Video: Herman Cain on the right of return

posted at 8:54 pm on May 23, 2011 by Allahpundit

D.G. Myers of Commentary thought it was a huge gaffe, Jonah Goldberg was “underwhelmed” by Cain’s performance, and Jim Geraghty thought the resulting kerfuffle over the “right of return” answer was much ado about nothing. I’m somewhere between Myers and Goldberg. Jim’s right that this is, for 90+ percent of the public, a boutique issue that won’t affect how they vote. It’s hardly disqualifying. But then he says:

All Cain’s comment did was reveal that he hasn’t given more than a moment’s thought to what the Palestinians — you know, the folks who elected Hamas to run their government and who danced on 9/11 — are demanding. I suppose that if you cling to the idea that only thing holding back peace in our time is a sufficient number of White House all-nighters on creative cartography, then yes, you would want a president familiar with “right of return” and the whole cavalcade of Palestinian demands. If you think the root of the problem is a culture that celebrates suicide bombers more than doctors and entrepreneurs, then this looks like small potatoes; all the presidential familiarity in the world with the “right of return” argument won’t make much difference.

It’s one thing to hear the argument and to rule it out as a red herring, it’s another never to have heard it in the first place — in which case, how can you make the sort of bold pronouncements about Israeli/Palestinian negotiations that Cain’s making here? Watch what he says at the very end of the clip, after he blanks on the phrase “right of return.” Quote: “I don’t think they [i.e. Israel] have a big problem with people returning.” Really? They have an existential problem with people returning, actually; Bibi himself made that point in the course of his now-famous lecture in the Oval Office last week. Cain obviously cares passionately about this issue, but then so do a lot of conservatives and yet somehow they’ve seen fit to acquaint themselves with the “right of return.” Are the writers at Commentary, say, poorer advocates for Israel because they know the Palestinians’ arguments? Was Bush?

This wasn’t the only case where Cain took a de facto pass on foreign policy either:

GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain said Sunday he doesn’t have a plan for the war on terror and won’t share his thoughts with voters until he gets into the White House.

“The right approach is that the day I’m elected, I would start on that plan,” he told “Fox Sunday News.”

Mr. Cain, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, said he can’t make those decisions until he sees intelligence files that he is not privy to at this point.

How would an Obama/Cain presidential debate on foreign policy and counterterrorism proceed if he can’t outline a plan until he’s sworn in and starts getting CIA briefings? As Reason’s Mike Riggs recently noted, there’s an odd dynamic here where on the one hand Cain is modest almost to a fault about making any commitments abroad until he has maximum information from U.S. intel, and on the other hand he’s fiercely pro-Israel despite seemingly not knowing the most basic basics about the Palestinians’ most basic demands. Why?

I’m curious to see where commenters come down on the Myers/Goldberg/Geraghty spectrum. There were a lot of facepalms in yesterday’s Headlines thread about this, but whether that’s because people agree with my take here or whether our very large, very strong Palin constituency is eager to score points on Cain before he poses a serious threat in Iowa, I don’t know. Let’s find out!


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comic relief.

sesquipedalian on May 23, 2011 at 8:57 PM

OK, he’s losing me now.

AUINSC on May 23, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Jon Huntsman is the next president of the united states.

Pick Mitt Romney or Tim Paw and we lose.

TimeTraveler on May 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM

I’ll wait for some official vigorous debates to occur before lamenting these apparent missteps; there is a lot of fleshing-out to do and the campaigns need to coalesce more.

Bishop on May 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM

He’s still my guy, but I’m a tad less excited about him. He needs to go ahead and hire his FP advisor now and fight his way out of this.

He can recover, but he needs to show some FP strength to retain the ‘complete deal’ status.

