Herman Cain: 'We Need A Leader, Not A Reader'
As pointed out by Talking Points Memo, Herman Cain mirrored 'The Simpsons' with his latest quotable gem.
According to numerous sources, including The Associated Press, Cain said Thursday at a New Hampshire campaign event, "We need a leader, not a reader." The quote was reported on Twitter by ABC News' Susan Archer as well as AP's Steve Peoples. AP provides some context for the statement, explaining, "He defended recent stumbles on foreign policy and said the president doesn't need to know every detail about every country."
TPM's Benjy Sarlin notes that Cain's quote bears a striking resemblance to a joke from 2007's "The Simpsons Movie." During a scene in the White House, Arnold Schwarzenegger (the President of the United States in the film) is presented with a series of options on a major decision and immediately picks one of them without reading it. Explaining how he came to the decision so quickly, the character of Schwarzenegger says, "I was elected to lead, not to read."
Cain's "reader" rhyme, while catchy, may not be the best slogan for a presidential campaign. The quote also brings to mind a comment Cain made this past June in Iowa. ThinkProgress reported that while criticizing the health care reform bill signed by President Obama, Cain explained, "Engage the people. Don't try to pass a 2,700 page bill -- and even they didn't read it! You and I didn't have time to read it. We're too busy trying to live -- send our kids to school. That's why I am only going to allow small bills -- three pages. You'll have time to read that one over the dinner table."
The newest utterance comes amidst a series of foreign policy stumbles on Cain's part. During a videotaped interview on Monday with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Cain was asked, "So you agreed with President Obama on Libya, or not?" Cain's answer hit a few road bumps:
"Okay, Libya," said Cain, glancing up. "President Obama supported the uprising, correct? President Obama called for the removal of [Muammar] Gaddafi. Just wanted to make sure we're talking about the same thing before I say, 'Yes, I agreed. No, I didn't agree,'" said Cain.
"I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason," Cain started, before cutting himself off. "Nope, that's a different one." Cain shifted in his chair, adjusted his jacket and looked up again.
"I got all this stuff twirling around in my head," he added.
Per MSNBC, Cain spokesman JD Gordon later said, "The video is being taken out of context." Gordon continued, "He was taking questions for about 30 to 40 minutes on four hours of sleep. He didn't say anything wrong or inaccurate; it just took him a while to recall the specifics of Libya."
In the wake of Cain's videotaped answer, his campaign on Thursday cancelled an interview with New Hampshire's influential Union Leader newspaper. The former Godfather's Pizza CEO's camp would not agree to have the candidate's answers documented on video. A Cain spokesman says that the interview was cancelled due to a disagreement over timing, reports Steve Peoples.
HuffPost previously reported on other Cain foreign policy gaffes:
Earlier this month, he warned China was "trying to develop nuclear capability," though the country tested a nuclear device in October 1964. When asked whether he was prepared to answer "gotcha" questions 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?'" Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Afghan President Hamid Karzai later joked about the exchange.
Cain has also faced multiple sexual harassment accusations over the past few weeks. As AP reports, the candidate denied those allegations during Thursday's event in New Hampshire. "The people that are on the Cain train, they don't get off because of that crap," said Cain.
WATCH THE CLIP FROM 'THE SIMPSONS MOVIE' (via YouTube / jedynytakicarol):
WATCH CAIN'S VIDEOTAPED LIBYA ANSWER BELOW: