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. michelle worthy

    first of all there could never be a better black president then obama so cain is tripping thinking that he even comes close.odviously he has money thats why he feels like if you dont have it its your problems, i believe hes racist you can see on his face and the way he looks at black people.I honestly care less about him if cain dosent think that racism has something to do with the money then hes been somewhere else for 2011 years and needs to go back.ANY person thinking that money makes you better im so sorry for you because money equals power and power unless from god is evil, yes we need it to survive because everything cost(breathing,living,moving around)nothing is free when in reality no human bein owns nothing on this earth it was giving to us by god and honestly we dont deserve it.

    October 11, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. Norm

    Oh here we go...
    It was only a matter of time Herman...

    October 11, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  3. pat

    Does Cain really think that people takes seriously? He is no more than Joe the plumber! He is ignorant an d proud of it? "If they will ask me where "so and so Country is, I will answer, no, do you?" REALLY? And you want to be another ignorant presiden t lik,e Bush? I loved what Bellafonte had to say about him:" he's a bad apple that got lucky while people was not looking" haaha

    October 11, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  4. rajace

    I respect the fact that he got business acumenl

    October 11, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  5. Juan

    Please continue to listen to Boortz and Hannity. Their positions are the positions of Herman Cain. Cain was the primary anchor [sic] for Hannity and Boortz when they are not available for for live coverage. Cain, like most Republican Teaparty members are seriously devoid of centrist politics. Keep your ear to the ground.

    October 11, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  6. Danny Spencer

    Is he trying to stand apart from his own self? Hey Look at me Republicans, I am not one of them.

    October 11, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  7. stevenfbrackett

    So, I guess he's trying to prove he's a 'real' republican by being as prejudiced against people of color as they are. Too bad, Cain, so many of the people you are catering to are going to remember you are one of them when it comes time to actually cast a vote.

    October 11, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  8. JN

    As a fellow African American who certainly believes in doing for himself and not letting race and racism hinder my goals, I agree with Cain on some issues, e.g., some of us are as racist as whites, some use race as a reason to not succeed, etc. BUT he seemingly doesn't want to admit (at least publicly) that racism is a large part of American life and Blacks undergo a scrutiny and treatment unlike any other race of people on earth. To ignore that is foolish and makes him a clown of sorts.

    October 11, 2011 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  9. Aaron

    Wasn't he saying just a few days ago that basically racism doesn't exist in the U.S.? Funny how he screams racism when the shoe is on the other foot. Doesn't sound like black voters are rejecting him due to his race anyway....more like the insanity that he's pushing that the Repubs are out to help the average American...when all they want to do is ensure that the rich get richer.

    October 11, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  10. MaryAnn in VA

    Mr Cain is making himself look like a fraud by making these outlandish statements he should state the truth, fight for what he believes in and move on to the issues at hand. I doubt if he seriously believes some of the staements he has made recently. I want to know if getting votes is enough to sell your soul in exchange. As a Christian pastor he should be held to a high standard in his speech.

    October 11, 2011 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  11. Jim Weix

    "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."


    October 11, 2011 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  12. Nard

    I agree and disagree, we defiantly still have racism in this country and it is very much alive, but in most cases it is not what holds you back from getting what you want in this world but can be a hurdle you will have to jump. As a mixed person (black and white) I see racism from both sides even within my own family. I was never black enough for the blacks or white enough for the whites. I see it in work, where you feel you need to act/talk a certain way to fit in.. But I personally never let it hold me back, its what this country was built on, as far as we have come it will never go away from either side.

    October 11, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  13. IDEAS and IDEALS not ideologies

    I am simply speechless at Herman Cain. He's detached from reality. Being from Atlanta he can take a little stroll to Southwest Atlanta and then measure his statement against what he sees. Cain can believe in dogma or accepts reality. Cain is disparaging every black person, and by extension everyone, who's not rich like him. He's so self conscious, that's why he keeps bringing up race. He sees himself as a successful black man not as just a rich man. I dare him say the same about the Caucasians that live in trailer park and his poll numbers would be in the sewers tomorrow.

    October 11, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  14. vet in tx

    Yep, mr cain is telling them what they want to hear, without realising that he was a beneficiary of affirmative action himself. Black america, if your going to be conservative.....fine, but please have some self respect, general powell shows you how to be, mr cain......miserable failure!. Ill bet col.west is shaking his head at what mr cain is saying. I would love to watch a round table with mr cain, col west and col powell.....cain is a skin and grin fraud

    October 11, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  15. R Williamson

    Herman Cain and his white handlers are a fraud perpetuated by the Repiublicans as a counter to Obama. After he poisons the well, we will never hear from him again; his purpose will have been served to give the nomination to Perry, who also is being handled by the billionaires and Wall street.they are the puppeteers pulling all the strings on the puppets. Cain is another Clarence Thomas; just as stupid and just as corrupt.

    October 11, 2011 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  16. Linda

    Mr. Cain has many interesting points of view....hope that the media will continue to let him speak so that we can learn more about him.

    October 11, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    What do we know about Cain's background? Did he grow up poor and struggle? Frankly, we don't know anything about him and need to know. He seems like Clarence Thomas who doesn't like or care about the Blacks that are out there that have no chance of getting that job so that they can pull themselves up by their boot straps. Right now they don't have any boot straps. I wonder if Cain really has understoond and learned from the Civil Rights movement.

    October 11, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  18. ep_vet

    Cain was the son of the serpent in Eden and so evil he killed his brother Able. Remember, 999 is 666... the sign of the devil... upside down. Coincidence? I don't think so! Ancient history repeating itself as Cain "kills" Perry in the polls?

    October 11, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  19. sheikyerboutie

    Bigot, racist. Tomatoe, tomato. This man has way more intellect than our current president. I bet he personally has created more jobs than Obama ever has.

    October 11, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  20. cobra

    Cain is a breath of fresh air coming from the black community.

    October 11, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  21. Hiruu

    But he said racism doesn't exist anymore?!??! Oh wait...I see. LOL...just go to your cabin, as he's using Black people to try and ingratiate himself to the right....but sorry Tom, you're not winning.

    October 11, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  22. Sparty Rulez

    Whatever Cain.... A wise man once said, "Blame Yourself".

    October 11, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  23. sonic10158

    That means he is racist against himself, I guess

    October 11, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  24. Darth Vadik, CA

    ha ha hahahaha...

    ...white racist love this kind of talk...

    ...just keep tap dancing Mr. Cain, just keep tap dancing to the Republican tune... are defending people that portray Obama with a bone thru his nose and have questioned his citizenship BECAUSE Obama is BLACK...

    ...but just keep tap dancing, maybe they'll throw you some scraps...

    October 11, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  25. fred ca

    Libs as racists? I am stunned...stunned that the truth is finally spoken. So all of you white liberals run back and hide in your house. And all of you cbc and dem blacks shuffle in behind them. The is dinner to be served and white guests to be fanned.

    October 11, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
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