Cain: Tiger Woods for 2016? Not.
October 16th, 2011
03:31 PM ET
9 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. C'Mon...

    For a right-wing/businessman/politian type, Herman Cain is actually a pretty funny guy. The column he wrote about Tiger woods is not funny. Like, not at all. Given Cain's sense of humor, there is just no way that article was written as a joke.

    In 2006 (before the madness of Tiger's private life became public), suggesting a career in politics for Tiger Woods would have been perfectly reasonable. Nobody could have predicted the insanity that awaited him five years later.

    By painting that column as a joke, Herman Cain sets himself up for two possible outcomes: Either his story is believed (and he looks like a guy with a really lame sense of humor), or he is not believed (and he looks like a liar). He loses either way. When will these guys learn? It's the "cover-up" that shoots you in the foot, not the "crime".

    October 16, 2011 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  2. Namryan

    Mr. Cain you got the Republican nomination.... Oh wait... It's a joke!

    October 16, 2011 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  3. OU812IC

    Come on CEO of Godfathers pizza the worst pizza ever made right there with Domino's
    Yep that makes him Presidential material.
    He'll pander to the blacks just like Obama did to get their votes and then totally ignore them just like Obama did
    Blacks have to realize just because someone is black if they are from the corporate world they are not on the blacks side and will not help you. They will promise you they will help you to get your vote, but then go right back home to their big mansions in the white Corporate neighborhoods

    October 16, 2011 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    cain u need a break!

    October 16, 2011 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  5. carlos

    first Tiger, then the electrfied fence on the border and then him......all jokes

    October 16, 2011 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  6. Chris

    He did make one good point, the country needs a problem solver and not a politician

    October 16, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  7. Christopher

    A fool is only dangerous when he is taken seriously.

    October 17, 2011 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  8. Squigman

    The joke, is any person voting for a republican.

    October 17, 2011 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  9. CRB

    That's what we need in the White House...a comedy man! I guess when he drops his first bomb in the wrong place and kills innocent people, he can tell them that he was joking around (wow what a guy)!

    Smart man...knows how to make money – but he's not presidential.

    And as far as his 9-9-9 plan goes – if it was a truly viable plan for our nation (in all of its simplicity), it would have been done already...ya think?

    October 17, 2011 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  10. Ramrod

    Cain is a plant to make the Republicans look like a joke

    October 17, 2011 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  11. bluemax77

    A black man who thinks he’s found friends and a home in the GOP – I’m busting a gut laughing...

    October 17, 2011 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  12. HooYoo2say

    Okay first things first, I cringe to read or hear the words of a presidential hopeful like the following: "Americans got to learn how to have a sense of humor, okay?" Candidates running for political office "got" to learn how to have a sense of understanding correct usage of English grammar.

    Having said that, in regard to Mr. Cains 2006 article of course he was being serious in propping up Tiger as a possible future leader of men. I bet Mr. Cain is familiar with Earl Woods' prophetic comment about his son after he took the PGA tour by storm as a rookie. Earl Woods stated that there were much bigger things in store for Tiger's future than just golf. It was quite a bold statement to make even for the father of a 21 yo kid who conquered the Master's golf tournament in his first year as a pro. For golf lovers a statement like that jettisoned the kid right up there with Gandhi. For golf fanatics that is entering a divine threshold on the heels of Jesus himself. lol Had Tiger kept his life straight he could have retired from golf, though I doubt he would have, and become a Senator at a time of his choosing, easily. If he aspired to become President it's completely plausible he could have achieved that and I doubt many viewed that possibility as a joke in 2006. Cain floating the proposal ten years down the road was not something jokes are made of or a reason to not be serious in considering such a scenario at that point in Tiger Woods' life. That Mr. Cain was being serious when he wrote that is much more believable than the likelihood it was some "tongue-in-cheek" proposal that he is claiming it to be now. It seems the national media has Cain spinning like a top even on issues where the truth is much more palatable. Once entering spin mode vertigo gets a foothold and authenticity loses all gravity. It's quite sad.

    October 17, 2011 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  13. tripleseq

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

    How about "Americans need to.." or "Americans have got to.." ?

    October 17, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  14. Sundance 11

    I would vote for Tiger Woods on a long list of candidates before I would for Cain. I think he should consider a 4 year trip to try and develop a sense of humor.

    October 17, 2011 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  15. ulrikremy

    Tiger Woods 2016 – a joke. Electrical fence on the Mexican border – a joke. Herman Cain for Prez in 2012 –

    Sorry, Sir, the joke is you.

    October 17, 2011 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  16. jon

    He, as well as EVERY Republican, is a joke! They better save their money for 2016.

    October 17, 2011 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  17. Shimanilami

    Call me dim, but I don't get the joke. Did he mean that Tiger Woods is a joke? Or was he referring to the Republican party? I agree that his comments were absurd, but they're not all that different from his "serious" statements. The joke, if there is one, is Herman Cain. The fact that he's in the running makes the Republican field the punch line.

    October 17, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  18. Kenny K

    Comment about Tiger Wood may be a joke, but border security comment is on one of major issue in this country and should never be taking lightly.

    October 17, 2011 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  19. stevetall

    Cain is a drip. Is the campaign not inspiring and time-consuming enough that you have spare time to sit around writing dopey crap? Hey, man, we all got a great sense of humor. We're following what currently passes for politics, aren't we? Try this, my friend: Serious up! Snap out of it and take a look around. The future does not look great, and you're doing absolutely nothing to make things look better. I think you need to start working at the pizza joint again. Start at the bottom and see what it's like.

    October 17, 2011 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  20. A person of interest

    Backpedaling at its best...Repubs always have an Malcolm xcuse or a comeback

    October 17, 2011 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  21. Vanessa

    Right on T'sah fr Virginia!! I always enjoy reading what you say. As a strong supporter of our president, I couldn't agree more what you say! As well as others, Dominica for Obama, sniffit, Rudy NY & many more that I can't write because there's so many of you.. it's a pleasure to read your comments!

    October 17, 2011 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  22. mrhapiguy

    It was not a joke. Back in 2006, Tiger virtually walked on water. Instead of just admitting he grossly misjudged Tiger's character (like the rest of the country did, no shame in that), Cain is proving himself to be a liar.

    October 17, 2011 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  23. peakarach

    Cain 9-9-9 plans should have been call 911.

    October 17, 2011 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  24. PhonyRepubs

    This Cain man is turning out to be a jokester allright

    Now he made another joke today. Cain said that the illegals should be electrocuted at the border fences and having alligators around the moat

    Cain is certainly NOT presidential material!!

    October 17, 2011 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  25. EdSantaFe

    what a jerk

    October 17, 2011 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
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