Herman Cain On Libya: Which One Was That Again?

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


Herman Cain, in an interview with the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, struggles mightly to recall what the appropriate anti-Obama position is on Libya. Cain leans back in his chair and fidgets for ten long, painful seconds before saying, “President Obama supported the uprising correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gaddafi? Just want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing before I say yes, I did agree or no, I didn’t agree.” Cain then added, “I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reasons…Nope that’s a different one…Got all this stuff twirling around in my head…” Finally Cain asks for a more detailed question. “Specifically what are you asking me did I disagree or not agree with Obama?”

There are plenty of valid criticisms of Obama’s Libya effort, whether the war was worth fighting in the first place, the administration’s decision not to go to Congress, its misleading assessments of how long the war would last, and its dubious, hypocritical legal rationale for acting without congressional authorization after months had passed. Cain didn’t mention any of these. He simply said, “I would have done a better job of determining who the opposition is,” without explaining how that would have affected his decision, or what he would have done differently. 

“I’m a much more deliberate decision maker,” Cain said. “Some people want to say, as president you need to know everything. No you don’t. I believe in having all the information, as much of it as I possibly can. Rather than making a decision, or making a statement about whether I totally agree or didn’t agree, when I wasn’t privy to the entire situation.” 

“I’m not trying to hedge on the question,” Cain assured the board. “It’s just my nature as a businessman.” Well, it’s better than “oops.”

(h/t Jonathan Martin)

*This post has been edited for content.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate