Cain: Tiger Woods for 2016? Not.
October 16th, 2011
03:31 PM ET
10 years ago

Cain: Tiger Woods for 2016? Not.

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?"

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates next face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, October 18, in the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada. Submit your questions for the debate here.

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.

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • Tiger Woods
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Brian W.

    Nice try, Mr. Cain. Now the real joke is the Teapublicans.

    October 16, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. thomas

    "Americans got to learn how to have a sense of humor, okay?"

    When the New York Times columnist " David Brooks " Thinks Cain is a promising contender, and his 999 tax plan is worth taking a look at .

    I remember David Brooks and his lack of thought to the build up to both wars.

    Cain is a smiling joke , a smoke screen to buy time for Mitt and Perry. .

    October 16, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Sandy

    Every time Cain says something stupid he later claims it was a joke. He is a joke!

    October 16, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. T'sah from Virginia

    Is something wrong with Cain? Is he “joking” in this statement too? Cain LOVES telling JOKES and the more he talks about 9-9-9, that’s a joke too. When are we going to know when he is serious??

    On “Meet the Press” today, he told another joke. David asked him about a statement he said in TN regarding what he would do to control immigration Cain stated in TN that he would “… build an electrifying fence on the border that would kill people if they tried to cross it…” He told David that it was a JOKE. A joke? He said that the American people need to have a sense of humor!!! WTH? We’re suppose to “laugh” at him when he is addressing the country???

    Maybe Cain should apply for a job on SNL instead of asking the American people to vote for him to be the leader of our nation!!

    Obama 2012!!

    October 16, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. ficheye

    He is lying. There's no doubt about it. Of course it was a joke!!

    October 16, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. FedUp

    Well, Tiger is qualified for President. After all, he had seveal affairs. I know it is a joke, Mr. Cain. I hope you keep going. There is something special about you.

    October 16, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. TerryV

    It seems pretty obvious that it was just a joke. This country has become so politically correct, that a man cannot even tell a tongue-in-cheek joke or story without half the people crying out that he is insensitive or immoral.

    October 16, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Annie, Atlanta

    How about the article he wrote in December 2010 at Red State claiming Jesus was a conservative and liberals killed him. Keep it up Cain. Tiger Woods for President (joke or no), attacking the African American community to beef up your right wing credentials, more tax breaks for the rich, your association with Americans for Prosperity and the Koch brothers. Sounds like the perfect tea party candidate to me.

    October 16, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. Arun

    No Herman, the joke is that you are running for President!!! Why? You are so out of touch with the rest of the country on the issues that if someone doesn't believe in your views, you call them racist, lazy, and stupid!! I guess the Koch brothers are paying you very nicely for expressing their views in your campaign!!

    October 16, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. John

    We do Herman Cain every time we see you and are back by the Tea Party and Control by the Koch's Brother. The American People Just think It funny as heck. You are just one of the Clowns the Republican Are trying to push on the American People. The American People want People In Congress and the Senate that will stand up to the Oath they swear on a Bible, not people who take Pledges from group of people. You are suppose to work for ALL AMERICAN PEOPLE not just for special group of People. It seam that the Republican for got that they work for all American People ,not the one that can give them the most money for them to get reelected.The Republican and the Tea Party are only worry about Protecting the Rich and Big Business and the heck with the rest of us.

    October 16, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  11. Pat in il

    Cain is ridiculous. "it was a joke" is a 7th grader's cop out after a stupid remark.

    October 16, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. Dantx

    Maybe as president of Planned Parenthood.

    October 16, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. Texas Annie

    1) You write an op-ed piece, and then later when called out on it, you try to say it was a "joke". Nice try, Mr. Cain, but I'm not buying.
    2) "Americans got to learn how to have a sense of humor, okay?" Seriously?? Did you not study grammar in school, Mr. Cain? "Americans got to..." Please, listen to yourself. Someone presenting themselves as a role model for others should at least be able to speak correct grammar.
    3) Note to all candidates– vet YOURSELF before throwing your hat in the ring.

    October 16, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. Don

    The PGA is having an election in 2016?

    October 16, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. Jay

    Eeeewwww, this Cain guy is horrible, I watched him on Jay Leno and I was embarrassed for him. He needs to disappear already, he's only embarrassing himself time and again. Plus, NO WAY another black is going to get in, Obama's been enough, though he's only half/black. Never again, guarantee it won't happen. Hillary should have been President, she had more experience (after two terms in the White House with Bill) in her little finger than Obama will have after an entire 1st term! If Obama hadn't entered the race and if he had been a White guy, he never would have won anything. Friends of mine admitted they voted for him only because he looked, was half/ black, idiots. Cain, your 15 minutes are up, go away.

    October 16, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. fred ca

    First of all it was written years ago...not yesterday. Woods 'extra' activities' had not occurred. It was obviously, also, tounge-in-cheek. At the same time, when we have a lying, ethic challenged bagman from a corrupt Chicago machine as president, who's only achievements were to: 1) be the by-product of a multi-racial union and, 2) skate through the affirmative action scam as a result of his 1st accomplishment...maybe humour should not be used in discussing potential presidents. As obama has shown...the joke will be on us.

    October 16, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Elizabeth joseph

    Go Cain you are the best. I would vote for you

    October 16, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Four and The Door

    Why am I not surprised this is what NBC News decided to ask Herman Cain about? If this is the best they can dig up, Herman Cain is in very good shape.

    October 16, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Sonnie2

    Cain is the MAN for the job. He is qualified and has lot's of experience. I would vote for the MAN. He ain't even a lawyer or politician, that sure is refreshing.

    October 16, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. skarphace

    I thought it was a joke when first I heard that the CEO of Godfathers pizza was running for POTUS as well. Unfortunately, it turned out that Cain was dead serious this time around.

    October 16, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. logic in LA

    If it had been a joke, the terms used and tone would have been done tongue in cheek or with sarcasm. Neither appear in his writings. Why can't he just say that in 2006, the attributes he pointed out in Tiger were held by most people in America. So as far fetched as the idea seems, as a Republican, he would have been as viable a choice as Regan or Arnold (remember the movement to change our laws to allow Arnold to run?) they like celebrity candidates going back many decades.

    October 16, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. Philojazz

    The only joke, Mr Cain, is how you keep avoiding giving actual estimates of what the federal tax bill under "9-9-9" would be, for certain "typical" families, compared to their federal tax bill, under the current system. I personally think that you DON'T KNOW what the results would be! That's right, I think you are blowing hot air to the American people. Like you, I have a college mathematics degree, and I've also been an IRS Enrolled Agent for a number of years. I am willing to post MY numbers, which I've been able to come up with in an hour or two. That you can't, or WON'T, do the same, tells me simply that either you DON'T HAVE A CLUE, or you know what the results would be, and they will LOSE YOU VOTES!! Put your money where your mouth is, Mr Cain, or disappear, and stop wasting our time.

    October 16, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. Reagan80

    Once again Democrat racism rears it's ugly head.

    October 16, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. Larry L

    From a morality viewpoint Tiger is as qualified as Newt Gingrich!

    October 16, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. one voice

    @ fedup: If you truly believe Herman Cain is "SOMETHING SPECIAL", you my friend need a shrink.

    October 16, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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