Huffpost Politics
Ryan Grim Headshot

Herman Cain Smoking Ad Slammed As Glorifying Smoking

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON -- Bob Schieffer and Herman Cain sparred over the candidate's "smoking man" ad on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. Schieffer bluntly challenged Cain on the message of the ad, saying near the start of their discussion (in an unusual break from Schieffer's usual interviewing style) that he was expressing a personal opinion based on his own battle with smoking-related cancer.

The ad in question features Cain's campaign manager, Mark Block, encouraging supporters to donate time and energy to the campaign. Then Block, in a moment apparently transported from 1977, randomly puffs on a cigarette.

Schieffer accused Cain, a cancer survivor himself, of glorifying smoking and argued that as a frontrunner he needed to begin taking more responsibility for raising the level of dialogue. Schieffer effectively demanded that Cain take the ad down, but Cain noted that it had never been aired on TV and that the diffuse nature of the Internet made erasing it impossible.

Cain stopped short of apologizing for the ad, alternately saying that critics read too much into it and that it was an expression of Cain's belief that individuals should be free to make their own choices. He added that he has never smoked himself and that Block doesn't smoke around him.

Schieffer did extract one concession from the candidate, asking that he let viewers know that smoking is not something to admire. Cain complied. "Smoking is not a cool thing to do," he avowed.

Later, on NBC's "Meet The Press," Tom Brokaw challenged Cain as well. The 9-9-9 plan, Brokaw said, may refer to the nine months a person with lung cancer has left to live.

Around the Web

Cain's smoking ad divides Republicans: Reuters/Ipsos poll | Reuters

Herman Cain Smoking Ad: Jon Huntsman's Daughters Appear In ...

Herman Cain's bafflingly weird "smoking" ad - Opening Shot - Salon ...

Herman Cain's Smoking Ad Undermines Public Health - Forbes

Herman Cain gives thumbs up to smoking ad

Cain's 'smoking man' Web ad shines light on power of viral videos in ...

Huntsman daughters spoof Cain's smoking ad

Herman Cain 'smoking' ad wins NY Times columnist David Brooks' seal of approval

Herman Cain's smoking gums: the worst ad in the history of politics

Top 6 Cain Smoking Ad Parodies

James Carville Goes Off on Herman Cain Ad, Campaign Manager

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
Register To Vote