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Herman Cain Says He Would Like To Be Secretary Of Defense

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 12/15/2011 9:51 am Updated: 12/15/2011 11:38 am

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said that if he were a cabinet secretary, he would want to be Secretary of Defense in an interview with Barbara Walters aired Wednesday on ABC as part of her "10 Most Fascinating People of 2011" series.

"What kind of cabinet position might you like if it were possible?" asked Walters, after Cain said that he thought no candidate would choose him as vice president because of the sexual harassment and affair allegations -- which he continued to deny -- against him that caused him to suspend his campaign.

"We are speaking totally, totally hypothetical, right?" said Cain. "Department of Defense."

"What?" said a surprised Walters. "Not Treasury? I mean you're the 999 man."

"I'm the 999 guy," he said.

"Department of Defense. Why Department of Defense?" she asked.

"Because if I could influence rebuilding our military the way it should be, that would be a task I would consider undertaking."

"If you were secretary of defense it would be important to be familiar with the various countries around the world, and you have had some difficulty with that, Mr. Cain," she said.

"Yes, but I have been doing my homework ever since that difficulty," he replied.

Cain made many foreign policy gaffes throughout his campaign. He struggled to explain his disagreement with President Barack Obama over the Libya intervention in an interview with the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last November. The clip of the exchange went viral and added to the perception that the candidate knew little about foreign affairs.

He also warned that China was "trying to develop a nuclear capability" even though the country tested a nuclear device in 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 shared a laugh over the exchange.

Walters asked Cain to sing at the end of the interview. He sang the Christian hymn "He Looked Beyond My Faults," which he performed at a press conference at the National Press Club last October.

Donald Trump, the Kardashians and Pippa Middleton also made Walters' list of the most fascinating people.


Click to see a slideshow on Herman Cain's gaffes and unforgettable moments:

Black Walnut
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When Herman Cain started leading in the polls in early October, Sarah Plain called the former pizza mogul the "flavor of the week." Cain fired back, telling Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show" that actually, he's "black walnut" -- a flavor that lasts longer than a week.

"I can eat black walnut all the time -- it's not a flavor of the week! It's not that heavy. You can eat it on the cone or in a cup," Cain later said on "Fox and Friends."

Over a month later, when pressed in an interview with GQ to name what ice cream flavors his competitors would be, Cain replied that Mitt Romney is "just plain vanilla," Rick Perry, "rocky road," and Michele Bachmann, "tutti-frutti." He added after that last one, "I know I'm going to get in trouble!"

In that same interview Cain was asked what you can tell about a man by the kind of pizza he likes and asserted that the more toppings you pile on, the more manly you are. Not vegetables, though. That's "sissy pizza," the candidate said.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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