to tell me what my problem is, how I think and what is wrong with me.
    -----------–
    Don't isolate Mr. Cain for doing that. That's what the entire Republican Party does. They have this belief that the voting public doesn't know what they really want or what is best for them, so they have to tell them what they want. Haven't you ever noticed that whenever polls disagree with what Republicans want to do, they dismiss it as a messaging problem? "People are not listening to, or understanding, what we are saying."

    Republicans have a very slick way of going about telling people what to think by playing on human instinct. Most people like to feel that their opinions are the correct ones, generally accepted by most people. People naturally don't want to feel that their thoughts and ideas are strange and out of the ordinary. So, listen carefully to the conservative spin machine in action for the phrases; "most Americans want", "will of the American people", "most Americans agree", etc. The use the same word play to pull votes out of people because people naturally want to vote for a winner, and not a loser.

    October 12, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. hank

    America is racist, it's 2011 and we are still tripping on the color of one's skin. Until we come together as 1 nation there will never be a true America.

    October 12, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. butros

    Tom it up some more, Cain.

    October 12, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Brian

    @Lisa, you are so spot on. And I'm a middle aged white guy. If Cain wants to go down the beaten path of continually going after Obama and inferring that Obama's not black enough, he's basically saying the overall black community is misguided, because they voted for him. And when Obama became President, it brought a great sense of accomplishment to the AA race to finally have a minority as Prez, that anything is possible. So Cain's taking the GOP stance of tearing down the black Prez that the black community is proud of. Well done, sir. Cain just proved himself to be a puppet. Now that's a nice message to relay to your "po" heritage, that you're willing to appease the GOP just to get ahead.

    October 12, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. eciam

    Let us not forget, it was man and women of substance that got us in this ECO. mess!

    October 12, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Hockeyn109

    Finally a man that speaks the truth. Anyone that thinks blacks are incapable of being racist are truly in need of mental help. They are not living in the real world. All races have racists, period.

    October 12, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. hank

    Mr. Cain is doing what we uses to call "Showing out for the white folks" . Don't be fooled, and if he did win, they will treat him the same way they treat Mr Obama. Rep or Dem , America still can't handle a black president and you all know it.

    October 12, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Jessica

    So who is holding back the poor white people? The rich black people? There will always be racism on both sides of the fence. I will tell you that my middle class white husband, father and grandfather did nothing to hold back black people so quit putting "white" people all together as being racist. I am sure you all dont like being lumped together with the stereotypes used for blacks.

    October 12, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. kingofnb

    I don't think his own family will vote for him, never mind getting one other black vote, good luck pal, bye the way has anyone ever heard of Godfather pizza, where in the U.S. are they located, never ever seen one.

    October 12, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Iconoclast

    Well I finally get Cains' strategy. His entire campaign will be about how to "out white the white folk". Yes racism exists within the black community, the white community, the poor community, the wealthy community etc., etc.. But the real dividing issues today are economic and cultural not race Mr.Cain. The fact that the black community, over all, favors a "black" not so liberal Obama over a "black" extremely simplistic out of touch conservative is not an expression of racism but rather part of a unified spirit in this country that our government has sold us out to corporate interests. You sir represent those corporate interests just as Romney does and you sir appear to be the racist when you choose to generalize constantly about your perceptions of the black community. In times long past you might have been the overseer at a plantation happy in the knowledge that your masters trusted you with a whip.

    October 12, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. F

    Cain – Larry Elder's twin.(lol) Maybe together they can do a radio show about throwing blacks under the bus.

    October 12, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Max Powers

    Cain is the most courageous man I've ever heard of. Running as a black Republican, and making sure that he does it without any of the black vote. That's like jumping on a hand grenade. Also, with all that's gone on, does anyone want to elect a CEO?

    October 12, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Porch boy is starting to sound like he fell off the porch swing and bumped his big head.
    What a pitiful, self-hating Black man. Tsk, tsk.
    And for those of you panting and pushing to see the "ultimate" in politcal bouts, Obama vs Cain, I guess you'll have to settle for a different set of "brothers" going at each other's throat for your cheap thrills.

    October 12, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Bri

    Even though I can't stand this guy because he is so out of touch with the plight of working americans I %100 agree with this statement :"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," Try walking through the poorest black neighborhood if your white and see what happens. I have experienced this. More often then not blacks are their own worst enemy.

    October 12, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. USA

    Yes!! A man that finally tells it like it is!! This politically correct BS is killing this country. I stand behind you Mr. Cain! Cain for president!! Cain for president!

    October 12, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. reality

    it is impossible for this man to win the republican primary.

    October 12, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. W L Jones

    Boy! what a few week can do the news have change since HC move up in the poll from Black ! to more like a dark skin ( cau) sorry but true ,what next? Bless.

    October 12, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. eciam

    I'm still very proud of President Obama, and always will, he never said it would be easy.
    I see him , I see me.
    Tom should also!

    October 12, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. Mike

    Once again Cain is stating something he thinks without any substanciated facts. He really is disconnected with reality. As for his "999" plan I say "Nein, nein, nein".

    October 12, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. Syl

    Mr Cain.. YOU ARE NO LONGER AHEAD IN THE POLLS you sank faster than a boulder, my man, faster than a boulder..

    You think you are hot stuff because you had a few minutes but that is it.. You are toast as are the entire gaggle of idiots heading for a so-called GOP nomination..

    Join the Obama for America campaign in your city, Folks, let's get serious about 2012 before these people take down the middle class, have insurance companies running your life's health plan while they rob you blind, the oil companies lobbying for more with our congressmen/women, instill Christianity as a national religion and get away with virtual murder.

    October 12, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    The only person in the public eye making bigoted comments about the black electorate is Mr. Cain.

    October 12, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Maria Gonzalez

    I agree with Mr Cain, mostly blacks are as much racists as the Liberals white people in this country.

    October 12, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. The Shepard

    For once a black man that speaks TRUTH and of course the black people and ultra white liberals can't handle it. Until people start saying and facing TRUTH you will just keep going round and round and winding up in the same place.

    October 12, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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