We need Bolton to set the gold FP standard in the primary.

knob on May 23, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Yeah, that was painful.

ctmom on May 23, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Also, he will be on Hannity’s show at 9p eastern.

knob on May 23, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Slowly, almost subtely Hotair.com is becoming more and more hostile to Palin as they ramp up to back T-Paw. Notice Ace acting weird about Palin too.

milemarker2020 on May 23, 2011 at 9:02 PM

He should have a firm, inviolate foreign policy just like Obambi did when he pulled all of our troops out of Afghanistan and the middle east, closed Gitmo, etc.

rmgraha on May 23, 2011 at 9:04 PM

I don’t think it’s a disqualifier either, although I was personally disappointed that the gaffe so quickly followed his inspiring announcement/campaign kick off.

Every interview he has from now on is going to have a foreign policy angle. I hope he prepares, studies more, and surrounds himself with knowledgeable advisors.

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Huntsman…

Reagan Republican on May 23, 2011 at 9:04 PM

The good news is that Cain doesn’t think as PBHO does, that there is a “Teutonic shift” occurring in the mideast. The last thing we need is another Germanic invasion.

Comic relief.

Bishop on May 23, 2011 at 9:04 PM

I’m pretty sure from the hatred shown in their posts about Palin that Ace and Allah are the same person. Have you ever seen a picture with the two of them together? I didn’t think so!!!

rmgraha on May 23, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Put me in the “modified facepalm” camp. But if Mr. Cain wins the primary, he’s got my vote, my time, and my money.

Mary in LA on May 23, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Slowly, almost subtely Hotair.com is becoming more and more hostile to Palin as they ramp up to back T-Paw. Notice Ace acting weird about Palin too.

milemarker2020 on May 23, 2011 at 9:02 PM

How in the world is this even about Palin?

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:05 PM

I thought it was a huge gaffe AND I was underwhelmed with the rest of his interview. He was the one pounding his chest about the Israeli/Palestinian topic, Wallace’s question was no blindside. When he went deer in the headlights on Right of Return, I was flabbergasted. I can’t take the man seriously after that interview, unfortunately.

jnelchef on May 23, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Each candidate has flaws, you just have to pick which flaw you want.

knob on May 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM

i going with Cain showed he doesn’t know a damn thing about foreign policy for $100 alex…

unseen on May 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM

How in the world is this even about Palin?

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:05 PM

There were a lot of facepalms in yesterday’s Headlines thread about this, but whether that’s because people agree with my take here or whether our very large, very strong Palin constituency is eager to score points on Cain before he poses a serious threat in Iowa, I don’t know. Let’s find out!

the_nile on May 23, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Ok, I’ll bite. I’m not a big fan of no-experience type people being taken seriously for the Presidency. This was basically the Sarah Palin Bush Doctrine moment, except that Right of Return is like hugely more visible than the Bush Doctrine. Palin’s answer didn’t bother me that much at the time.

But given the years of discussion on right of return, I’m surprised at his lack of, well, let’s say: nuance

r keller on May 23, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Good bye, Herman. Thanks for playing.

NickDeringer on May 23, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:05 PM

hmmmm didn’t allah want are thoughts about palin in the article he wrote.

djohn669 on May 23, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Tim Paw is toxic (check out the parole case in MN) so he is forcing me to back Jon Huntsman because there’s no other choice.

TimeTraveler on May 23, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Attacking candidates on such details so early is exactly how we end up with such poor choices in the end. The guy who sticks to the script with it’s boring predictable lies gets through to the end. I care more about his ideology and values than his particular knowledge, which he can develop on any subject in a matter of minutes with good people.

bagoh20 on May 23, 2011 at 9:10 PM

How in the world is this even about Palin?

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:05 PM

It’s not. You’re just not allowed to mention Palin in a way that’s not overwhelmingly positive. Even a neutral reference, as in my post, fails the test. Ace has simply reached his breaking point with that logic.

Allahpundit on May 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM

They have an existential problem with people returning, actually; Bibi himself made that point in the course of his now-famous lecture in the Oval Office last week.

Only certain people, like the ones whose parents and grandparents owned the land. Those from nearly everywhere else, provided their many-times-great grandparents lived there in ancient times — no problem.

