Clash of the Titans: Cain vs. Clinton in 1994

Ryan Cooper has a fascinating item over at the Washington Monthly about Herman Cain’s role in deep-sixing Bill Clinton’s healthcare plan. It’s worth a read before Cain’s 15 minutes are up and we all forget he ever existed.

It’s also fascinating because it includes a video clip of Cain debating Clinton at a town hall meeting in 1994. Go watch! Two comments:

  • It’s just awesome what a storehouse of knowledge Clinton is. Off the top of his head he knew the average payroll cost of a food service business, he knew how much health insurance cost them, and he knew how much an increase in insurance costs would likely raise the final price of their product. Holy cow! And he reeled all this off without seeming even slightly professorial or highbrow.
  • Cain hasn’t changed a bit in the past 20 years. Clinton’s math in this clip sure sounds right to me, but Cain’s answer was, basically, “You’re wrong,” followed by a blizzard of dodgy numbers. Sound familiar? He’s still saying this anytime someone tells the truth about one of his plans. “You’re wrong” appears to be his all-purpose answer to everything.