Cain: I'm against 'collective hijacking'
November 15th, 2011
02:28 PM ET
7 years ago

Cain: I'm against 'collective hijacking'

Dubuque, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain on Tuesday reiterated comments made a day earlier that he supports collective bargaining rights for public employees, which could put him at odds with some of his rivals and hurt him among some conservatives.

During an editorial board meeting Monday with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in Wisconsin, Cain said that he supported workers' right for collective bargaining. One day later following a campaign event in Dubuque, Iowa, he declared, "Let's clarify what I said. I am against collective hijacking."

The issue of collective bargaining is one that could pit the former businessman against his rivals in the race for the 2012 Republican nomination for president.

Support for the rights of workers to organize would directly conflict with the policies of Republican Govs. John Kasich of Ohio and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who sought to limit the collective bargaining rights of state workers in an effort to reduce budget deficits in both states.

"Collective bargaining, they have the right but I don't support collective hijacking, that was the point," Cain argued.

He defines "collective hijacking" as an organization putting "so many demands on a state that it is going to force it to go bankrupt." When that happens, "they've gone too far," Cain said.

But the candidate who has recently taken a hit in polls said he supports collective bargaining "done the right way."

"Make sure you get this point in," he said. "It should not be mandatory. That is one of the problems that some states have. It should not be mandatory and they have a right to do so."

Cain declined to answer whether he supported efforts to restrict collective bargaining rights in Ohio, where voters last week rejected a law affecting public workers that had been passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Kasich.

But during the meeting in Wisconsin on Monday he said, "I think in that particular case, maybe they tried to get too much and as a result it failed…in this case, they may have tried to get too much in one bill."

Also see:

Newspaper editor defends Cain interview

Cain stumbles over Libya

Gloria Cain: I never believed allegations were true

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • John Kasich • Ohio • Wisconsin
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Woman In California

    Cain is finding out real quick – he just can't laugh his way out of things anymore. On top of that – I think the man is losing his brainwashed mind. He's been used and his time is just about up. Tick, tock.

    November 15, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. It is sad

    Clearly a case of diarrea of the mouth. This man is fun to listen to and watch, but he is a trainwreck just waiting to happen.

    November 15, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. Lolo

    This guy is a clown. Please go away. Cain keeps telling lie after lie and has no solutions for America's problem. Please leave the decision making to the adults as far as politics are concerned. He has not one clue. Just skating by and the ignorant republican/tea partiers will vote for any one of their clown candidates just to ensure that President Obama is only a one-termer. Lord help the USA.

    November 15, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. Minnie's Pearls

    This is not quite correct. Cain was asked by the Sentinel if Federal employees should have collective bargaining rights to which he responded "they already do, don't they?" Ladies and Gentleman, the not yet ready for political office candidate Herman Cain!

    November 15, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Greg in Arkansas

    Collective bargaining....."It should not be mandatory. That is one of the problems that some states have. It should not be mandatory and they have a right to do so."......totally clueless about the issue....keep talking and you will join the ranks of the has-been's in their race to the bottom.....

    November 15, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. An-off moment for Cain...

    Even embattled Cain looks the President that will lead the country to prosperity with "Action"

    November 15, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. Patriot Awesome

    Have you ever noticed you never see Sarah Palin and Herman Cain in the same room together? It's a pretty good disguise, but I'm on to you Sarah.

    November 15, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Democrat Party - leftist "progressive" socialist communist losers hellbent on destroying the USA

    Elected officials "negotiating" with unions that then turn around and hand millions to the politicians in the form of campaign contributions is a formula for disaster and bankruptcy, which is exactly what we are seeing across the country. The interest of the taxpayers footing the bill is left out of the equation. The current arrangment is leglaized theft, a kickback scheme. Others go to jail for this sort of thing.

    November 15, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. Jim

    Why are fools like Cain, Bachmann, and Perry still around? In past elections they would've been long gone by now. It must be the "Anyone but Mitt" mentality. Remember these are their best and brightest stars. Palin is perched like a vulture waiting to swoop in for the carcass.

    November 15, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. tembousa

    He's right. The concept of collective bargaining has merits but excessive power and money have hijacked the union;s focus and priority from the workers to simply mega funding the union.

    November 15, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. Jake

    I'm against groping women in the workplace.

    November 15, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Wes B.

    It seems like Cain spends most of his time clarifying things he's mistakenly said in the past.

    November 15, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. monetfan

    It is seven weeks until Iowa. Seven long weeks! That is an eternity in politics! The GOP Establishment – people like Karl Rove, Steve Schmidt, FOX's Brit Hume, etc. are backing Mitt – but have been touting Newt for the past several weeks as the "anti-Mitt" as they know that Newt has too much baggage to be a real threat to their guy, Mitt.