Of course, there are those here who will quote Mark Twain as claiming the land was completely uninhabited, so there are no people who should be claiming a right of return, but Bibi’s fit should put a complete stop to that line of reasoning.

unclesmrgol on May 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM

All Cain’s comment did was reveal that he hasn’t given more than a moment’s thought to what the Palestinians — you know, the folks who elected Hamas to run their government and who danced on 9/11 — are demanding. I suppose that if you cling to the idea that only thing holding back peace in our time is a sufficient number of White House all-nighters on creative cartography, then yes, you would want a president familiar with “right of return” and the whole cavalcade of Palestinian demands. If you think the root of the problem is a culture that celebrates suicide bombers more than doctors and entrepreneurs, then this looks like small potatoes; all the presidential familiarity in the world with the “right of return” argument won’t make much difference.

You can have your president who has spent a great deal of time studying how to please the Palestinians. I’d much prefer a president who focused more on what Americans want

BINGO!!!! I’m firmly team Geraghty.

SouthernGent on May 23, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Slowly, almost subtely Hotair.com is becoming more and more hostile to Palin as they ramp up to back T-Paw. Notice Ace acting weird about Palin too.

milemarker2020 on May 23, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Maybe it’s just events unfolding that are making T-Paw look better & better.
Palin can never & will never be elected for anything bigger than a House seat. Sadly, unfortunately, too many people are convinced she’s either stupid or crazy or evil.

itsnotaboutme on May 23, 2011 at 9:12 PM

It is not a hard question. He should have known the answer. Even if he only has a passing interest in the issue. It was just a day or so before when Bibi lectured Obama on this subject.

Terrye on May 23, 2011 at 9:12 PM

It’s not a campaign-killer for Cain like Newt’s MTP gaffe was. But it does show he’s not ready for prime time. I know he’s running a small operation at the moment with just a handful of folks on his staff, but he needs to hire some advisors stat! Palin did and just look at the stuff her ghost writer is posting on Facebook lately(including today’s bit about Israel and Palestine).

If you’re gonna make these sorts of mistakes, now’s the time to do it rather than at a debate or in a more high profile TV interview(i.e 60 Minutes). But Cain won’t get many more of these mulligans when he’s already a longshot candidate to begin with.

(BTW, I’m kidding about the ghost writer thing with Palin. Before anyone piles on about that remark.)

Doughboy on May 23, 2011 at 9:13 PM

milemarker2020 on May 23, 2011 at 9:02 PM

djohn669 on May 23, 2011 at 9:09 PM

the_nile on May 23, 2011 at 9:08 PM

I apologize for that, I was unclear. I should have said, how in the world is this post in any way hostile toward Palin?

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Allahpundit on May 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM
again didn’t you just ask what the palin supoorters thought about it.

djohn669 on May 23, 2011 at 9:13 PM

I wasn’t that impressed with his debate performance. He had a few good soundbites but passing on Afghanistan was absurd. He then doubled down on that with an article. He also passed on the WOT policies.

He then admitted that his economic policy wouldn’t work.

This would not be acceptable from any other Republican candidate and I don’t see why it is from him.

He doesn’t have a clue.

sharrukin on May 23, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Was it Rummy that talked about the importance of knowing what you don’t know?

mpk on May 23, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Huntsman…

Reagan Republican on May 23, 2011 at 9:04 PM

No. There is another.

alwaysfiredup on May 23, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:13 PM

oh my bad , sorry

djohn669 on May 23, 2011 at 9:14 PM

If this is the worst he does, he’ll be fine. It’s not like he(or any other Republican) is going to get the Jewish vote anyway.

xblade on May 23, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Slowly, almost subtely Hotair.com is becoming more and more hostile to Palin as they ramp up to back T-Paw. Notice Ace acting weird about Palin too.

milemarker2020 on May 23, 2011 at 9:02 PM

How in the world is this even about Palin?

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:05 PM

To some people everything is about Palin. Everything.

