Rice rejects Cain's claim of Taliban in Libya
November 21st, 2011
04:44 PM ET
3 years ago

Rice rejects Cain's claim of Taliban in Libya

Washington (CNN) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice rejected Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's claim that Libya's developing government might contain elements of the terrorist groups al Qaeda and the Taliban, categorically telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "there are no Taliban in Libya."

The former Godfather's Pizza CEO suggested as much at a press conference in Orlando Friday, during which he sought to clarify his opinion on President Obama's handling of Libya – a question he bungled during an editorial board with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week.

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 22, in the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C.

"Do I agree with siding with the opposition? Do I agree with saying that Gadhafi should go? Do I agree that they now have a country where you've got Taliban and al Qaeda that's going to be a part of the government?" Cain asked during the press conference.

"I think I was among the many who might have been a little bit confused by that comment," Rice said during an interview on The Situation Room Monday.

Cain's campaign clarified after the Orlando press conference that he was merely expressing uncertainty over the makeup of Libya's transitional government, a point Rice conceded was a concern.

"There is potential, as there is throughout the region, for elements of Al Qaeda to infiltrate the borders," Rice said.

"The government of Libya is being very vigilant about that, and I think certainly in terms of the government, which we expect will be formed tomorrow, al Qaeda will not be part of it," she added.

–CNN's Diana Ozemebhoya contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Herman Cain • Libya • Susan Rice • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. MTATL67

    Mr. Cain has never had access or worked with and there for has no contacts in the intelligence community and cannot speak with any creditability regarding terrorist groups. His speculation is political and irresponsible. He should be ashamed of himself for pulling a Bachmann.

    November 21, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Doesn't matter what anyone says now. As far as the nutjobs, islamaphobes, conspiracy theorists, et al., are concerned, there are now Taliban in Libya and you won't convince them otherwise. They will claim that it is our job to prove that the Taliban actually isn't there...not for them to prove that they actually are. Again, it's the elephant hiding in the strawberry patch. Do you see him? No? Hides pretty good, don't he?

    November 21, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Phil in KC

    So – when you have a brain-freeze and don't know what you're talking about, just make up more lies to cover that fact. If they nominate this guy, Obama will have a cake walk. No thinking person would put this guy in the White House.

    November 21, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Media matters - doesn't it ?

    "The government of Libya "
    There is no Government in Libya.There are a bunch of people that seized power. Calling them a government at this point is just plain lunacy.

    November 21, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. yuri

    This guy is quite inferior to an invinsible imbecile.

    November 21, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Bill

    How does one know there are no Taliban or al Qaeda in Libya? Because the government says so? Right.

    November 21, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. fayse

    Herman Cain is not ready for prime time nor will he ever be Presidential material. His campaign was a joke on the GOP. Who ever is behind his candidacy was just a ruse to make someone else look better. I can't decide if it was designed for Gingrich or Romney. Neither will be elected.

    November 21, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. manhandler

    The Republicans must be desperately trying to figure out a way to get this guy outta here. Not that their brand isn't already a joke, but this idiot is absolute poison for them. We can thank the stars that the GOP trotted out these clowns over and over and over again. Talk about shotting yourseves in the foot. All these clown show debates have thankfully made Obama a shoo-in.

    November 21, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    You were all fooled if you thought Cain was running for president. He was selling books and CDs and what better way to get free advertising? Fooled you once, shame on you. He has never fooled me. It was just too obvious.

    November 21, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. gs3imagine

    Why is Cain's campaign always having to clarify his statements? What, was he running on just 4 hours of sleep again and tried moving his lips too soon?

    November 21, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. Steve- Illinois

    Quote from article-"There is potential, as there is throughout the region, for elements of Al Qaeda to infiltrate the borders," Rice said.

    "The government of Libya is being very vigilant about that, and I think certainly in terms of the government, which we expect will be formed tomorrow, al Qaeda will not be part of it," she added

    So the potential is there, but the government is being very vigilant, and in her next breath says the government," WHICH WE EXPECT TO BE FORMED TOMORROW" -

    So Rice the expert says the government that has not been formed yet is being very vigilant????

    And you people claim Cain's the idiot???

    November 21, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. Ben Dover

    Herman the taliban are here! only they go by the name GOP/TEABAGGERS !

    November 21, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "How does one know there are no Taliban or al Qaeda in Libya? Because the government says so? Right."

    Been strawberry picking lately?

    November 21, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. SecedingfromTexas

    @Steve-Illinois
    *********
    Yes, we can. He has proven it day after day.

    November 21, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. Dan Druff

    Open your eyes, people! A pizza man is trying to become President of the US. We cannot have an intellectually deficient person in the oval office again. W. was enough.

    November 21, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. Clwyd

    Who would believe Cain's lies! What a patient for need of Alzheimer's help!

    November 21, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Mr. Cain is no longer a factor in this race.

    November 21, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. v_mag

    Someone pointed out Libya on a map to Herman, and he managed to tie the name "Gadhafi" to the spot on the map. But that's as much about Libya that Herman understands. And really, he doesn't care to know more than that.

    November 21, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Steve-Illinois who said:
    And you people claim Cain's the idiot???
    ------------------------
    We don't 'claim it', we know it.

    November 21, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. LolDems

    Cain needs a foreign policy expert to reassure the American public his candidacy has all the bases covered. Somebody on par with, uhmmm I don't know, who could it be...somebody with the credentials of...Joe Biden? What a lark? Raise your hands if you fell for that one last time.

    November 21, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  21. Larry L. Clifton

    Rice is dead wrong and time will prove it. Cain is spot on and the West is going to be on the wrong, again, about the realities on the ground. All of north Africa will fall into Islams grip...including the Taliban and Al Qaeda. You would have to be a fool to believe otherwise. The leadership of our Republic are just plain delusional/and/or/ Stupid. Lets see whats going on in Libya 6 months from now....LOL

    November 21, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  22. tamara reina

    Should we say anymore ?

    November 21, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |