MINNEAPOLIS -- Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain defended his statements on Muslims in a meeting with bloggers Saturday, saying he would allow a Muslim to enter his administration like anyone else -- even while he continued to say he would use special precautions to keep out terrorists.
In May, Cain said he would not allow a Muslim to work in his cabinet because of "creeping Shariah law." At the conservative Right Online conference Saturday, the presidential hopeful said he's not racist, but careful.
"I am not anti-Muslim. I am anti-terrorist," he said. "My statement has been misconstrued several times. I've even been called a bigot, because I've expressed a desire to be cautious if I were to consider a Muslim for my administration."
Still, he stood by that caution, tying Muslims to violent extremism and terrorism threats.
"I'm thinking from the perspective of what [Israeli President Benjamin] Netanyahu said when I first heard him two months after 9/11/2001," he said. "Number one, he said terrorism is going to last a long time, and number two, America's got to learn that they -- the terrorists, the jihadists -- they want to kill all of us."
"So no, I'm not going to play nicey nice and say that I'm not going to take extra precautions in order to be able to make sure that we can do our job," he said.
Later, when pressed on what those extra precautions might be, Cain became angry and yelled at a reporter. "I never said I would use any 'special precautions!'" he said. "I never used those words. Those words were used by somebody on the Internet."
The reporter asked if a Muslim would get into the administration like anyone else if they applied. Cain replied, "Yes."
Later, Cain touted his ability to make calm, rational decisions based on fact when asked about his foreign policy. "They like the fact that I'm not going to make a snap, shoot-from-the-hip judgment," he said of his fans.
Tweets about Cain's speech, compiled by HuffPost's Mandy Jenkins.
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