Terrye on May 23, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Oh man, THIS ONE STUMBLE is going to sink Cain’s entire presidency. Better throw in the towel now, Mr. Cain, because we certainly know that a Romney or Yawnlenty would, uh… uh… uh… yeah, those two would have totally nailed that question. Mhfuwah huhmffbluffl

Jeddite on May 23, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Allahpundit on May 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM

“Not allowed” isn’t really it. It’s your blog, post/say whatever you want. You’ll get pushback if it’s not favorable to Palin. So what? Isn’t this place called “hot air”?

alwaysfiredup on May 23, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Each candidate has flaws, you just have to pick which flaw you want.

knob on May 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Well put!

Mary in LA on May 23, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Allahpundit on May 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Yeah, well, according to some in this thread, you and Ace are the same person so I don’t even know who to trust anymore. *adjust tinfoil hat*

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Jon Huntsman is the next president of the united states.

Pick Mitt Romney or Tim Paw and we lose.

TimeTraveler on May 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Someone else said it: He’s McCain without the war record.

Is that right?

catmman on May 23, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Jon Huntsman is the next president of the united states.

Pick Mitt Romney or Tim Paw and we lose.

TimeTraveler on May 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM

~~~~~~

Tim Paw is toxic (check out the parole case in MN) so he is forcing me to back Jon Huntsman because there’s no other choice.

TimeTraveler on May 23, 2011 at 9:10 PM

We heard you the first time.

IrishEi on May 23, 2011 at 9:16 PM

*adjusts

Dammit.

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Huntsman…

Reagan Republican on May 23, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Obama without the melanin.

AUINSC on May 23, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Of course, there are those here who will quote Mark Twain as claiming the land was completely uninhabited, so there are no people who should be claiming a right of return, but Bibi’s fit should put a complete stop to that line of reasoning.

unclesmrgol on May 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM

They started a war in 1948 and lost. End of story.

Do Americans have the ‘Right Of Return’ to England? What about those of Scottish descent driven from the land?

sharrukin on May 23, 2011 at 9:17 PM

He should have said, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean by that. Can you explain?”

That’s how they got Sarah Palin if I remember correctly. No one knows everything and it’s OK to acknowledge that publicly.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 23, 2011 at 9:18 PM

It goes to his managerial skills as well. Why hasn’t he hired a foreign policy expert to get him up to speed? I bet 90% of HotAir posters could have answered the question with no problem.

huckleberryfriend on May 23, 2011 at 9:18 PM

I’ll wait for some official vigorous debates to occur before lamenting these apparent missteps; there is a lot of fleshing-out to do and the campaigns need to coalesce more.

Bishop on May 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Finally. A voice of reason.

John the Libertarian on May 23, 2011 at 9:18 PM

TimeTraveler on May 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Oh yeah, he’s the ticket. Jon Huntsman /snark

Kini on May 23, 2011 at 9:19 PM

ouch… that’s gonna leave a mark

Republican Yogi on May 23, 2011 at 9:19 PM

It’s not. You’re just not allowed to mention Palin in a way that’s not overwhelmingly positive. Even a neutral reference, as in my post, fails the test. Ace has simply reached his breaking point with that logic.

Allahpundit on May 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM

ROFL…Ace hasn’t covered anything about Palin but tabloid stuff. When he starts showing respect maybe his readers will show him some IRT to his Palin posts

unseen on May 23, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Cain is on Hannity right now responding to this. He admitted he didn’t know the details of the issue. Good for him.

faraway on May 23, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Yeah, well, according to some in this thread, you and Ace are the same person so I don’t even know who to trust anymore. *adjust tinfoil hat*

I wish I was that talented.

“Not allowed” isn’t really it. It’s your blog, post/say whatever you want. You’ll get pushback if it’s not favorable to Palin. So what? Isn’t this place called “hot air”?

Yes, and? What’s your point? They’re allowed to push back, and I’m allowed to point out that they overreact to any reference to her that isn’t overwhelmingly positive.

