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. Charles

    Cain for President.

    October 5, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  2. A

    While I agree that you won't be successful without hard work, isn't it the rule of the universe that not everyone can be successful? Some people start at the "line"...some in front and some behind. If we all were doctors or lawyers....wouldn't that be a form of socialism?

    October 5, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  3. Kevin

    What would be news, would be if this tool didn't say something that indicates he is completely and totally out of touch with what it's like to work for a living. I suppose that some of the thousands he laid off when he took the helm at Godfathers, have only their lazy selves to blame. What a moron.

    October 5, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Dean

    The presumption in Cain's statement is that "all things being equal" – which we know they are not. I'm not talking simply about race, etc. – I'm talking about genetics, opportunity, fortune/fate, etc. All things are not equal. If you inherited good genes, had parents who didn't abuse drugs before/during conception, who didn't abuse you physically/mentally/sexually, had decent teachers, had sufficient nutrition to keep your mind alert and body healthy, had the good fortune to not get any diseases, etc. – then you had a good chance of making it. Far too often, those who have let their egos lead their thinking so they convince themselves that all they have is because of nothing but their own effort...

    October 5, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  5. BCaseyC

    Mr. Cain's is talking about taking personal responsibility. He is promoting a good work ethic, and the apparently lost ideal of self-sufficiency. After hearing this... I know who I am voting for in the election.

    Cain 2012.

    October 5, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  6. jack

    Right Cain. So why are you griping about the 9%+ unemployment rate. They love to bash Obama and his policies for not creating jobs but when people complain there are no jobs they blame the people themselves. This is the classic case of blaming the victim of the crime.

    October 5, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  7. "He's Dead Jim."

    Protesting capitalism or success of others is wrong. Protesting corruption which for the most part seems to go on without punishment (of the responsible individuals or groups) is CORRECT. Liberals may be successfully attaching themselves to this movement but the arguments do not totally belong to them. I am not owned by either political party but, lean right. As a person who defines himself this way, I think it's truthful even for a republican to admit that some of what goes on with bankers, investors, wall street, and the government (in ref to corruption, stealing money) is wrong and there is not a place in America for those types of people, except the places on the other side of the bars.

    October 5, 2011 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  8. Nick

    I agree that many unemployed will need to take more personal responsibility in the future. The government could not logistically provide everyone with jobs, even if we were in good economic times. The only way for most people to get jobs will be on their own personal initiative.

    That said, what the WS protests and the current anti-rich sentiment in this country is about is the systematic disenfranchisement of the middle and lower class by the top few percentage points. Corporations have been doing it for years by sending jobs over seas or cutting employees to drive short term profits at the expense of long term stability. Wall Street has been doing it aggressively for the past 10 years with the credit and housing bubbles and busts. The worst part is that all of it has been legal and encouraged by a government that is effectively owned by said corporations and financial systems through unregulated election spending and lobbying. These people have committed the grandest larcenies the world has ever seen, yet get giant cash bonuses for their troubles. It's these perverse incentives that have caused so many people to lose their jobs. So I ask you, Cain, why would people who have been robbed of their employment, their savings, their retirements, their educations, and their healthcare ever have the willpower to start over from square one (or more likely, square negative cost-of-a-mortgage) when the conditions for the same things to happen again have not been fixed? Capitalism isn't dead, but people like Cain sure make people wish it was.

    October 5, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. jimmylimo

    CLUELESS..... another case of the ultra-rich being clueless to problems of the working poor and shrinking middle class

    October 5, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  10. No

    How does Cain expect to appeal to the masses with this genius statement? I have always understood why wealthy people and those with rigid religious/social views vote republican, but I have never been able to figure out why middle class and poor people or those who consider themselves socially progressive continue to throw their support behind candidates whose political views are clearly tied to the Republican Party platform which is F the poor, F minorities, F women, F children, F education, jobs, health, and common decency. Perhaps if Cain were more of a human being and less a Wall Street hack, he might have some clue as to what the average American has been going through over the last several years. That's not to say that politicians of other parties are not equally out of touch, but Good Lord–to suggest that those who have been out of work have only themselves to blame is just Fing cruel.

    October 5, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    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."

    Facts, those pesky little facts. Typical Repub ... play on people's fears and hatred, stir the pot, don't offer anything except tried-and-failed policies ... What a loser! (And I think his pizza sucks!)

    October 5, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  12. Joe YOU LIE Wilson

    Cain: If you don't have a job or any money. It's your fault. Not wallstreet, not the banks. Your fault. And Obama's fault.

    October 5, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. MIke smith

    Well , there goes the chances of another republican imbecile.

    October 5, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  14. ED FL

    Cain, the tool the GOP is using because they do not have the guts continually degrade our current president who is african/american so lets use our african/ americanas a tool that can do the attempt to degrade thae present Democratic AFRICAN AMERICAN PRESIDENT. PS Mr Cain how many times did you use free programs to get jobs or advance or get ahead because your color and not your skill .How much affirmative action was used to get you to where you are/were?

    October 5, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    Dear Mr. Cain, What do you say to the person who was one of 8600 people in Arizona who applied for the 1000 job openings at McDonalds (only 720 were hired)? Are they all losers – or is it that there are so few lower-skill jobs left and so many potential employees that the numbers just can't ever come together?

    Not just lower-skill jobs; all the manufacturing that's been outsourced/shipped overseas, taking along with them middle management, accounting, HR, customer service reps, etc., etc., etc. When these factories closed, all the companies that supplied them and did business with them suffered, too – and many of them had to lay folks off.

    How do you respond – intelligently – to this Cain? HOW?!?

    October 5, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  16. Dave R.

    Why should any one be surprised? Cain is a Republican. All he is saying is what his whole party thinks. Any Republican who thinks other wise should seriously consider moving to the left.

    October 5, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  17. MIke smith

    He was "blessed" to have parents when growing up? So the kids that don't, are they like cursed or does God just like them less? This redefines stupid.

    October 5, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  18. Rob A

    This guy has watched Morgan Freeman's "Lean on Me" one too many times. He stole the line from it

    October 5, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    "If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself."

    How many unemployed vets you said that to lately, Hermie?

    October 5, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    "If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself."

    How many single mothers who would spend every dime earned on day care have you said that to lately, Hermie?

    October 5, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    "If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself."

    How many recent college graduates with advanced degrees have you said that to lately, Hermie?

    October 5, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, here is the question. If you don't have a way to get a job and have no capital to create your own company, then how does someone get a job. Has Cain notice that few companies are not hiring people? Many of the jobs out there are minimun wage and have no path to wealth. If people had enough money and understand to put money in the stock market, then they could have a chance to make it big. The problem is that no one gives out those gobs of money to do that. I would hope that Cain would understand that.

    October 5, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  23. Reggie from LA

    If you've never understood conservatism in all your life, Cain provides the CLASSIC DEFINITION: "When I was growing up..."
    That is a basis of conservatism. Similar to "If it were me", which in most cases, it is not. The conservative projects his or her life philosophy onto others as if it should be an accepted rule or practice. Notice I didn't use caps. That's because I was describing the term conservative not a party. It could be anyone...arrogant enough to believe that they are standard for everyone else. A must to understand this and you can see it coming at YOU.

    October 5, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. AreYouKidding

    what is his problem.

    October 5, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  25. Steven Bulcroft

    Godfather's Pizza eh? I always thought of the "godfather" as the head of a criminal enterprise, I guess that make him a capitalist but what we need is "enlightened capitalism" not Ayn Rand's selfish, greedy, take what ever you can get.

    October 5, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
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