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. James

    Herman Cain needs to blame the guilty for me not having my job! The Banks, Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac are corrupt businesses. I worked in the Bank construction business. He is ignorant.....The truth is 17% of construction jobs are held by Illegals. That's another reason I am sitting at home. An Illegal Has my construction Job? Want to create jobs for AMERICANS? Send the illegals home and tell them they cannot CUT in line...I want them here....but, legally like the rest. I am not Joe the Plumber, I am James The Blue collar worker for American Rights.

    October 5, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. Boomer in Mo

    I keep waiting for the real class warfare to break out. It is not going to be words, it's going to be violence. Who do you think is going to be met with peasants hold pitchforks at the gates of their exclusive communities? The Herman Cains of the world. I shudder to think what will happen in the next couple of months and more and more people get more and more desperate. We've already made plans with friends to hole up on our farm, well armed and ready...

    October 5, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  3. Jake

    Sure, if you're 56 years old and just got laid off from a job that took you 20 years to get and that paid you near six-figure income, while the guy who ran your company to the ground with his decisions got a $25 million severance pay, it's your fault that no one wants to hire you and that your ego won't allow you to be a Walmart greeter just so you can afford to supplement your medical care.

    October 5, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Tony


    Next year, when you don't become the president of the United States, blame yourself. It is not because Republicans are not going to nominate a black politician for president, even though there is not a sliver of difference between you and the Tea Party in regard to policy positions, you don't have the baggage of Romney (he is Mormon and his Massachusetts health care plan is the model for Obama's health care plan), and you are a much better speaker and most likely a better campaigner than Romney.

    October 5, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Ed

    I like Cain but I think he is wrong here. It is one thing to say people who are lazy and have no ambition have only themselves to blame for having no job. In this economy a lot of people, hard working people, have lost their jobs due to no fault of their own and I find this comment disturbing.

    October 5, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. thomas

    After reading 999 , I will never look at a Pizza the same !

    Nor will I ever understand the arrogance of some people .Humility is a virtue Mr Cain lost on his quest !

    October 5, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. LiLa

    Thats enough from Cain. How about a little Media focus on Jon Huntsman? Or is he too sane to generate crazy-talk sound bites?

    October 5, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  8. Liza

    Wow, this guy is crazy. I understand the concept of picking yourself by your boot straps, but this is way out of touch with reality. So, he worked hard and became a millionaire. Good for him. But his viewpoints on the middle class and the jobless situation is way out of touch. So many people want to work, but they can't even find jobs, because they are all shipped overseas now. I also love it when these guys say they create jobs: minimum wage jobs that is.

    October 5, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. WDinDallas

    The truth hurts, does't it? He is right in this basic statement. It is the same one used by our parents, get out and get a job, any job. It is easier to get a better job when you have one. I will not hire someone that has been unemployed for two years. No initiative, no job here. I have hired someone that had to work at Walmart just to have a job, I was impressed that he stooped so low as to feed his family. Now he makes $75K with paid medical and paid vacation.

    October 5, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. Chris

    This man is totally clueless! Let's blame the unemployed. It's their fault that greedy corporations layoff people just so they can increase their profits!

    October 5, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. Amazing

    I am shocked! Another bizarre and asine statement by Herman Cain. If I follow his logic, then the tea party protesters should look at themselves for the political nightmare they have created by voting and supporting people like Herman Cain!

    October 5, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. pdxrunner

    I really wish people would get educated on a subject before making a comment. Mot of you obviously have know clue of what is really happening. I think you all just get on a bandwagon like the rest of the uneducated protestors and dont' even know what you are talking about. God please help our country that we have so many easily influenced people to believe crap. By the way, the banks loaned the money, but I don't know if I have heard a story about being tied up with a gun to your head to buy the mortgages. Cains remarks are about taking responsibility for your life. Teh collapse happend because people defaulted on loans that they were VERY aware they could not afford. The people selling the loans were street level people like you and me, not WALL STREET executives. You signed on the dotted line with no diress and you probably signed for your biggest asset with a kid that worked 2 monthst ago at Taco Bell telling you how the loan works. I have truly seen this many times. Start taking responsibility. Cains message is for all of us to step up and quit blaming others for our own unhappiness. Look at yourself in the mirror is right.

    October 5, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. the_dude

    Mr Cain don't knock the protests ok? It gives people like me something to do all day long besides work.

    October 5, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. Four and The Door

    Our CEO was making $26,000 a week – that was my annual salary. They laid me off to save money. Cain should go back to pizza.
    It's unfortunate that you were laid off, Trenee, but in this tough economy those are choices that need to be made sometimes. You do understand that what the CEO is paid is related more to what your CEO does rather than what you used to do, right? The only real connection is that the money comes from the same place. In most cases, the right person for CEO can be worth an order of magnitude more money to a company than what they are paid. Even at $1.3 million a year this CEO can be bringing the company many more times that because of what he or she is able to accomplish.

    I do not understand why you feel this is justification to dislike Herman Cain. CEO's are not evil people. In general they are very productive and valuable people.

    October 5, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. Larry L

    Shouldn't we all hate the poor? They wear the worst clothes and drive the worst cars. I hear some of them clean their own homes – if you call those shacks homes... Mr. Cain is certainly a good Republican and top soldier in the class war against the unwashed masses!

    October 5, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  16. what's up

    Tell it like it is Mr. Cain. But Obama's liberal lazy's are like Obama. They have to blame other for their own failures in life.

    October 5, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  17. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Hello Black Walnut, welcome to the end of your week.

    October 5, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. seniorblanco

    That's right. As he admits, "he doesn't understand". He's oblivious to the problems of the common man, and that's why I would never vote for him or anyone like him.

    October 5, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  19. RobertFTL

    Tell the banks to start loaning again so they can become wealthy on their own through entrepreneurship!

    October 5, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  20. pdxrunner

    Why are my supportive comments to Cain being deleted? Is this just a commentary site for everyone against Cain?

    October 5, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  21. Rick H.

    He is exactly right, no wonder the moocher class comes out in force to act outraged.

    October 5, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  22. Busted

    This is kind of frightening, how in the world do we have a politician running for president who doesn't understand the impact banks had on the recession and housing market collapse. Does Cain know what a mortgage CDO is? This actually says quite abit about his understanding of economics and finance, kind worrisome.

    October 5, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  23. Anthony

    Cain is not out of touch – he's on point. We live in America – a place where we are fortunate enough to have the freedom to do something about our situation if we lose our jobs. The answer is quite simple – instead of crying about Wall Street, and saying 'there are no jobs' – we can do something amazing, we can create one for ourselves. You don't have to go out and get a shop and sell goods, or anything crazy, but everybody...and I mean EVERYBODY, is skilled in something. Whether that's as a laborer, or being able to create a value added process and sell it – you can go out and make something for yourself. When the Company lays you off and you lose your job, it's because the Company can operate without you. Why should they pay for something they don't need? What he's saying is go make yourself valuable, educate yourselves (which you can do for free), go start a business – get up off your crying butts that fail to take responsibility for anything in your lives and MAKE SOMETHING OF YOURSELF.

    October 5, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  24. kissa2983

    Wait wait wait wait...I thought the Republican rallying cry was to blame Obama?? Now we're supposed to blame ourselves?? I'm confused...oh no wonder I'm confused I'm listening to someone who has no clue what they are talking about!!

    October 5, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. Mau

    The frustration come from american corporations having more rights than american citizens. Corporations get to earn their cash in the US, set their headquarters in some fiscal haven, move their production facilities to cheap labor countries and use the cash they are saving to have a disproportional influence in our democracy.

    October 5, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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