Allahpundit on May 23, 2011 at 9:19 PM

It is not a hard question. He should have known the answer. Even if he only has a passing interest in the issue. It was just a day or so before when Bibi lectured Obama on this subject.

Terrye on May 23, 2011 at 9:12 PM

I disagree. People stumble all the time in interviews. And all the shifting policies of the various Israeli governments gets very hard to keep up with. I’m not positive, but I believe it has been policy at one time or another to allow return, but the Arabs don’t want any Jews to be there when they return.

His overall message was sound.

pedestrian on May 23, 2011 at 9:20 PM

We def need a middle aged dull white guy to run against MR. Historic……….Paging GOP Ruling Class!!!!

PappyD61 on May 23, 2011 at 9:20 PM

going with Cain showed he doesn’t know a damn thing about foreign policy for $100 alex…

unseen on May 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM

And he pretty much admitted that tonight on Hannity. I liked his answer, but he doesn’t inspire a great deal of confidence.

CTSherman on May 23, 2011 at 9:20 PM

I bet 90% of HotAir posters could have answered the question with no problem.

Yep.

Allahpundit on May 23, 2011 at 9:20 PM

I’d be willing to give Cain the opportunity to get smart on this. The measure of him as a potential candidate will be whether he learns and gets better.

Cain has no history of uttering freighted buzzphrases, positive or negative, about anything related to Israel or the Palestinian Arabs. This issue actually makes a good test of his theme about getting the right advice and properly identifying problems and solutions. He obviously starts from a less briefed-up state on this topic than many other candidates do. Let’s see where he goes with it, and if the kind of background and advice he makes use of produces the answers conservative Israel-supporters want to hear.

J.E. Dyer on May 23, 2011 at 9:21 PM

GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain said Sunday he doesn’t have a plan for the war on terror and won’t share his thoughts with voters until he gets into the White House.

“The right approach is that the day I’m elected, I would start on that plan,” he told “Fox Sunday News.”

Cain 2012

Southernblogger on May 23, 2011 at 9:21 PM

To some people everything is about Palin. Everything.

Terrye on May 23, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Yeah, that’s creepy. Thank goodness I’ll be evaluating Palin on the merits and not the behavior of some of her fans.

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:23 PM

I watched him on Hannity. I liked his answers. It is up to Israel. Ask Obama how he feels about the right of return.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on May 23, 2011 at 9:24 PM

Kini on May 23, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Keep thinking that way and the moron in the white house will get re-elected.

Obama doesn’t want Huntsman to win the nomination that’s he appointed him to the Chinese ambassadorship and that’s why they are launching a sort of stealth smear campaign to make base voters dislike him.

TimeTraveler on May 23, 2011 at 9:24 PM

Cain is on Hannity right now responding to this. He admitted he didn’t know the details of the issue. Good for him.

faraway on May 23, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Well than from cain’s thinking it wa sa major gaffe that required clarification…..

unseen on May 23, 2011 at 9:24 PM

The real question is not what Cain knows at this point, the question is what does the sitting POTUS know…?

d1carter on May 23, 2011 at 9:25 PM

As I noted on Judge Jeanine Pirro’s show this weekend, I reject President Obama’s idea that Israel must cede back its territories to the 1967 line. Will we now be in the habit of telling our allies what their borders should be? Should Prime Minister Netanyahu suggest we return to our 1845 borders before the annexation of the southwest of the United States during the Mexican-American War? Should we give back parts of Texas, New Mexico, and California?

But the problem is even deeper. In both his State Department speech and his speech yesterday at AIPAC, President Obama made some seemingly specific comments about the Palestinian state that he wants to see created. He either misspoke or he has even more dangerous plans for our friends in Israel than he is publicly admitting.

In the State Department speech, President Obama said that he wants the borders of Palestine and Israel to “be based on the 1967 lines” (in other words, with both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as part of the new Palestinian state) and that he wants a Palestine that is a “sovereign and contiguous state” (emphasis added). The Merriam–Webster dictionary defines “contiguous” as “being in actual contact: touching along a boundary or at a point; of angles, adjacent; next or near in time or sequence; touching or connected throughout in an unbroken sequence,” like the “contiguous United States” which obviously excludes Alaska and Hawaii.

