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. Orchid333

    @Wow – you're as out of touch as Cain. I'm glad you and your wife found new jobs. Are they as good as the ones you lost? Are you being paid just as much or more? I'm asking because I'm curious. My husband was an out of work teacher with a Master's Degree. Living in a Republican state, of course education budgets were slashed and there are 300-400 applicants for every teaching position available. You think it's HIS fault that he's not one of 300 chosen for a job? You think it's the failure of every out-of-work teacher who is more than qualified? My husband is working now at a call center making $10/hr, wasting his education and talent, and hoping his company doesn't go through another round of layoffs. Would you blame him for that too? Cain is an idiot, and so are you if you think every out of work or under-worked person deserves to be so based on their own misgivings.

    October 5, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    So yeah...too late for sweat equity, Cain...the only blame we're placing on ourselves now is that we didn't cry out for blood sooner.

    October 5, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. Sara Bean

    Herman Cain just became my choice for President. Too often, Americans expect their handout, i.e. Unemployment benefits for 99 weeks! That's nuts. That should be reduced to 52 weeks MAX. We don't polish/enhance our skills in any way, except maybe our drinking skills. We're a global economy and have to compete with outsourcing jobs because people with better skills are willing to take them at less wages. Americans should want to fight back. Whose fault is it, theirs? Maybe their upbringing too, especially since it was a time of wealth and low unemployment for the most part.

    Herman Cain 2012

    October 5, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. icecold

    Truth be told, Herman Cain probably only got the position he was in bc of affirmative action. Back in the days when he was entering the job force companies had to hire one or two blacks and he probably happened to the one, and over the years they give him little prmotions bc he was the token black guy and eventually after 30 years or so you get to move up, but if not for AA he probably would have never been hired and he would be singing a different tune these days. So its good to remember where you come from and how you got there and maybe you could give back and open a door for others like you instead of just patting yourself on the back for your accomplishements.

    October 5, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Get a bath, cut your hair, get a job, and stop blaming other people!"

    You forgot "get off my lawn!!!"

    October 5, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "and I'm white as a snowflake saying that"

    Pro tip: saying crap like that immediately discredits your entire post no matter what you said.

    October 5, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. don

    A mostly white crowd of young people...and they are pointing out whats wrong with America?..Go look in the mirror. I guess they expect working people to pick up the tab and support them while they play in the streets. Fact is..they arent the 99% they think they are. They are the 1 % lazy rich white kids mainly. There was more people at 1 NFL game last Sunday then all of the protestors

    October 5, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. Ricky Jerrel

    So he denies that the republican party has a history of not working for black people. He tells all jobless people that its their fault they are not employed. He refuses to address the fact that his 999 plan will unfairly tax the poor. Whats next? This guy is extremely out of touch. And Im personally offended that he claims black people have been "brain washed" into voting democrat. I as a black male look at every candidate before I vote for them and I chose the candidate that would best benefit me, and most importantly, best benefit the country. Mr. Cain I believe you are the most dangerous politician out there. You hide behind "straight talk" and "business experience" and it seems if your only agenda is to make it easier for big business to make more money.

    October 5, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. Jilli

    Alrightie...more great advice from the candidate from the "I've got mine, screw you" party. It's clowns like cain that have the rest of the world shaking their heads.

    October 5, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  10. Holly

    If you are unemployed you need to read this!

    The myth that illegal aliens only hold jobs that American workers won’t do is just that — a myth. Recent studies estimate that 20 percent of cooks, 25 percent of construction workers, 22 percent of maids and housekeeping personnel, and 25 percent of groundskeepers are illegal aliens. In addition, 40 percent of illegal aliens are visa overstays, many of whom take high-end jobs from Americans.
    When fast-food company Chipotle was audited and hundreds of its illegal workers were fired, American citizens lined up the next day for a chance to work at those jobs. . .
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data from last year show that 98.3 percent of employees were confirmed as work-authorized instantly or within 24 hours using E-Verify. A 2009 report by research firm Westat found that those eligible to work are immediately confirmed 99.5 percent of the time.
    E-Verify is free, very accurate and reduces paperwork for American businesses.
    Please put your efforts into helping the truly down and out Americans. Please put your efforts in helping mothers, fathers, teenagers find work. There are generations of families who cannot compete with the under the table dealings of illegal’s and have gone out of business. Fax your representative today. Faxes and calls work and faxes are free at NumbersUSA…..(there is POWER in Numbers, look it up and just do it!)

    October 5, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  11. Wardo

    God Bless – someone finally telling it the way it is! Refreshing from a politician, he's telling you plain and simply put, that the government isn't going to solve all your problems and that you need to take ownership of your problems

    October 5, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Mama Judy

    He needs to look in the mirror...and see what he has and who helped him get there...... then look at the people around did they get the way they!
    People need people to grow not criticize unless you are in their shoes...same on him!

    October 5, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. Real Patriot

    Just another out of touch Republican fatcat. Blame the victim huh?

    My God these people are pathetic and yet dangerous--

    October 5, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. Jilli

    "Greg wrote:

    "Herman Cain is a cool dude. A true breath of fresh air and a guy that actually has ANSWERS to America's problems."

    So...FU is an answer to America's unemployment issues? Wow. I want MY country back.

    October 5, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. econobiker

    Sure all those people who had jobs off shored by corporations were the ones who FORCED the poor little corporations to offshore those jobs to 2nd and 3rd world countries.

    Just by wanting a living wage, benefits and housing versus 3rd world pay, a local witch doctor, and cooking over a cow dung fueled fire in a grass hut, all of the unemployed and underemployed caused corporations to move jobs offshore in order for corporate boards to be able to continue raise executive compensation.

    Yeah ,right.

    October 5, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    So how many people with college degrees are working in the retail outlets, Mr. Cain. My guess is not many. Maybe you should hire some of those folks even though you know when something better comes along – help tide them and their families over a bit. What a jerk.

    October 5, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. rs

    Wow! Simply, wow! So, the Republicans crash the economy- lose millions of jobs, do nothing to create jobs or help the middle class. On top of it all Cain says its our fault if we don't have a job or we aren't rich. Unbelieveable! They are sooooo out of touch!

    The GOP/TP- economic terrorists gunning for you!

    October 5, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. RoseTN

    So I should tell people whose jobs were outsourced for cheap slave labor in China/India/Mexico/etc. that it's all THEIR fault that the corporations outsourced their jobs? Can you please explain that one to me – and them?

    In case he hasn't noticed that the over 9% (and higher) of unemployed include voting Republicans too.

    Luckily, he won't be getting the GOP nomination.

    October 5, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. econobiker

    Per Holly's comments: illegals also run the anchor baby scam by claiming full child tax credits for citizen children under one taxpayer number and working under another number. This way the full IRS child tax credits always roll in since the parents never show any income. The illegals also do this to easily qualify their children for welfare and food stamps since the parent never shows income.

    October 5, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Four and The Door

    I like straight talk and I think most Americans do. Herman Cain is absolutely correct here. This is what we like to hear, not the pandering garbage that the government's job is to make sure every US citizen is happy and comfortable.

    October 5, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Robita

    First @ Doug... Can you tell me what engineers like myself should have done to prevent our jobs being sent overseas? Because when I became an engineer in the 90's it was a solid career move. Doug, you are an idiot who I hope gets to experience some hard times soon, becasue I'll tell ya brother, unless you are a millionare you are not bulletproof in this day and age. As for Mr. Cain, he's a fool, and people like him got us into this mess in the first place. If you want to get out of it, stop listening to the lies of supply side economics and realize that if you let a few people have too much, than a lot of people have too littel. It's simple, and if you don't get it, or have some lame argument why it's good to have a class of super rich people, You are an idiot just like Cain and Doug.

    October 5, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. Jan Payne

    We have 99% of the votes.

    October 5, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    "...he admitted he didn't "have the facts to back this up."

    At least the guy is honest about it, which is pretty weird for a Republican presidential candidate in an attack on the President.

    October 5, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  24. Nash

    One word comes to mind.... IDIOT. Where does the GOP get these clowns from?

    October 5, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  25. Alex

    @ Don...lots of minorities there. Don't know what race you are, but you're either racist, or a self-hating white person clearly.

    Herman Cain is exactly right.

    October 5, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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