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. Brian

    Sometimes I pinch myself to see if I'm dreaming. Can the Repugnantcan candidates be that inept that the Koch Brothers need 2 Ton Christie to join the race? And clearly, Cain hasn't set foot in a single black neighborhood since his days making money from that crappy pizza biz. Maybe AA's don't sign on to Conservative thinking because that thinking wants to blow up the middle class, expand the poor class, and turn those folks into indentured servants. Because in a way, that's exactly what it is right now.

    September 28, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. bravado in boston

    i like him.

    Obama 2012

    September 28, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Joel Miller

    What a condescending thing to say. There have always been conservative Black people. Many religious black people are socially conservative. The Nation of Islam advocates a kind of laissez-faire pick yourself up from your bootstraps free enterprise philosophy. At the same time most Black people understand that conservativism (staying the same) has not meant good things for Black people. It meant hanging onto Jim Crow and segregation, it means hanging onto poor schools and housing, job discrimination, police harassment and so forth. Black people's brains are just fine, it seems to me. It seems that Cain's brain may need some self-examination.

    September 28, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. John

    Not so dumb after all, huh? Viable candidate.

    September 28, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. Independent in WI

    I agree with Cain. The media needs to stop giving so much air time to people who are not in the race, and start using that time to cover the second tier candidates like Cain, Gingrich & Paul. There are 2 things wrong with our election/political process today: 1) the media (they elected Obama after all); 2) money in politics. I truly believe that one of the main causes of the decline in our political process is the incompetence of the media.

    September 28, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I voted for Reagan....twice.
    What's your point again Cain?
    And HOW are we being brainwashed? Could it be that it is occurring by listening to the GOP blatantly state that it's okay if we default on our debts? Or that we can do away with Medicare, Dept. of Education, FEMA, Civil Rights, we should round up all the illegals that just happen to look Hispanic? I don't call that brainwashing Cain, I call it looking out for our interests and our survival. You and yours mean to use our votes to stomp all over us. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
    Obama 2012

    September 28, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Ken in MD

    I have to laugh at any Republican who calls someone "not open-minded". This is the same party who walks into budget talks with a list of topics that they refuse to discuss as "not on the table". Thousands of economists tell them that raising taxes on the super-rich will not hurt jobs and will help the economy, but they'll hear nothing of it. Who's brainwashed?

    September 28, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Rie

    That isn't true. Black people know what it's like to feel hate directed towards them. We don't hate Colin Powell or Conservatives. We cannot and will not endorse the new crazy talking GOP (to include yourself) and there hate speech directed at Muslims, Hispanics, Blacks, Gays and so on.

    September 28, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. d

    Or mr is because some people black white latino asain what ever do not like republican policy! wow maybe have a little less contempt for ur fellow man! brainwash indeed that is hog wash and a copout!

    September 28, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. billy davis

    Herman Cain as an African American I would not vote for you. Your thinking is absolutely horrid. You are anti-Muslim, anti- poor, anti- education, anti-women just like the rest of the GOP. The only one brainwashed is you. Your GOP brethren would not vote you in as their nominee. They will do you as they did Michael Steele they will show you the door post haste.

    September 28, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. Anthony Barnes

    Black people are not brainwashed....the GOP platform does not favor the majority of black people because by and large, we are not the power-brokers in this country. The party as a whole is fundamentally oligarchist in nature and this segment of America is populated by, white folks. Black people are not brainwashed, but we are survivors Mr. Cain and we learn from the failures of others.

    September 28, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Boy -- blacks don't want to hear this!

    It is hilarious that Cain calls out blacks on this issue. I was wondering what ever happened to the White Congressional Caucus? Oh, that's right....if that EVER EVER existed, it would be labeled racist all day long. Wonder why the same isn't true for the Black Congressional Caucus? (Crickets chirping) LOL

    September 28, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Martha in CF

    Mr Cain is in La La land......I think the black community ended being brainwashed when slavery ended many many many years ago!!!!!!!!!!!! Why would they want to go through that again....................

    September 28, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    Not interested in becoming your "dance" partner, Mr. Cain. Sorry.

