Cain: Black community 'brainwashed' into voting for Dems
September 28th, 2011
03:52 PM ET
9 years ago

Cain: Black community 'brainwashed' into voting for Dems

Washington (CNN) - The one African-American running for the GOP presidential nomination said Wednesday the black community was 'brainwashed' for traditionally siding with liberal politicians.

"African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view," Godfather's Pizza executive Herman Cain said on CNN's "The Situation Room" in an interview airing Wednesday between 5-7 p.m. ET. "I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it's just brainwashing and people not being open minded, pure and simple."

Cain went on to explain that his interactions with African Americans led him to be optimistic about his own chances with the demographic.

"This whole notion that all African-Americans are not going to vote for Obama is not necessarily true," Cain said.

He continued, "I believe a third [of African-Americans] would vote for me, based on my own anecdotal feedback. Not vote for me because I'm black but because of my policies."

Cain also weighed in on the recent chatter surrounding Chris Christie, saying the recent reports the New Jersey governor is reconsidering a run for president were hurting the electorate.

"It's not insulting as much as it is a disservice to the American people," Cain said. "Chris Christie has been saying for a long time he's not interested in running. The media is trying to create a story by sucking Chris Christie into race, just like they made a story by sucking Rick Perry into the race."

Cain said the media should focus on the candidates who have already declared their candidacy to give voters a better idea of the field.

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Filed under: Herman Cain • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (1,341 Responses)
  1. Samantha Howard

    So if all of the black folks that vote Democrat are brainwashed, what are the white folks that vote democrat considered?
    I think to suggest that black folks are so disconnected from what is going on that they simply follow the popular thing to do
    is ludicrous. I am an African American woman, I like to just call my self an American. I have a Bachelors degree, and a Masters degree. I have voted Republican in the past when I did not like the democratic candidate. I vote on the issues. I read my little voting guide, and I do the research. From there I decide who has my best interest in mind. I think that Cain has taken a big sip of somebody's kool-aid, because although he appears to be somewhat intelligent, the words that are coming out of his mouth are just plain ignorant.

    September 28, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Gary

    @Cain is Right On, let's examine your point more closely, in the over 200 years of our Republic there hasn't been a white person who has ever been accused of voting for a white man because he was white, but because President Obama is a man of color as a candidate, any person of color who supported him did so because he was black? Is that what you really think or have you been brainwashed? I guess if Hillary Clinton or Michele Bachmann ran for President you would assume that every woman voted for them because they are women-it would not surprise me if there are people who vote that way, but I think it is closer to the truth that people vote their own economic and social interest first and foremost. As to Mr Cain, I met him once, actually had an opportunity to spend time with him, he's thoughtful, considerate and intelligent-on most issues I simply disagree, that doesn't disqualify him from being a candidate-it just disqualifies him from earning my vote!.

    September 28, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. joan

    If Cain had been on the PLANTATION...guess where he would have been...and what he would have done to the people working in the fields,...EASY wasn't it!!

    September 28, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Perhaps this puts it all into perspective:

    Even assuming he's right (which I don't believe for a second), it's exceedingly easy to explain how/why Cain escaped the "brainwashing". Give yourself a second.....there ya go. Commence giggles.

    September 28, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. Nikki

    @allitrop: "It's funny to me that the only people that seem to think there is no discrimination or racism in this country happen to be white men. Women know it, people of color know it – but the white guys just don't experience it. Lucky them.."

    They experience it every time a minority is chosen over them. Haven't you heard? Affirmative Action is discriminatory!

    September 28, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    No matter what race you are, no one is brainwashed when it comes to Herman Cain. We can all agree he is an idiot
    Truer words have not been spoken Ann!

    September 28, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. al in memphis

    This is the very reason why we don't need political parties. Neither one is urging people to think about anything other than the party line.

    September 28, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. David

    He's right in many aspects. It's not just narrowed down to black people. By the way, I'm white. Not a European American. He's a Black American, not an African-American. But just look at the numbers, over 95% of black people voted for President Obama while well over 40% of white people did. Many black American's do not even look at the policies for whom they vote as do white Americans who vote Republican. Just watch videos of people interviewing why they voted for President Obama. They were clueless.

    September 28, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Zil Zerimar

    What are you talking about Cain? If black were brainwashed, what the hell are you doing in the Republican Party? Are you now black?

    September 28, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. Boohincus

    Mr. Cain is simply a beard for the tea baggers. It's rather pathetic that he doesn't understand that. They can give him a strawpoll win and claim their racial bonafides and then blithely go on their way spouting their particular brand of racism and religious vitriol. You're a dunce, Mr. Cain. Or better, simply a dupe.

    September 28, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Marcus

    All blacks are brainwashed...except for the ones voting for me. You guys are alright!

    September 28, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Rambling Parry

    Oh Cain, blah blah blah, you are an idiot. Blah blah bLAH

    September 28, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. Christopher

    Brainwashed? Damned hardly. That is more on the side of the Republicans and Tea Party, that brainwashing and denial of reality.

    September 28, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. Zil Zerimar

    Black are for Democrats because only Democrats are taking of them. Republicans are for the rich.

