Cain: Not rich? No job? Blame yourself
October 5th, 2011
04:33 PM ET
10 years ago

Cain: Not rich? No job? Blame yourself

(CNN) – If you're dissatisfied with the economy, or unemployed, Herman Cain thinks you should take a long, hard look in the mirror.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal posted Wednesday, the up-and-coming GOP 2012 contender and former CEO of Godfather's Pizza summed up his bewilderment about recent demonstrations on Wall Street.

"Don't blame Wall Street," Cain said. "Don't blame the big banks. If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself."

The conservative radio talk show host described the protests as "planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration, though he admitted he didn't "have the facts to back this up."

Demonstrators have gathered to protest big banks during the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, but their grievances don't end with the economy. The protesters, mainly youth in their twenties, have addressed issues from police brutality to union busting, although they are also upset with the war in Afghanistan, the environment, and the state of the world in general.

The "Occupy Wall Street" movement has also drawn support from unions.

But for Cain, the demonstrations simply amount to "anti-capitalism."

Allowing the banks had a "big part" in the 2008 economic crisis, the candidate, who's known for his bombast and has been rising in national polls pointed out, "We're in 2011, okay?"

"When I was growing up I was blessed to have had parents. That didn't teach me to be jealous of anybody and didn't teach me to be jealous of somebody," Cain explained.

"It is not a person's fault because they succeeded. It is a person's fault if they failed. And so this is why I don't understand these demonstrations and what is it that they're looking for."

Cain spokesman JD Gordon declined to add a comment on the candidate's interview.

Also see:

State of the Race without Christie

Romney picks up new backers

Perry brings in $17 million in third fundraising quarter

Filed under: 2012 • Economy • Herman Cain • Jobs • Wall Street
soundoff (328 Responses)
  1. Ralebol

    Another brilliant insensitive remark by a clueless candidate. The Wall Street demonstrators are the Tea Party left branch. Same idea (frustration with our failed elite), but different way to express it.

    October 5, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. Me

    Could Cain be more callous and out of touch? When you don't win the WH much less the GOP nomination, Cain, blame yourself!

    October 5, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. chill

    Not having facts to back up assertions is kind of a GOP tradition isn't it? At least Cain admits it.

    October 5, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Orchid333

    OMG, seriously???? So when my 64-year-old mother was laid off from a company that she'd worked at for 8 years, that's somehow HER fault?? Saying countless small businesses (and my friends) went under and had shut their doors because of their own misgivings is absolute absurdity!! They couldn't get bank loans, they couldn't get new business, they couldn't go on with no income thanks to the '08 economic failure, and for Cain to somehow BLAME them is by far the most idiotic thing I've heard yet. Obviously this guy is a Corporate giant who has NEVER undergone rough times and had to look for work. What an a–hole.

    October 5, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. ljjm

    Cain's stance on those who are unemployed is simply ignorant.

    October 5, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Abe Vigoda

    Herm has a point... Wall Street didn't put those people there, OBAMA and his failed plans did!

    October 5, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    Let me guess: he certainly understood the TP protests, right? He has no clue as to the level of frustration most people feel, and he obviously can't fathom the anger people feel at the business community that get bailouts while other people work hard and get nothing for their efforts except sound bites. I love how he says the protests on Wall Street were orchestrated by the same people who arranged the abilouts in the first place, namely, the government he now claims he wants to lead.

    Arrogant idiot.

    October 5, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Emmy Skaddittle

    another go F yourself from the republican party, it baffles me how they can continue to alienate everyone but the rich and continue think they are going to win

    October 5, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    Part of the unemployment problem is the geographic location of the would-be-worker. People, especially in rural areas, have deep roots in their home towns. It's not always easy for someone to pull up with family in tow & relocate. This may defy cold, hard economic data, but we are dealing with blood & flesh human beings.

    October 5, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. ljjm

    And another GOP candidate shoots himself in the foot.

    October 5, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. Ed DFWTX

    Another Repub using "class warfare" to spead their message. The current economic conditions can not be blamed on the unemployed like the GOP wants to do. Instead, they should be finding ways to get America back to work. Raising revenue to pay off our debt incurred by giving repeated tax cuts to the wealthy and to Big Business, er, sorry, Job Creators hasn't and isn't working. It has created the current economic mess we are now dealing with. Republican have obstructed every single effort put forth to RESTORE our economy, create jobs, or help the PEOPLE destroyed by Wall St banks. Republicans are bought and paid for by the very banks who brought down our nation, the very corporations who sent our jobs overseas..Republicans have betrayed the PEOPLE at every turn.

    October 5, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. amitavo

    many of the big banks wont be around today if it wasnt for the taxpayers money that bailed them out. the CEO's are getting multi-million dollar salaries...i dont hear nor see the banks doing anything worth even a dollar for the taxpayer! instead they are raising fees left and right, and cutting jobs. i dont see them doing anything to help the common middleclass man. if the banks werent greedy, if the wall st wasnt greedy, perhaps the employment rates wont be high and public dissatisfaction would be low! But I guess that doesnt make sense! So, it must be the fault of taxpayers (those who still have jobs to pay taxes!) and the unemployed, that rich are getting rich at the expense of 95% of the US population.
    Cain isnt dumb at all...he is just dumber than anyone and everyone who has/will vote(d) for him.

    October 5, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. Linton

    Don't blame Wall Street," Cain said. "Don't blame the big banks. If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself."

    Once again, we have a Republican basically sayng the unemployed are lazy and don't really want to work. A theme repeated by tom Delay and various other cirminals within the Greed Over People party.

    So, why would an elected Republican work to "create jobs" for those they deem to be too lazy to want to work?

    How does this make sense? The Rs say they are the ones who know how to put people back to owrk – the people they call too lazy to work!

    how come such a larger percentage of the citizens in this country can't see the reality of this party?

    Can ANY republican tell me why we should believe the Rs will work hard to put Americans back to work given they believe the unemployed won't take those jubs because they are lazy?

    nope – didn't think so!

    October 5, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. Scott

    It's gonna be funny when it finally hits so many Rep-ublicans that they are not rich. And while they join their leadership in circling their little raggedy wagons around these bohemoth millionaires, I just have to laugh. Bo-ortz = just signed a $40 million contract... Limb-augh = $400 million contract... Ha-nnity $100+ million bucks... Of course they'll protest. But as soon as they hollar "class warfare", Billy in the double-wide, sets down his beer, and pumps his fist saying, "YEAH!!! THATS CLASS WAREFARE!" Funny...

    October 5, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Cain's idea for 9-9-9, came from selling a 9 inch pizza with 9 toppings for $9. It made him a millionaire, so it should work for our tax code. Oops, the facts are, it would send us into a great depression, which is what republicans want.

    October 5, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Hmmm

    Well, that's an oversimplification. It took me 4 months out of grad school to get a garbage job and then 8 months to get a good one. I barely slept all through undergrad and grad school, plugging away at policy work at a top tier university with upper percentile test scores. After graduation and months of searching for jobs, fast food restaurants wouldn't even hire me. I eventually got a job as a waiter and, ironically, worked as an unpaid research assistant for a book on unemployment policy. For my average achieving friends, the story is much worse. Some have been underemployed for years now, scraping together contract work on programming projects. What Cain fails to mention is that the quality of supply does not generate demand. It can meet latent demand, but cannot generate demand alone. Without a decent job, many talented young adults are doomed to live with their parents, delay marriage or other significant relationships, and let their skills rust. There are many underachievers who may deserve a good smack by the invisible hand, but for those who put in their dues? They are beginning to look for the wizards behind the curtain.

    October 5, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. M-AZ Independent

    This guy reminds me of Clarence Thomas.

    Obama/Biden 2012!!!!!!

    October 5, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Bill

    And this guy leads the GOP field? Bring it on in 2012.

    October 5, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. vet in texas

    And now the latest "flavor of the month" has just sealed the deal on his candidacy, I'm sure all of the conservatives without a job did it to themselves, hell based on their mantra, there shouldn't be any unemployed conservatives, who shouldn't have gotten a house that was foreclosed, and didn't go bankrupt from I have it right?

    Basically, he's just proven to AMERICA that Obama's policies have nothing to do with the 9.1% unemployment, only the actual people who lost their jobs are at fault, go figure.

    I'm glad Mr. Cain has clarified it all for America.............anyone who says they think Cain is a good choice probably supported Trump, Palin, Bachmann, and of course W........yeah, great judge of character their conservatives, looks like you have to force yourselves (have been forced to) pick between the architect of Robamacare and "the great mandater" send the illegals to college Perry..........hilarious!

    October 5, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Wall Street crime victim

    For a guy who consistently says really stupid things, Cain outdid even his usual stellar stupidity. He obviously is unaware that income mobility is greater in "socialist" Europe than it is here. And trust me, blaming people who lost their jobs and income due to Wall Street's crimes is not a way to get votes from anyone by Wall Street criminals.

    October 5, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    When we call you an Uncle Tom, don't blame us, blame yourself!

    October 5, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Would I be considered a racist if I said, "There is no place for this kind of stupidity and insensitivity from any candidate for president?"

    October 5, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Kari

    It's nearly impossible to differentiate between GOP candidates and SNL characters.

    October 5, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Dontmesswithme

    Cain must be the dummest, most insensitive, out of touch human being I have had the irritation of listening to recently. the Republicans are full of the 'you slap me on my face and then threaten me if I cry'. Wall street and the Bush administration's mishandling of the economy has led to the present financial crisis we have in the world today. With comapanies unable to hire, what do you do with your diploma/certificate Mr. "look at yourself in the mirror". If I was as lazy as you blame me for, I would not even go to the university/college.

    October 5, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Ian

    Tired of making $0.80 on the dollar to men, women? Take a long hard look in the mirror!

    Tired of having disproportionately high unemployment rates, blacks? Take a long hard look in the mirror!

    October 5, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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