Washington (CNN) - Herman Cain said Sunday he was joking when he wrote a 2006 column endorsing Tiger Woods for president in 2016.
"That was a joke, okay? Tiger - I - that was a joke," the presidential hopeful said. "Americans got to learn how to have a sense of humor, okay?"
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The column, which ran on a conservative website run by Cain, reads like a serious argument for the once highly esteemed golfer.
"Tiger will be 40 years old in 2016," Cain wrote. "The Republican Party should begin grooming him now for a run at the White House. His personal attributes and accomplishments on the golf course point to a candidate who will be a problem solver, not a politician."
In the column - written years before Woods became mired in scandal over extra-marital affairs - Cain went on to write that Republicans need an outsider as its future presidential nominee.
"Tiger Woods could be an inspiring figure for the country, the likes of which we have not seen since Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ronald Reagan," Cain wrote, adding that the 2016 candidate should not come from inside the beltway, but "from inside the fairway, for all of us."
But Cain, former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, said Sunday he was not being serious when he wrote the op-ed.
"Yeah I can be pretty serious," Cain said to reporters in Washington after an appearance on NBC News. "But also there are some things that, you know, you just kind of take tongue and cheek, and you don't make a big deal of it. Alright?"
- CNN's Laura Koran contributed to this report.
Everything he says that is wrong is a joke, so he says, it time we talk about serious business in times like these.
This is no laughing matter people livehoods are at stake and we need to come together as a country and finish the work that Dr. King began.
Jokesters should be left in a deck of cards
Tiger Woods can't run his own life how could he ever be expected to run a country. I despise Cain but his suggestion iwas clearly a joke.
actually, its a good joke, almost as big a joke as obama, to bad all obama knows how to do is get photo ops, go on vacation and LIE.
The GOP ticket is enough of a joke in and of itself...
We aren't going to be electing a comedian-in-chief.
Get serious Herman and maybe someone will take you seriously.
Herman, the thing about a joke is that it is supposed to be FUNNY. Not head-scratchingly idiotic.
Why is it a joke. Woods is far more qualified to be President than Cain.
Herman Cain, 9-9-9, the Republcian/tparty and the rest of their candidates are the real JOKES. Unfortunately they are also our worst nightmare.
Even with all his baggage (and no one to carry it) He would get my vote before you would.
LOL...dude is lying through his teeth!!! But seriously, why don't you tell the American people the real Joke is you running for President!!!! I mean don't get me wrong we can all think we are called for a greater purpose in life, but sometimes that can be life playing a joke on us. Herman you need to stop letting life play you for a joke!!
Seems pretty obvious that it wasn't a joke, just another odd remark from the casual contender. ZERO chance of becoming president (for good reason). The party needs to get serious and soon. Unfortunately, once again – they fail to produce their best and brightest as a presidential contender, despite the high probability of winning should they do it. Mitch Daniels – no; Chris Christie – no; just the milque toast and the wackos.
It was a joke just like his "9-9-9" Plan AND his candidacy.