    September 28, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. jo

    He is exactly right. Not only that but from the posts on this site it looks like the brainwashing has gone pretty far.. whining about corporations, republicans not wanting to do something for blacks.. what a load. No one is going to do ANYTHING for anyone. (see:Obama) you have to do it for yourself. Stop blaming your failings on everything but yourself. THAT is what Conservatives say and have always said. And the state of the black community is proof.

    September 28, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. David

    Also, racism exists, but it's not prevalent. It's sad that I'm more likely to give money to a black man than a white man because I feel guilty as if I'm racist if I do not give it to a black man. Everything is considered racist. It's unreal. When in doubt, pull the race card. Don't mention that it is much harder to get into grad school or med schoolas a white male than any other segment of the population. It's harder to get scholarships as well. I have clients who are scared to fire black employees out of fear of a forthcoming lawsuit. It's ridiculous in this country.

    September 28, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wooooweeeee!!!!!! This beat the hell out of a Sarah Palin story!
    I haven't laughed this hard in quite some time.
    Thanks CNN, we ALL needed that!

    September 28, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. SomeFolks

    "I believe a third [of African-Americans] would vote for me, based on my own anecdotal feedback. Not vote for me because I'm black but because of my policies."

    Your beliefs are just that – your beliefs, not based on anything based in fact. Anecdotal feedback. What? You asked 3 people and that is anecdotal? You think because you spout blacks are brainwashed, that makes it truth. It doesn't. Perhaps your ugly ass is brainwashed. However the reverse of what you say is probably true – one third or more would NOT vote for you, not because you are black, but because of your policies. Historically, blacks are conservative in their political beliefs, but just don't back Republican policies. Everything conservative is not Republican. Just like everything liberal is not Democrat. Folks sling those terms around without even knowing what they mean.

    Go somewhere and sit down Herman...I guarantee you will NOT be the nominee – from your brethren the, what is THEIR reason for not voting for you?

    September 28, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. Kenneth

    Mr Cain ... Have you spoken to michael Steele lately? The African American community is not brainwashed. A majority of us have learned to think for ourselves regardless of political affiliation. However there are those choice few such as yourself and Michael Steele who have to be proven the fool. As soon as the Republican party could no longer use Michael Steele as the anti-Obama and it was evident that the Republican/Tea party base would no longer support an African American as the head of the GOP they replaced him. Big business and the Republican party has you brain washed Mr. Cain. What makes you think that just because your so called business sense provided you with a foot in the door that you have the right to stand in front of this nation, look down on all other african Americans and pass the judgement that all other African American's are brainwashed? What makes you think by selling out to the Republican/Tea Party that you will be in any more of a position of power and/or acceptance than Michael Steele? You are being used to bring to light any racist agenda that a caucasian candidate cannot ... in the same manner as when Michael Steele combated the race card but later stated that it was race that was his biggest obstacle as the head of the GOP. Man you are the epitome of what we once referred to as the house boy (for lack of wanting to get too vulgar). Just because you can eat in the kitchen doesn't mean you are welcome at the table. History is a good teacher ... put down the dough and read a book. Better yet just listen with your eyes open without the rose colored glasses and eventually you might hear the sound of the same African Americans you claim to be brainwashed as we re-elect PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA!

    September 28, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. Jason

    I wonder if a brainwashed person would readily admit to being brainwashed.

    September 28, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. Woman In California

    This is EXACTLY what you have to say when running as a republican. This kind of "rhetoric" is the reason the TP is using you. For your information Mr. Cain (a name associated with murder), I agree with quite a few republican policies but this is no longer a republican party. It is a party of bigots, racists and greedy pigs who will do ANYTHING to see the country's first black president FAIL. I relate to the democrats not because I am "brainwashed" but because they don't preach hate and right now the represent my interests more. Mr. Cain is going to find out real soon he's being USED just like Michael Steele and yes, they are STILL a racist party. I'm not fooled at all by the FL straw poll.

    September 28, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. Joeann

    That's right....all those black folk that voted for Obama. Just keep sliding into the poverty the dems keep pushing you into. The cycle of irresponsibility is evident in the prisons and the workforce. Mr. Cain describes what many of us educated and black conservatives have said for years. Success comes from looking out ourselves and our own behaviors. I am proud to be black – and proud not to follow people like Obama over the cliff. Pitiful.

    Proud Black/Hispanic Conservative

    September 28, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    Mr. Cain is a better person than any every single Democrat, black white whatever in America today.

    He has integrity, decency, morals, and true compassion, you cannot say the same about any Democrat
    Hey everybody look who's out of rehab!!!!!
    Welcome back Doug, how ya feeling dude?!

    September 28, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  24. TheWalrus13

    Many Blacks voted Democratic because Obama is Black just as many women voted Republican because Palin is a woman. It's not brainwashing, it's politics. I doubt it will change anytime soon... at the very least not for the next election.

    September 28, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. David

    I also love that people say, "Blacks are for democrats because democrats take care of them." That is just ignorant. You're generalizing an entire race of people. Republicans don't want the wealthy to be taxed higher because they already makeup 50% of tax revenue that the U.S. gets every year. Pay their fair share? They already are. I'm not rich either, it's just obvious logic. Why should the wealthy pay for systems that should not exist such as welfare? It's a crutch.

    September 28, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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