Herman Cain: The President Of The United States Is No Patriot

During a morning interview with Hotline, GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain threw out some red meat for the Tea Party crowd:

Herman Cain might be out playing golf today if not for President Obama, who he says is ruining America.

The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and conservative radio show host made millions in the private sector and in recent years had focused on his Atlanta-based radio show, spending time with his family and his golf game. He decided to come out of semi-retirement to run for president.

Cain said he thought he was done with running for political office after losing a 2004 Senate primary to now-Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., but when he “saw what President Obama was doing to this country” he felt compelled to make another run.

Throughout a Monday interview with Hotline On Call, Cain bashed Obama and his policies. When asked about Obama as a man, he complimented his family life. But when asked whether the president was a patriot, Cain hesitated. After asking for a definition (a man who is working to do what he sees as right for his country), he simply said “no.”

This is what I hate about politics today. Isn’t it possible to disagree with the President without nonsense like this? Apparently not.

I have no doubt that the people inclined to support Cain will love this, but it contributes absolutely nothing to political discourse in this country and it tends to reinforce Charles Krauthammer’s observation that Cain’s campaign is mere entertainment.

H/T: Jim Galloway

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds 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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Gustopher says:

    What a schmuck.

  2. Babyboomer1960 says:

    This is what I hate about politics today. Isn’t it possible to disagree with the President without nonsense like this? Apparently not.

    I understand the concept that you put out there that disagreeing with the President without nonsense like this strikes you as negative and to be avoided. But let’s stand back for a moment and analyze how you reported that the comment came about being made and, more importantly, how once it was made, was “spun” into something other than what it might have really been.

    You explicitly point out that Mr. Cain hesitated, apparently wanting further clarification before proceeding to his answer. I think that this shows a more thoughtful and reasoned response than if he had just knee-jerk responded with an emphatic “No!” But he didn’t, did he? Once he was satisfied with the definition of “patriot,” “…he simply said ‘no.'”. He didn’t go on a tirade about it, apparently, despite the previous segments of the interview which you characterize as “bashing.”

    So Mr. Cain doesn’t think Obama is a patriot and it comes to light only because someone (a reporter) pressed him on the issue, and only after a moment of thought. That’s not “nonsense.” That’s his opinion. Please note that he hasn’t made it a part of his stump speeches. He hasn’t issued any press statements saying he thinks Mr. Obama is not a patriot. He isn’t running on a platform of “Obama is not a patriot.” If any of these things come to pass during Mr. Cain’s run for Presidency, then I totally agree with you that it’s nonsense and an inappropriate topic for discussion or debate in the battle for the POTUS.

    What Mr. Cain has done, however, is point out precisely where the current Administration’s policies are leading this country. Many people share his belief that where this country is heading because of these policies amounts to national suicide on many fronts. That’s why I believe that he paused when initially asked the question, and made his answer a simple, one word response.

    According to how you characterized the interview and posted about it, I get the impression that the reporter was fishing around for a “gotcha moment” or to see if they could throw Mr. Cain off balance. When the trap didn’t spring as expected, the news media decided that it might play as red meat for both sides of the aisle. You seem to have been sucked in to the narrative, because you fail to recognize, even as you reference Mr. Krauthammer’s observations, that it’s the media who gets to determine how much exposure, credibility, or gravitas a candidate gets. For the left, the “red meat” is the takeaway quote that shows how shallow the arguments of the right are. For the right, the “red meat” is again the takeaway quote that for them, affirms that Mr. Cain is reacting in a thoughtful, reasoned manner and not rushing off to wail about Obama’s lack of patriotism.

    Even as you contribute your thoughts on this interview, aren’t you contributing to that atmosphere of “media entertainment” that you decry in your comments?

    I voted for Cain when he ran against Isaakson for Georgia’s Senate. I’ve listened to him on his talk radio program, since I’m in the Atlanta market. Although I enjoy and appreciate his thoughts, I believe it’s way too early to be making firm choices for the upcoming primaries. Time will tell if his campaign amounts to nothing more than an “also ran” or “entertaining diversion.” It’s far more likely in my opinion that it will be the former, only because “The Donald” seemed to have given us a stellar example of how to “run” as an “Entertainment Candidate.” Flash in the pan. Next.

