Herman Cain Goes Off (Video): “There are No Racial Implications” to Romney Welfare Ad

 

Herman Cain doesn’t see what the big deal is about a roundly debunked Republican claim about President Obama and welfare. The charge, parroted in GOP talking points and a new Romney campaign ad (which a Romney strategist said Tuesday was the campaign’s most effective one yet), is that President Obama issued an exemption allowing states to water-down the work requirements to receive welfare benefits. (The exemption, requested by Republican governors, actually did the opposite. It allowed states to adjust their work requirements, giving them the ability to make it harder to receive welfare benefits.)

The racial overtones of the welfare charge are not especially subtle (Newt Gingrich was accused of treading into equally racially-tinged terrain by calling Obama a “food stamp president” during the primary). With that in mind, I asked one of the GOP’s most prominent African-American voices, former presidential front-runner Herman Cain, if he was troubled by the welfare ad. Answer: Hell no. Cain’s aide said he was in a hurry to get inside the Tampa convention center, but when he heard my question he told his handlers to stop:

There are no racial implications! This is fabricated on the part of the Democrats. Man, I’m just sick of all this so-called racial implications. It is a fair ad that Governor Romney put out about welfare. And for the Democrats to continue to talk about racial implications, they are just trying to deceive people! I’m sick of it! There is only one color that matters in the American dream and that’s green! And by the way, there are poor black people and poor white people, and poor Hispanics, so there are no racial implications. Thank you, I had to stop for that.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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