Herman Cain Supports Collective Bargaining For Public Employees, Or Something

As much as the incoherent response he gave to a rather simple  question about Libya, Herman Cain is also raising questions for his response to a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editor’s question about what has been the biggest issue in Wisconsin this year:

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, during an interview in Wisconsin, supported the principle of collective-bargaining for public employees while opposing “collective hijacking” in an answer that might give his opponents an opportunity to drive a wedge between Cain and Republican primary voters.

“Yes,” Cain told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel when asked if he supports collective bargaining for public employees. “But not collective hijacking,” he added, explaining that “if they have gotten so much for so many years and it’s going to bankrupt the state, I don’t think that’s good. It appears that in some instances, they really don’t care.”

Wisconsin passed collective bargaining legislation that sparked a tumultuous state Supreme Court election and a wave of state Senate recall campaigns, which ultimately resulted in Republicans retaining a narrow state Senate majority, despite losing three seats.

Cain also offered mild criticism of the legislation passed by Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, which was recently rejected by Ohio voters on a referendum. “I think in that particular case, maybe they tried to get too much and as a result it failed, but I do support collective bargaining,” he said when asked about the referendum. He reiterated, “In this case, they may have tried to get too much in one bill.”

This is hardly going to go over well on the right, I would think. More importantly, though, as you watch the video below, you’ll notice that Cain doesn’t even seem to know what the collective bargaining rights of Federal Employees are at the moment. Amateur hour.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    It’s obvious that Cain had no idea that collective bargaining doesn’t apply to federal employees. There are college students in business programs who learned that two years ago. This candidacy is a farce.

    Honestly, I thought the GOP primary selectorate had bottomed out with Miller, Angle, Buck and O’Donnell. It’s becoming increasingly obviously, however, that that demographic is devolving below the lowest common denominator and into the tar pit of terminal stupidity. This bodes quite ill for the country. If America were a stock I’d begin to establish a net short position.

  2. Hey Norm says:

    The Amatuer hour is about to get even better…
    Perry promised to unveil a plan to “…uproot all three branches of government and overhaul Washington. It touches every branch of government because they each have contributed to the demise of America…” This should be good. And we have almost a year left of this GOP trainwreck before the election.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Mercy rule.

  4. legion says:

    What’s the over-under on Cain walking this statement back in time for the evening news today? The lunchtime news?