    P.S. While I enjoy Mr. Krauthammer’s observations on FOX News from time to time, I question why you apparently agree with him that either he, or someone he approves of in the media, gets to decide whose run for POTUS is something other than “mere entertainment.” I continue to believe that that determination is best made by the electorate, and not a Washington Inside-The-Beltway fossil, intellectual wonk though he may be…

  3. george says:

    Maybe he just meant that coming from Chicago, the President is a Bear’s fan rather than a Patriot’s fan?

    That, or maybe Cain is just continuing on with his streak of saying silly things, possibly for kicks?

  4. An Interested Party says:

    That’s his opinion.

    Indeed…just as it is the opinion of many others that Cain is a fool who represents a group of politically schizophrenic yahoos who haven’t a clue about how to fix the problems this country faces, but who do have plenty of empty, meaningless bumper sticker slogans to trot out…I mean, really, Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani had a better chance of becoming president than this fellow…but hey, I’m sure Godfather’s Pizza tastes great…

    I question why you apparently agree with him that either he, or someone he approves of in the media, gets to decide whose run for POTUS is something other than “mere entertainment.”

    Well of course joke candidacies are judged as mere entertainment…

  5. Southern Hoosier says:

    I have no doubt that the people inclined to support Cain will love this….

    I love it!

  6. reid says:

    Babyboomer1960: No matter the context, “no” is simply the wrong answer to that question. Sure, Palin or Bachmann would have screamed “no” immediately and implied that Oabam is a muslim/marxist/terrorist, but that doesn’t excuse Cain’s answer.

  7. TG Chicago says:

    More Godfather gusto from the link:

    If elected, Cain promised to get things done – but not by working with Congress. “I’m not going to propose something just because it can get through Congress,” he said.

    “Compromise is killing this country. Compromise is killing this economy,” he added. “The way I’m going to get [laws] passed is not compromising to the middle – I’m going to take the solutions to the people so they can put the pressure on their members of Congress.”

    I guess he’s counting on not only winning, but getting a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Good luck with that, Hermanator.

  8. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Isn’t it possible to disagree with the President without nonsense like this?

    Nonsense!? He was asked for an opinion and gave an honest answer. What would you have preferred that would qualify as not nonsense?

  9. Southern Hoosier says:

    @ reid
    If Cain thought that Comrade O’Bama was doing what was right for this country, there would be no need for him to run against him. And if I felt Comrade O’Bama was doing what is right for this country, then I wouldn’t be voting against him. Just because McCain campaigned for Comrade O’Bama in 2008, doesn’t mean Republican candidates will campaign for him in 2012.

  10. jemk says:

    @An Interested Part:

    “…just as it is the opinion of many others that Cain is a fool who represents a group of politically schizophrenic yahoos who haven’t a clue about how to fix the problems this country faces, but who do have plenty of empty, meaningless bumper sticker slogans to trot out…”

    Just another example of a liberal resorting to name calling but offering no substantive reason as to why Cain is a “fool”. As to “empty, meaningless bumper sticker slogans”….are you referring to “Hope and Change”? Not much hope for a better future with the policies of the current administration and if the change that the same administration has been delivering for the past 2 1/2 years (2 of those years with a Democratic majority in the Congress) is the change we can continue to expect, then we, the ordinary working people of America are the fools. We are the fools if we allow the destruction heaped upon this country by a President ,who more than a few people consider not to be a patriot, to continue.

  11. Southern Hoosier says:

    Patrick T. McGuire says: Monday, May 23, 2011 at 18:59

    Nonsense!? He was asked for an opinion and gave an honest answer. What would you have preferred that would qualify as not nonsense?

    They would have preferred that Cain fall all over himself, praising Comrade O’Bama the way McCain did in 2008

  12. Hey Norm says:

    Hehehe…the side show characters always say the silliest things just to get the attention they crave.

  13. Allan says:

    Looks like I’ll be continuing my lifelong boycott of Godfather’s Pizza.

  14. Southern Hoosier,

    A response that goes something like “I disagree profoundly with the positions the President has taken and the policies he has enacted but I believe that he is acting in what believes to be the best interest of the country” would’ve worked.

