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. LogicalSkepticism

    I wonder if Herman can explain why it's the white GOP voters that march around with signs claiming that Obama was secretly born in Africa, and not black Democratic voters marching around with signs claiming the Republican candidates were secretly born in Europe.

    October 11, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  2. AlaskaPalin

    To get a better perspective of racism in America look at 'hotel rwanda'. We are so infantile on racism! This racist card has been pushed far enough by all concerned. Its natural to be pro race. 9/11 taught me that when its crunch time americans pull together. At our core we are one. So tell the elites and the politicians its time to cut out this racist bull.

    October 11, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  3. Foxfan

    Go Cain!!!!!!!!!!! he hits right in the spine of the racism I'll vote him in.

    October 11, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  4. Rahul

    NEWSFLASH: Hermain Cain panders to conservative voters.

    COMING UP AT 6: The Earth recently confirmed to be, in fact, round.

    October 11, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. mommytwice

    so..Cain now wants to claim to be "blacker" than Obama and he thinks that'll win the election?? The man is delusional.

    October 11, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  6. Phattee

    " African American leaders, who argue Cain is out of touch with reality."

    The GOP long ago divorced itself from reality, that's why Cain's doing so well.

    October 11, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  7. Bob in Pa

    I believe Mr. Cain is quite correct.
    Race has no place in politics anyway. All should be equal in the eyes of our government.

    October 11, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  8. cole

    If this guy really understands what it is to be a poor black man he will not open is mouth and talk about race the way he does but since he wants to win the nomination i guess he can. When you are saying you can talk about issues better than someone who has to wake up to the issues everyday is like a child that wants candy cause its sweet. Everyone can talk about issues cause of what we read everyday in the papers does not mean we have a clue of what its going on.

    October 11, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. ndp

    He is just saying what everyone else says behind closed doors. It is nice to hear the truth in this PC world for a change.

    October 11, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  10. Bundermint

    Mittens won already so the sister Soulja think won't fly. You should have stopped Big Christie from endorsing Mittens and you'd have stood a chance.

    October 11, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. Brenda from AZ

    Mr Cain is wrong...
    . Black people are not racist, as a whole. As a whole, they are poor and they realize that the Republican party does not support them. Mr Cain is rich and it is in his best interest to be a member of the Republican party. Calling other Black people racist will definitely not get him elected. What an idiot!

    October 11, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. John B

    Herman Cain is the most delusional "politician" ever. The republican party will NEVER allow him (yes, I said allow) to be their candidate....because of his race.

    October 11, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  13. Nothing new here

    Look, can we stop playing the "race card" in this country?
    And that goes for you too, Mr. Cain.

    October 11, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  14. mb

    This guy is such a Clown..If he really thinks he has any chance of being President of these United States running under the Republican Ticket is surely misguided. He is nothing but a token by them to show that they are not a party of against Minorities. But they are. SMH!

    October 11, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  15. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Cain needs to be careful. This is not the republican party of years past. He is the token black among a bunch of extremists that secretly embrace several white supremist groups and have facist motives of their own. This is the modern day group of neo-cons that have conquered the republican party.

    October 11, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  16. no1atall

    Cain's delusional. The people that he wishes to represent don't care to keep racism as a topic of discussion, hence Boortz's redirection to the preferred word bigot. Whites understand that real racism is supported by institutions, culture, etc, as well as bigotry, hence Blacks can only make racially tinged statements; they cannot systemically deny housing, employment, bank loans or any of the other pillars that real racism stands on. Boortz new that, that's why he "corrected" Herb.

    October 11, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  17. woot!

    So Herman Cain finally says what most of us have believed all along. Those quickest to play the race card, and those who play it most often, are the real racists. No one argues that racism doesn't exist, because it does. However, the liberal left would have minorities believe they are being held back and require special accomodations to succeed. Minorities should be appalled at the low opinion the liberal left holds of them.

    Score one for the truth and Herman Cain!

    October 11, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  18. Black Voter

    Cain you are disgrace to america you have brought race into the election. Cain you dont speak for america I wonder what Morehouse college taught you about african american history.

    October 11, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  19. tim

    Other than Cain being 100% correct in his statements, there is not much more to say.

    This is one of the only countries in the world where you can become whatever you want to be. EVERYONE has the same freedom to succeed or fail! Cain chose to succeed. If only more people of ALL races would follow his example.

    October 11, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  20. Aces

    Cain is absolutely correct.

    October 11, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  21. umma

    Everyone is racist, some just have better excuses to hide behind

    October 11, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  22. GrogInOhio

    At the risk of being repetitive, like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry before him, the more Cain talks, the more of an idiot he reveals himself to be.

    October 11, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  23. William

    Of COURSE Smiley is going to say Cain is "out of touch". Smiley's exists only as long as the black community is disgruntled and will continue to listen to his opinions. A basic finding in psychology is that people tend to take credit for success (make an internal attribution) and blame others for their failures (make an external attribution). This is exactly what's happening in many aspects of the black community. How long will this excuse continue? It is self-serving and self-defeating, and Cain (and a few others before him) have had the courage to say it. And of course the Smileys and Sharpton's of the world (again, who are only successful as crusaders) are going to discount it.

    October 11, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  24. Are you kidding me ?

    Cain has realized that black's will not vote for him and now he is trying to play the race card ! Cain do yourself and your family a favor and drop out of the race before you embarrass yourself and your family any further ! I thought he might be crazy before , but he has just confirmed my suspicions and proven that he is crazy !

    October 11, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  25. William

    And by the way, I note that Smiley says NOTHING to discount Cain's primary assertion...namely that blacks outraged because he has conservative views are being fundamentally racist. I think he's absolutely correct.

    October 11, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
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