Clash of the Titans: Cain vs. Clinton in 1994

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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.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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