    But then, the Tea Party crowd wants foaming at the mouth, don’t they?

  15. A voice from another precinct says:

    The answer coming after requesting “a definition” of patriot–given as “a man doing what HE SEES AS RIGHT for the country [emphasis added]”–simply adds to the “Comrade Obama, pal-ing around with terrorists who hated their counrty, not born here, Muslim agent of Islamoterrorists” meme that is currently making the rounds of the far far far right world of Palin, SH, PT and others. You guys are entitled to your opinions and I support your First Amendment rights to say them wherever you wish to, but get it through your heads–IT IS NONSENSE!

  16. Gustopher says:

    What’s up with “Comrade O’Bama”? Do the wingnuts now think the Kenyan Muslim Socialist is an Irish Muslim Socialist?

    And as far as the schmuck Cain goes… at least when given a definition of patriot as “a man who is working to do what he sees as right for his country”, he did not say “Well, I don’t know what he thinks he’s doing for Kenya…”

  17. Southern Hoosier says:

    I believe that he is acting in what believes to be the best interest of the country” would’ve worked.

    I agree.

    That would imply that he is deliberately destroying the country and doing it out of incompetence.

  18. Southern Hoosier says:

    Gustopher says:
    Monday, May 23, 2011 at 19:22

    What’s up with “Comrade O’Bama”?

    Referencing his last name, sometimes written in jest as O’Bama, he joked: “I’ve come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way.”

    http://goo.gl/BtZi0
    Now that Comrade O’Bama has found the apostrophe in his name I am going add it.

  19. ratufa says:

    But when asked whether the president was a patriot, Cain hesitated. After asking for a definition (a man who is working to do what he sees as right for his country), he simply said “no.”

    One interpretation of that exchange is that Cain thought the “he” in that definition referred to him (Cain), not the guy who the definition is being applied to (Obama). In that case, Cain just misunderstood something during an interview and gave the same answer that any other conservative would give. Big deal.

    The other interpretation is that Cain thinks that Obama is not doing what he (Obama) thinks is right for America, which sounds like the interpretation that Doug had in mind in his post. I suppose one could spin that in a few different ways depending what exactly led Cain to believe it, but why bother?

    As a general rule — and I don’t know if this applies to Cain or not — I’m pretty dubious about folks who demonize their political opponents in this way (i.e. saying that they literally are on the side of terrorists, hate America, etc), especially when it’s based on mind-reading. People who care about this country can have very different, good-faith political views.

  20. barry curtis says:

    Not a patriot? The same could be said about someone that will run for Pres. knowing he has no chance in winning especially when they couldn’t win a senate primary and has only 13 dollars in his PAC. What would make a man do it? Is it just huge ego and desire to be on TV? I really don’t understand the human mind enough to examine the levels of the ID. Oh but I will not say he is not a patriot.

    B Curtis

  21. Southern Hoosier says:

    @barry curtis says:
    How about a president that has a loathing for the military? That doesn’t sound too patriotic to me.

  22. anjin-san says:

    The right’s favorite tune is “Send in the Clowns”. What else is new. It is remarkable how deep their bench is though.

  23. Babyboomer1960 says:

    A response that goes something like “I disagree profoundly with the positions the President has taken and the policies he has enacted but I believe that he is acting in what believes to be the best interest of the country” would’ve worked. But then, the Tea Party crowd wants foaming at the mouth, don’t they?

    Ouch! How is it that you can read the minds of all the TEA Party participants all at the same time and determine that we collectively are chompin’ at the bit to see someone open up a can of whoop:@s? How about What sort of nonsensical question is that for you to be asking?! I’m not going to respond to your attempt to goad me into some sort of ‘gotcha’ moment. If you have nothing further of substance to ask me, then I’ll be moving on to my next interview. Thank you for letting me spend some time with you explaining why I am running for the Presidency. Good day.” Yeah. That would have worked as well…

