Herman Cain On Libya: Which One Was That Again?

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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.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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