    But I don't think Mitt will be the GOP nominee. 70% of GOP voters want someone else. Mitt's inauthenticity – his chronic and incurable case of Flip Flop Flu – his "For Pete's Sake" moment in October that showed what a coreless person he is and will become the Democratic mantra if he gets the nomination – etc. – it is just too much! Perry has lots of $$ and could come back. Huntsman could win in NH and catch fire. But I think Cain has resonated with a large group of GOP voters and could win Iowa and be on his way.

    If anyone remembers Bill Clinton's campaign back in 1992 they know that someone can drop down in the polls after being in first place – from accusations from Gennifer Flowers, a mini-scandal on the draft, etc. – rally in NH, coming in second – and be pronounced the "winner" and the "Comeback Kid!" In 1980 Reagan lost Iowa – he was dubbed the "amiable dunce" – often made factual flubs – it looked bleak – but he rallied back into the lead in NH.

    Why these two examples? Both Clinton and Reagan had mega personalities that carried them through the tough times. Their supporters – I supported Clinton in 1992 – liked them immensely. When they got into any sort of trouble their likeability factor kicked in. People did not leave them when they got into scrapes. Reagan was said to have a Teflon-coating. Clinton did too.

    I see that same dynamic with Cain and those in the GOP who support him. People really like him. They see a sunny optimist – but also someone who is a successful businessman who seems to have a strong sense of self. The country is tired – very tired – of "politics as usual." Washington is in total gridlock. And along comes this outsider who puts up some bold ideas which are resonating. Yes, he has stumbled on some questions – and had his personal life reviewed – but so far he is still leading in the state polls in Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida!

    I am not surprised at all by the staying power of Cain with his supporters. His Teflon coating has certainly had a workout these past few weeks – and only time will tell if he will be able to avoid any permanent scratches. But based on Clinton's and Reagan's past experiences I am not going to write off Mr. Cain. In politics it is often one's likeability and personality that carry them to victory.

    November 15, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. 4merRepubCT

    I notice that Cain has made no effort to define what he means by having collective bargaining done "the right way." What does that mean, exactly? This is another example of the Republican candidates making an effort to say absolutely nothing that has value. Apparently, Cain is hoping that by saying nothing specific, the listener will fill in the blanks with what they want to think he said.

    November 15, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    If he's against "collective hijacking" then he's against his own political party, because that is exactly what they have done to the Obama administration throughout its' tenure.

    November 15, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. Alex

    Time for Cain to go I imagine. You can't fool the American people like Herman is trying to.

    November 15, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. REG in AZ

    Has it become totally obvious to everyone yet that Cain will say literally anything to get attention and support ... and then backtrack, correct and adjust later.

    November 15, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. Larry L

    He's simply trying to get some points with the Tea Party while not losing the very few working people stupid enough to fall for his "suppport" of organized labor. You can't have it both ways unless you're Mitt Romney or Herman Cain – flip-floppers.

    November 15, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. ja

    he is trying gain favor, i believe thathe favors collective bargining rights, like i believe moby dick was a mule, cain surge is over, time tfor him to sit on the porch, recall the statements he made about the poor and unemployed, this man need to shad

    November 15, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. Lisa P

    I'm against hijacking of any kind.

    On the other hand, I support the right of free association, whether it be to form a corporation or to negotiate wages, benefits and working conditions with corporate, public, or any other sort of employer. With globalization and the increasing size, bureaucracy and disconnectedness of large organizations I think Unions are as or more important now than they ever were. For many of us Unions are our only voice in the workplace, which, sad to say, means that most workers today are mute and helpless. United we bargain, divided we beg, as the slogan goes. Apparently Herman Cain would like to turn us into a nation of beggars.

    November 15, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. d

    Seems like every day he's clarifying a comment he made earlier. And usually, that "clarification" is a reversal of what he said to make himself more appealing to primary voters. He's just as bad as Romney, but not nearly as slick about it.

    November 15, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. Jilli

    Wow. I thought GW Bush was the leader in being our national embarrassment...Cain runs a very close second. The only way this clown should get into the white house is if he takes a tour.

    November 15, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    Funny, no one on the Right seems to have a problem with political donations resulting in re-writing regulations to suit the industries, rather than the consumer/taxpayer. Do they really expect these people in the public sector unions to go back to wage slavery-oh, silly me, of course they do. I'm reminded of a famous political cartoon of the 19th century, which featured the Trusts sitting behind the Senators, while the visitor's gallery was closed off. Democrat Party, blah blah blah, that's what you want: a future where the corporate interests run teh show, and we don't. Giving people a good wageand keeping them in the middle class benefits everytone, its too bad you've sucked down the kool-aide and can't see that.

    November 15, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. lgny

    Sounds like he's in favor of unions so long as they make no demands and they accept whatever the state chooses to offer to them.

    November 15, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Nobody's listening anymore Cain. Shut up shutting up.

    November 15, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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