    My first read of your original post seemed to indicate that Mr. Cain attempted to avoid the issue all together, even going so far as to gratuitously praise Obama for his family values – something he (Cain) strongly endorses as part of his personal and political values system. To that extent, Cain shows himself to be gracious at least, in attempting to say something nice about Obama. But the way the lamestream media sycophants look at IMHO is that if anyone says anything negative about “The One,” then they must just be racist “haters.” Cain has put the media back a step or two, because they can’t accuse him – a black man – of being racist. It’s just not going to happen…

    And as for Well of course joke candidacies are judged as mere entertainment…, the point I was trying to make is who is claiming to be the arbiter of that judgment is the Inside The Beltway Party Wonks. It’s not the way it should be. I don’t believe that in the end, Cain will be the nominee for the Republican Party. That doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t have a chance to participate and form the discussion, does it? Its so early on in the process that there’s plenty of time for fundraising to fall flat, for comments to go awry à la Newt Gingrich, or outside events changing to focus of the discussion. I’m with Southern Hoosier, though, who seems to agree with me that the whole dynamic of how the reporter got Cain to say “no” to a question that was pressed (apparently repeatedly), until Cain had painted himself into a corner. Perhaps Cain hasn’t gotten the memo that he’s supposed to fall all over himself, in praise of Obama. But had he done that then they’d be all over him asking why, if Obama is such a patriot and doing such a great job, was Cain even thinking about running against him? Like I said earlier: they were looking for a “gotcha!” moment, failed to have it materialize as expected, and are now hoping that they can salvage some mud on Cain for future slinging…

    Well of course joke candidacies are judged as mere entertainment…

    By the jokers in the Mainstream Media and Inside The Beltway Policy Wonk analysts!”

  24. tom p says:

    Southern Hoosier,

    A response that goes something like “I disagree profoundly with the positions the President has taken and the policies he has enacted but I believe that he is acting in what believes to be the best interest of the country” would’ve worked.

    But then, the Tea Party crowd wants foaming at the mouth, don’t they?

    Doug, why do you converse with an admitted racist?

    Remember, and I quote, SH said:

    The major factor is race, not population density. DC is 65% Black,

    Then he doubled down…. In his following posts. Doug, SH wants foaming at the mouth as well. Isn’t it obvious?

  25. MarkedMan says:

    Well, I guess his comment about “talking the message to the people so they can put pressure on their congressman” is a bit less naive than Ross Perot’s “I’m gonna lock the congressmen in my office until we reach a solution”. It’s certainly less… felonious (kidnapping is a felony). But, since it’s already true that the President often campaigns against the opposing party and Cain is implying that he would do something different, is he saying that he would start campaigning against members of his own party? Good luck with that tack.

  26. Southern Hoosier says:

    @ tom p

    If I am such a racist, why do I support Herman Cain? Last time I check, he’s Black.

  27. Scott O. says:

    SH, Why don’t you tell us why you support Herman Cain.

  28. barry curtis says:

    Loathing of the military? So when we saw him at Ft. Campbell his smile and PDA was a ruse? FLOTUS at Westpoint that was what? If you are going to respond to a comment of mine please make it somewhat intelligent and at least something more than what your small section of comrades would think that your comment was worthy of a reply.

  29. Southern Hoosier says:

    barry curtis says:
    Monday, May 23, 2011 at 21:31

    Loathing of the military?

    You forgot that Pres Clinton, the darling of the liberals expressed, in writing, a loathing for the military?

  30. Southern Hoosier says:

    Scott O. says:
    Monday, May 23, 2011 at 21:19

    SH, Why don’t you tell us why you support Herman Cain.

    Considering who the Republican presidential candidates are, he seems to be the best choice. I’ve listed to him a lot on talk radio and I like what he has to say and the way he says it.

  31. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    A response that goes something like “I disagree profoundly with the positions the President has taken and the policies he has enacted but I believe that he is acting in what believes to be the best interest of the country” would’ve worked.

    But then, the Tea Party crowd wants foaming at the mouth, don’t they?

    Or he could just say no. I don’t get where you see the Tea Party wanting “foaming at the mouth”.

    You really need to switch to decaf.

  32. CB says:

    How about a president that has a loathing for the military?

    you guys must seriously be missing a chromosome or two.

  33. michael reynolds says:

    Hoosier:

    If I am such a racist, why do I support Herman Cain? Last time I check, he’s Black.

