HolyCoast: Stop Pandering, Mr. Cain

Monday, October 03, 2011

Stop Pandering, Mr. Cain

Herman Cain has had a lot of success lately, but if he decides to go into full pander mode, as he did with two stories this weekend, he's toast.

First, he went after Rick Perry on the bogus racist rock story. Matt Lewis responds:
After Sunday’s Washington Post reported that Texas Governor Rick Perry had utilized a Texas hunting camp named “Niggerhead,” GOP candidate Herman Cain (a former pizza exec. and the only black candidate running for the GOP presidential nomination) wasted little time in accusing Perry of being insensitive to racial issues.

“Since Gov. Perry has been going there for years to hunt,” Cain told ABC’s “This Week,” think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off of that rock and renaming the place.”

When anchor Christiane Amanpour pushed back — noting that the rock had actually been painted over — Cain doubled-down, saying: “But how long ago was it painted over? So I’m still saying that it is a sign of insensitivity.’’

(Cain made similar comments on Fox News Sunday — demonstrating that this was not a gaffe made in response to a question that simply caught him off guard.)

In a prepared release, Perry Campaign Communications Director Ray Sullivan responded to Cain’s attack, saying: “Mr. Cain is wrong about the Perry family’s quick action to eliminate the word on the rock, but is right the word written by others long ago is insensitive and offensive. That is why the Perrys took quick action to cover and obscure it.”

Sullivan reiterated that the rock had been painted and turned over, and that “The Perrys did not own, name or control the property, they simply rented hunting rights to 1,000 acres of the ranch.”
Secondly, after Obama criticized the GOP because one or two idiots in the debate audience booed a gay soldier, suddenly Cain decided he should have been the one to jump to the soldier's defense:
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said Sunday that he should not have stayed silent after the audience at a GOP debate booed a gay soldier serving in Iraq.

The Georgia businessman told ABC's "This Week" that it would have been "appropriate" for him to have defended the soldier. None of the candidates on stage at the Sept. 22 forum responded to the boos.

"In retrospect, because of the controversy it has created and because of the different interpretations that it could have had, yes, that probably -- that would have been appropriate," Cain said, when asked if he should have asked the audience to respect the soldier.
I'm sorry, but that sounds like a full-blown pander to the media with that response. GOP candidates are not responsible for the fevered reaction of a couple of people in a debate audience, and accepting any sort of responsibility simply plays into their critics' hands.

I have respect for Cain, but I'll quickly lose it if this kind of stuff keeps up.

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