Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain met with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Thursday in New York to discuss foreign policy, but there was a moment of levity when Kissinger praised Cain's viral web ad showing his campaign manager, Mark Block, taking an extended drag of a cigarette.
Block described the scene to the National Review. "Halfway through Mr. Cain's conversation, Doctor Kissinger turns and points to me and says, 'That smoking thing you did was brilliant.' I sat there thinking, Dr. Henry Kissinger just said something I did was brilliant," he said. "We all got a good chuckle."
Cain's ad released late last month became an internet sensation, drawing over 1.4 million views on YouTube and spawning numerous parodies. The ad shows Block touting the campaign, then taking a long drag of a cigarette, before finally dissolving to a close-up of Cain slowly smiling. The ad has been criticized for glorifying smoking.
According to Block, Kissinger praised Cain's questions on foreign policy. Cain, however, has made several foreign policy gaffes. Cain flubbed a question on the Palestinian "right of return" last May on Fox News.
Responding to how he would answer "gotcha" questions in an interview in October, he said, "When they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan I'm going to say you know, I don't know. Do you know?"
He acknowledged he "misspoke" in answering a question on a hypothetical prisoner exchange involving detainees held at Guantanamo Bay.