    Because you’re full of sh!t and you think you can inoculate yourself by picking out some jackass with no chance to win and loudly touting the fact. You’re a buffoon, everyone knows it, you’re fooling no one.

  34. Bob Dobolina says:

    You’ll never convince the idiots on the right. They see nothing wrong with (or stupid about) unironically stating that the President of the United States of America is not a patriot. Take them off life support. They’re brain-dead and beyond hope.

  35. anjin-san says:

    Cain knows if he says something incredibly stupid, the stupidest people in America will respond – he already has SH rolling over & begging for more…

  36. michael reynolds says:

    I don’t see any alternative to accepting as fact anything said by the CEO of the nation’s 9th largest pizza chain.

    Now, if he was just the 10th most powerful pizza executive I might question him. But how do you question a man who has risen to 9th place among pizza executives and has a radio show that comes in, I’m guessing here, 14th or so among radio shows overall, but perhaps as high as 11th place among the coveted “elderly Kansas farmers who have a radio in their combine” demographic?

  37. I don’t see any alternative to accepting as fact anything said by the CEO of the nation’s 9th largest pizza chain.
    So, you accept it.

    How many takes until you got that fantastic profile photo?
    Your mirror must be worn out.
    And where do you rank on the pizza chain?
    That Rogaine is only working to affect your brain.

  38. Southern Hoosier says:

    michael reynolds says:
    Monday, May 23, 2011 at 23:30

    Hoosier:

    If I am such a racist, why do I support Herman Cain? Last time I check, he’s Black.

    Because you’re full of sh!t and you think you can inoculate yourself by picking out some jackass with no chance to win and loudly touting the fact. You’re a buffoon, everyone knows it, you’re fooling no one.

    Call me anything you want, but at the end of the day, your the one living in the lily white world, not me.

  39. Southern Hoosier says:

    @ tom p @ anjin-san @An Interested Party

    What type of world do you live in? Liberals talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk.

  40. An Interested Party says:

    Call me anything you want, but at the end of the day, your the one living in the lily white world, not me.

    Oh? Michael has posted at Stormfront? Oh, wait, that was you…

  41. michael reynolds says:

    Well, you got me, Hoosier: it’s true that I don’t live in a trailer park in southern Indiana with a Confederate flag on my wall and an MIA flag flying outside.

    Your “conservative” class warfare resentment has stung me. I apologize for earning enough to live somewhere pleasant.

  42. ken says:

    The question that Cain has to answer is why would he, as a black man, belong to a political party that caters to racists and goes out of its way to make them feel welcome and comfortable in their racist beliefs?

  43. EddieinCA says:

    Southern Hoosier says:

    You forgot that Pres Clinton, the darling of the liberals expressed, in writing, a loathing for the military?

    What, exactly, does President Clinton’s thoughts about the military have to do with President Obama?

  44. Southern Hoosier says:

    EddieinCA says:
    Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 14:55

    Southern Hoosier says:

    You forgot that Pres Clinton, the darling of the liberals expressed, in writing, a loathing for the military?

    What, exactly, does President Clinton’s thoughts about the military have to do with President Obama?

    What does half the stuff on here have to do with the subject.

  45. Southern Hoosier says:

    @ An Interested Party
    And what type of lily white neighborhood do you live in?

  46. Southern Hoosier says:

    michael reynolds says:
    Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 10:40

    Well, you got me, Hoosier: it’s true that I don’t live in a trailer park in southern Indiana with a Confederate flag on my wall and an MIA flag flying outside.

    Neither do I.

    Your “conservative” class warfare resentment has stung me. I apologize for earning enough to live somewhere pleasant.

    I’d move to an all white community too, if I could afford it. Aren’t there any upscale integrated communities out there?

    A new analysis of Census 2000 shows that more blacks, Hispanics and Asians are living in the suburbs — areas still largely dominated by whites. But they’re continuing to live apart from whites, forming suburban versions of the racial and ethnic enclaves that have shaped cities for much of the past century.

    http://goo.gl/zSzhF

  47. An Interested Party says:

    And what type of lily white neighborhood do you live in?

    I don’t live in such a neighborhood, nor does fear drive me to want to live in such a place, unlike you…