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. Stacey

    I agree with Cain. Instead of people trying to pull themselves out of this mess, they find a way to blame others for their lack of success. Do we need to help others pull themselves up, yes. But the successfull cannot take fault for those that fail. Is greed out there, yep. Do we need regulations, yep. We just cannot point fingers anymore though. It's irresponsible. We really do need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves how we can help out country, not how we can take advantage of it.
    So the selfish GOP think 99% of Americans are failures. Yes, we can and will point fingers at the greedy Wall St. fat cats and bankers. How are we supposed to "help our country out" when we can't even get a job anymore. Cain is talking out the side of his rear as usual. He has no shot at the nomination anyway. Cain will be joining Sarah Palin as a sideline cheerleader soon and he'll have no one to blame but his idiotic self.

    October 5, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  2. ncjd

    The Cain candidacy ended today with that interview.

    He just called the voters he needs to win "lazy" and possibly "stupid."

    Yes, those voters would be stupid to vote for him.

    The lack of compassion expressed by some posters here, such as Sara Bean, just baffles me. Why do you folks hate poor people and the victims of capitalism so much? On what warped planet were you raised>

    October 5, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  3. PhilG.

    How to NOT get yourself elected in one sentence.

    Herman Cain-"If you don't have a job and your not rich,Blame Yourself."

    Hey,Mr.Cain-I guess everyone that worked for you at Godfather's Pizza GOT RICH.


    October 5, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  4. CBR

    Mr. Cain has made his ideas and beliefs known. They many not be mine or yours but they are the points he wishes to have before the electorate. Of course the recession is the cause of lay-offs and lack of jobs. Many people did not ask to be jobless and they deserve our support to help them stay afloat.

    As is always the case there are members of protest groups who really do not hold the same ideas and beliefs. They cast themselves as part of the group and can cause problems for both sides. If Mr. Cais knows that people are on the fringes making trouble he needs to identify them.

    October 5, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  5. MagnumPIE

    Is Cain really that out of touch that he knows nobody that's has been laid off and been unable to find work? Apparently so.

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

    Nice. He might as well bow out of the election right now. I believe he just cut his throat.

    October 5, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  7. Drew Williams

    With a sentiment designed to have his useful idiot base pis/sing themselves, Herman Cain shows us what a boorish imbecile he really is. You made it on your own, Herman? Nothing about taxpayer funded student loans for college? Nothing about taxpayer-subsidized colleges themselves? Nothing about the roads funded by the taxpayers you used to get to school? Nothing about the public education system that trained your hires to be something other than uneducated louts? These guys just don't get how much they owe the system they loathe.

    October 5, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  8. allens

    he would be the new compassionate republican. what a self absorbed fool

    October 5, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. April Garlow

    I guess what Cain sees is a bunch of people that want jobs–or just the money– that working and productive behavior provide, using their time and effort to throw a huge tantrum–instead of doing anything substantial to improve their own lives or the lives of others--so I think he is right on the mark about these protesters!!!!

    October 5, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  10. Cory

    Agreed, you cannot blame wall street for all your problems, but his remarks are fairly callous. Some people, through no fault of their own, got handed a rough hand. Is Wall Street, or the successful, to blame for their problems, not really. People are just looking for a chance. Do I agree with the protests. No, because the issues are all over the place.

    Cain needs a reality check.

    October 5, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  11. amigay

    The guy's eaten too much of his own bad pizza.

    October 5, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. Linda in VA

    Wow, I have a sister who lost her job in Oregon two years ago and hasn't been able to find another one.
    She applies for any possible job and almost lives at the unemployment office. She's 54 and has to compete
    with much younger people. She wants desperately to work. Mr. Cain's views are just not realistic. There
    are millions just like my sister who want to have the income and dignity of a job. Mr. Cain is totally out of
    touch with the average American.

    October 5, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  13. thomas

    For the past two years, Herman Cain has written a weekly column for WorldNetDaily, a website that is the online hub for people who believe that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

    Wow , this guy will do anything to sell bad Pizza !

    October 5, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  14. Dave, Central Illinois

    What he said is true to an extent. It is to sweeping of a statement. There are a lot of lazy whiners who are jealous of the result of others hard work and they spout their hate and frustration on these forums. On the other hand, there are hard-working people who fall on hard times and do need some help. They usually end up picking themselves up by the bootstraps and become self-suffient again.

    October 5, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  15. george of the jungle

    If this is the best that the repos can do then i fell sorry for them . Everyone complained about President Obamas lack of experience. Come on now this guy has no political experience at all. This is the repos chance to show they support the black population. I think we are smarter than that. unfortunatly this is the view of most repos out of work it must be your own fault. Hard hearted bunch of folks.Unless it is them thats out of work then it is the presidents fault.

    October 5, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  16. QS

    As usual, the conservative mindset on full display – "I have had different experiences in my life, had different struggles to overcome, and I of course everybody on the planet ought to have the same outcome as me even though those experiences and struggles are different for everybody."

    October 5, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. Dean Blythe

    The republican moral justification for selfishness. If you are unemployed, it is your own fault so I don't have to help you. Right. We have real unemployment of 16% today because people woke up at the end of 2008 and decided they no longer wanted to put out the effort to work. How many of these hypocrites were born on third base and thought they hit a triple?

    October 5, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  18. BK

    Is this guy an idiot? Why would you say that about something so many people believe in when you are running for President? I really hope the Republicans find someone better than this to run...

    October 5, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  19. BCaseyC

    Mr. Cain's message is about taking personal responsibility for your situation. He is promoting a good work ethic, and the apparently lost ideal of self-sufficiency. I have been watching Mr. Cain for a while.. but after hearing this... I know who I am voting for in the election.

    Cain 2012.

    October 5, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  20. mike

    Cain proves only one thing, the class of idiocy is color blind

    October 5, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  21. joe

    It's sad when a presidential candidate thinks being rich is what life is all about. When I was growing up I was always taught third world countries were filled with corruption but as the years have gone by I now realize the USA is by far the most corrupt country on the planet (politicians, bailouts, etc.)

    October 5, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  22. Freygunnr

    Has it become Cain's policy to continually insult the voting populace? He's getting right up there with the "let them eat cake" crowd now. Historically, this doesn't end well sir.

    October 5, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  23. Dave

    God help the 98 percent of the people who actually want jobs that don't exist if this clown gets elected . It would be nice of just one of these self serving fools [current politicians] had the balls[no offense Hillary] to say U.S.A. has peaked and the best days are not ahead. Then, just maybe , we could start figuring out how to make the necessary adjustments. But no , Its going to take some dramatic disaster before any real work can start i guess .

    October 5, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  24. bja

    Hey Hermie is the Bernie Mac of politics, except Bernie Mac was a brilliant comedian and told awesome jokes and Hermie Cain is just downright frightening if what he says isn't a joke!!

    October 5, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  25. John

    Cain is crazy but his comment is typical Republican ignorance. They govern by 'anecdote'. If YOU get off YOUR ass then YOU will get a job. They don't understand basic math. Let's assume that all unemployed people suddenly became the most ambitious people to ever walk the face of the earth. There is still only 1 job opening for every 4 people looking!!! Where do those other jobs come from, magic? So if all job applicants were PERFECT for the job opening, companies would have NO CHOICE but to add to their staff even though they wouldn't have any work to do. You just can't fix stupid, that's all I can say.

    October 5, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
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