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Herman Cain: Henry Kissinger Rejected My Offer To Be Secretary Of State [UPDATED]

First Posted: 11/15/2011 1:23 pm Updated: 11/15/2011 3:31 pm

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain asked 88-year-old Henry Kissinger to serve in his hypothetical administration as secretary of state, he told reporters in a recent interview. Kissinger said thanks, but no thanks.

In an editorial interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that has provided potentially damaging highlights in the form of Cain's controversial support for public workers' collective bargaining rights and his extensive bumbling on a question about U.S. foreign policy in Libya, the former Godfather's Pizza CEO also answered questions about how he'd fill his administration if he were to win the presidency.

"Dr. Kissinger turned my offer down to be secretary of state. He said he's perfectly happy doing what he's doing," Cain said, before rattling off some other names that he'd been mulling as potential cabinet picks. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) were among the names he listed, though he wouldn't clarify which posts he'd like them to fill.

"My administration will have a majority of business people, as well as some seasoned officeholders who are not afraid to challenge the status quo," Cain said of the general qualities he was looking for in his choices.

Cain and his staffers reportedly convened with Kissinger in New York earlier this month to discuss foreign policy, a topic that has repeatedly complicated his quest for the White House.

During that meeting, Cain got a small boost from Kissinger, who called the smoking part of their famous viral campaign ad "brilliant."

UPDATE:

Cain's campaign says he wasn't being literal about asking Kissinger. Below, a tweet from Washington Post blog The Fix.


The Fix
Cain spokesman says Cain did not actually ask Kissinger to be his Secretary of State.

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Filed by Nick Wing  |