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. Laney1025

    Well...guess who wouldn't get my vote if he were the only person on the ticket. I really fail to see how a successful 14 year career that showed no sign of letting up was there one day and simply gone the next as "being my fault". What a loser! I am afraid "Mr. Cain" that you are out of touch and the most insensitive candidate I have seen yet. And to think I actually had hope for you!

    October 5, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. GonzoG

    Well, Cain just knocked himself off my list.

    October 5, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  3. leelee

    This man is crazy, I don't know anyone who hates or is jealous of success. I do know a lot of people who are hurting because of the greed and corruption by people such as himself. Most republicans I hear talking at work say a lot of things like this, people are stupid for not going to school so they should suffer, people should die if they can't afford health insurance. It's a cold and callous way to view humanity.

    October 5, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. Darrell

    Why don't all of these protestors go and protest at the white house? They wanted Obamas hope and change they got It!!
    Get a life! And by the way do something with your life besides whining! Go Herman Cain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 5, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  5. LMC

    Being fired is often one's fault, but being layed off? Mr. Cain must not personally know any one who has been layed off. I know several and it certainly wasn't their fault their company either folded or decided they could do with less employees. The recession was caused by greedy lenders, not lazy people.

    October 5, 2011 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  6. Judy75201

    Wow, talk about hammering a nail into your own political coffin!

    October 5, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  7. AlaskaPalin

    If you voted for obama and you are out of a job then blame yourself or you may blame obama for it is under his administration you've become unemployed. With a republican president the rich will indeed get richer but you to can become rich for you will be gainfully employed. So will you make the same mistake a second time around? Why not say 'its obamas job or my job'. He needs to lose his job if you are going to get a job.

    October 5, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    It's amazing what winning a couple of straw polls does to these clowns. cain thinks that he can now say every single dumb thought that crosses his mind.
    I wonder if he reads newspapers or he knows that Africa is not a country, or that there is a South and North Korea and that the North are NOT our allies, or does he pray away the gay too?

    October 5, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  9. Grudoon

    Let them eat cake.

    October 5, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  10. Ideals and Ideas not Ideologies

    He's trying to reframe the protesters' argument. There is a huge diffrence between being rich and being successful. Building on his point that we must not blame the rich for being successful and at the same the poor have only themselves to blame for their failure is a circular reasoning at best. The central theme of the protesters' demands is that wall street abandon greedy practices that end up costing all of us. He's excusing the banks as if the misery they created came with an expiration date on it. If only only politicians like him were allergic to the truth wall street could have taken a clue and develop an ounce of honesty

    October 5, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  11. Doyle Wiley, MI

    Cain go back to making pizzas. Although it's unlikely I would buy a God Father's pizza.

    October 5, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  12. NoGr8rH8r

    As far as pizza chain restaurants go, Godfathers makes a good pie. : )

    October 5, 2011 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  13. CC

    He has lost sight of what 98% of American's are faced with, the jobs have left the country... out sourcing is real, and how its the workers fault is beyond me. I recently got back into the work force and realize that I do have to work twice as hard to get half as much... but, to think that most folks don't want to work... and suggest they are completely responsible for the current situation they find themselves is only because he is VERY disconnected from main street. He is not the man to take the highest office of the land, he doesn't even know what's up with the core of what Americans are going through. I wonder what it feels like to live on top of a hill and look down at the rest of us...

    Hope he realizes if the divide gets to big, that folks will find their way up that hill... and Jack (Cain) will come tumbling down...

    October 5, 2011 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  14. independent

    Another one of those 'self-made' men who actually believe they did it on their own and any one can do it if they just work hard enough. Next, he'll write a book, like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and tell everyone if only they had invested in CMOs. Somebody make a lunch appointment with this guy and Eliz Warren, so she can remind him about the society, community, systemic, and family input in his success, as well as luck, greed, and personality.
    Ten people doing exactly what Herman did throughout his life, would end up in ten different results.

    October 5, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  15. vburke

    The last number I can find for job to applicant ratio is 5 applicants for every available job. The man is clearly insane.

    October 5, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. abby

    Cain continues to prove he is totally unworthy of ANY public office.

    October 5, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  17. KarenSt

    I have a job. I work very hard at it, and I love what I do. I'm not rich, though, but I could care less. I pay for my modest lifestyle, and count my self successful. Get over it, Cain.

    October 5, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. Jeffer65

    Plenty of blame to go around here. Wall Street, companies moving jobs overseas, our governments for not adopting FAIR trade (instead of free trade), and yes Cain is partially right. People who don't want to work or get educated share in the blame too.
    He will never the nomination anyway. Repubs like Mitch McConnell and others will never allow a black man to run as a Repubican

    October 5, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  19. Halcyon

    So after Bachmann, then Perry self-destructed their candidacies with stupid remarks, Cain seems to be next following suit. Good job. At this rate, all Romney has to do to secure the nomination is just stay shut (Whoops! Corporations are people too my friend!) too late.

    October 5, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  20. krg

    Cain said yesterday on The View that he speaks for all groups of people. Ugh, sorry, let me correct you, Mr. Cain. You do not speak for the African American, gays, or women. And you have even gone as far as saying that a person who is not rich or does not have a job, should blame themselves. You are an absolute MORON and so out of TOUCH. I would rather have the USA go totally broke than have you as our President. You only speak to the RICH, RELIGIOUS, WHITE MALE establishment.

    October 5, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  21. JR

    Great timing Herm.

    October 5, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  22. onecitizen

    Herman failed miserably as a board member of Aquila, Inc. Herman was a board member of Aquila for 16 years (1992-2008). Herman was chairman of the compensation committee until 2003. He has not posted his association with Aquila on his campaign website like all of his other business accomplishments. There is a very good reason for that. In one year the company's stock tanked, about 200 million dollars evaporated from the employee retirement fund nearly wiping it out and 30 million dollars in bonuses were given to the top five executives of the company. As the chairman of the compensation committe Herman ok'd the bonuses. Aquila had ventured into energy trading and speculation like Enron. So you know the rest of the story. Herman, the other board members and top executives were sued by the employees for failing in their fiduciary duty. There are several articles on line that give all the details. Type in Herman Cain Aquila and start reading.

    October 5, 2011 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  23. Pa mom

    Personally. I grew up poor as did my husband. We are successful because we worked hard and knew the benefit of education paying our own way. I am tired of the americans who are always the victim. These people are not entitled to have what we who have worked hard, lost jobs and recovered because we decided not to take advantage of unemployment and get back to work as soon as possible. This is a country of victims and whiners. You live in a country of opportunity. It may take more initiative but the opportunity is out there none the less. Women have many in home business opportunities. Stop looking at what I have and earn it yourself. You just have to become creative and do whatever it takes.

    October 5, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  24. john

    Cain is absolutely right. In america, all you need is opportunity to succeed. If Cain or I can make it in America, then every citizen in this country can make it. Get a small or simple job first. Work hard toward to the job you love. If you are unemployed, you first or next job is to look for your next job all day everyday. There are no easy way out to the top. Those who suceeded like Mr. Cain, they were poor once, struggled, and overcome many obstacles. They never gave up on the american dream by working hard to reach that dream. Yeah, Mr. Cain is right.

    October 5, 2011 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  25. T'sah from Virginia

    ►TRENDING: Cain: Not rich? No job? Blame yourself◄
    Live in a GHETTO – can’t get out – Blame yourself!!
    Lost your job – No one’s hiring – Who do you thank?!!
    When money is low – Nowhere to go – Rob a bank!
    Poverty is real – Children will die – Blame the mom?
    Daddy struggles on – House is gone – Still more qualms!!
    So if you’re not rich – Don’t have a job – Who do you blame?
    Not yourself – Not your family – just the corporate insane!!

    Corporations will rather see America DIE then create jobs!! They so-call HATE President Obama so much, they will allow every bridge to fall and every American struggle in order to TRY and make Obama a one-term president!! Their goal is to get a Republican in office so they will continue to have tax breaks – and maybe NO TAXES – and ALL of their regulations will be reversed. And Cain is a fool for thinking otherwise!!!!
    Cain is the same tool the RIGHT used when Michael Steele was head of the RNC. Yes, they welcomed him for one reason only – for a face – he was praised – then once he spoke his OWN mind and veered away from the some of the RIGHT’s beliefs, they kicked him to the curb!!! Cain is next!!

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 5, 2011 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
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