    September 28, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. Jason

    The more he opens his mouth, the more he makes it clear WHY I WON'T be voting for him

    September 28, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Abby

    I totally agree! When I was in High School, my teacher asked me if i wanted to register to vote..of course yes..but in the 9th grade..i didnt know politics, and she said, "Let me help you"..."Most Blacks..(not African Americans) are Democrats, you should stick with your people and be one too!" that time I agreed..But I totally agree, we are brainwashed (or used to be, now that it's a new generation out there making moves...and they know politics now)!

    September 28, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. Larry

    Cain suffers from the same illness that all Republicans suffer from. "Foot in mouth" disease.

    September 28, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Stewart

    I couldn't have said it any better Billiy

    September 28, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. normalice

    yes, they've been brainwashed into not considering the plus side of being slaves again. Imagine how low the unemployment rate will become if we could force everyone to work for free. Vote Republican! Put an end to this absurd civil rights nonsense! Corporate rights are all that matter.

    September 28, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Tony 140

    Way to go Herman. You are right on. It's about time that we had a conversation regarding what political & economic philosophy would most benefit the Blacks in America. Just look at the education, employment, crime, poverty etc statistics and you can only surmise that what we have been doing for the past 50 years hasn't been working. A significant majority have essentially become "slaves" to the government. I also think that Blacks are now ready for different answers to their same old questions. Herman Cain and Congressman West are the only two taking this issue on head-on.

    September 28, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Beantown Bully

    I am black, and for the life of me I can’t understand how another black man would ever consider himself a republican. The vitriol that they use to push a point of view, the way Michael Steel ( given he's an idiot) was treated, and how each policy has an adverse effect on our community, it makes no sense. Case in point, Regan ushered in the era of Crack and Governmental malfeasance. IRAN CONTRA anyone?????
    Want More?
    This point has not color line. The top 1% have 70% of the nations assets. Regan’s tax policy and his way of conning people to vote against their best interest is the reason for this.
    Vote Dem. Vote Obama

    September 28, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. Nate

    Couldn't have said it better myself Mr. Cain. I too wish more African Americans weren't brainwashed.

    September 28, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. A. Goodwin

    Rationally, it makes sense to support a party if you believe that the party will either 1) benefit you (motivation:self interest) or 2) do what is right (ethical motivation). If you believe the party will do neither, then you have no reason to support it. Fact is, the GOP has done nothing for the black people of our nation, and the civil rights era was not that long ago and which side did the GOP take then? We all know that disgusting as it is.

    September 28, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. musings

    Interesting slip of the tongue or typo: "The whole notion that all African-Americans are not (sic) going to vote for Barack Obama is not necessarily true." In other words, he's saying that all African-Americans are going to vote for Barack Obama. Unlike his hopes for their crossing over to the Republican Party, this remark seems true. If you are an African American and you are voting for President, what other person is going to command your attention or respect on that ticket? What Republican will float your boat? None that I have ever heard of. It just makes common sense to go for someone who has some experiences in common with you. This is how people operate.

    Now if both candidates were black, there would be more of a contest from the black point of view. So probably some people are paying attention to Cain – but they are not the deep pockets in the Republican party.

    He is, like Alan Keys before him, an anomaly.

    The pizza analogy on SNL was funny and rather true, but I don't know if Cain ever said anything like it.

    September 28, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    I have watched a lot of right-wing shows over the years, especially Glen Beck. I remember numerous times seeing the audience nodding in agreement when Beck would spout some nonsense that anyone with a basic understanding of the social sciences could destroy in seconds. The brainwashing Cain speaks of is coming from people like himself, those who have taken to the airwaves to spout some ideologically pure view of the world, not offer analysis or solutions that are based in real-world success. If Cain had been a governor or legislator, he would learn that governing is not like a math equation: you look for an optimal solution, not a perfect answer, because they don't exist in a democracy. Unfortunately, he is handicapped by the fact that the historical record of conservatives has NOT been accepting of the black community, and they won't drop the Democrats simply because a black conservative is on the ticket. Alan Keyes tried that, and he was an abysmal failure. Face it, Herman, a few anecdotes does not equate to a trend, and you will never see it in your lifetime until conservatives own up to their history of divide and conquesr on race and admit it was a cynical ploy to gain votes: " Southern Strategy", anyone?

    September 28, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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