But the 1967 lines do not include a “contiguous” Palestine. (See the map here.) So what does he mean? The President proposes “mutually agreed [land] swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.” Is linking Gaza and the West Bank with a road the “secured border” he has in mind? Or is he suggesting something more? Is it not possible he’s suggesting that the only way you can create a “contiguous” Palestinian state with “secured” borders is by carving Israel in half? Clarification on this point is of paramount importance, Mr. President.

In fact, that leads me to another even bigger geographic problem with the President’s remarks. As the British newspaper The Independent points out, there is further confusion because President Obama said, “The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.” As The Independent asks: “How does that square with the pre-1967 borders? Was the President implying that the new improved Israel will border neither Jordan nor Egypt, as it does now? Would Palestine’s contiguous territory come at the expense of Israel’s? Would Israel get the Gaza Strip and the Mediterranean and Palestine get the Negev and a Red Sea port?”

Is that what you have in mind, Mr. President? Do you not want an Israeli border with Egypt? You need to clarify what you mean. Diplomacy requires precision and you are causing enormous anxiety for some and making commitments to others that you might not be able to keep.

It has long been the dream of radicals like Noam Chomsky to create a “contiguous Palestine.” True, President George W. Bush spoke ambiguously of a “contiguous” Palestinian state, but he never defined it geographically with borders the way President Obama has, and he had the security of our ally Israel in mind more than our current President. President Obama has in essence boxed Israel in without regard for the facts on the ground and without appreciating the fact that Israel looks across the negotiating table and sees the terrorist organization Hamas in alliance with Fatah. Israel has demonstrated in the past that it is willing to negotiate fairly with a genuine partner in peace. Just look at the treaty it maintains to this day with Egypt. All of this should have been considered and the President’s words should have been carefully measured so as to help and not hinder the peace process. Unfortunately, his words have caused confusion and distressed our ally.

- Sarah Palin

unseen on May 23, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Obviously softballs coming from Hannity, but I admired his honesty: “You’re right, I was caught off guard [by the right of return question]. However, this is what I have learned since Sunday…”

If he has the capacity to learn (which I believe he is demonstrating), and the honesty to press on, I’m still supporting him. I am further impressed by the man’s humility, which is rather unheard of.

Supporting him unless/until Michele or Sarah enter and prove they are more worthy. (’cause it ain’t gonna be pawzzzz or romneycare)

knob on May 23, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Yes. But where is he on the 57 state question?

The ‘Teutonic Shift’?

Does Mr. Cain know any “corpse-men”?

Does he have any “Special Olympics” skills?

So Cain “acted stupidly”?

I could go on…

catmman on May 23, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Much ado about nothing.

I saw this live and interpreted as Cain not understanding the question which was fine because I didn’t either and I know about the “right of return” topic. But I had never heard it phrased quite that way.

Cain shot to the top of the list for me with this. He’s still not a strong enough candidate because he’s not a milque-toast stay on message that the handlers and promoters tell me to do guy like Romney and Obama are. He’s “real” and discussing things off the cuff. I’m saddened that we can’t seem to have candidates like this anymore and have to have pre-packaged candidates who voice polled opinions via teleprompter.

His foreign policy on Afghanistan is a cop-out though. I have no problem with him saying he won’t make a decision on what to do until he gets into office but he should at LEAST say what goals he would have for Afghanistan (Finish the job or bail out). If that means saying “I’m going to bring an end to it one way or another” then say THAT but don’t just say “No opinion”.

Skywise on May 23, 2011 at 9:26 PM

They’re allowed to push back, and I’m allowed to point out that they overreact to any reference to her that isn’t overwhelmingly positive.

Allahpundit on May 23, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Why would you care one way or the other how readers react?

faraway on May 23, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Geez. Harsh audience here. Who really gives a flying fig about what a “nation” of terrorists think. They’re homeless for a reason.

SouthernGent on May 23, 2011 at 9:26 PM

I’d be willing to give Cain the opportunity to get smart on this. The measure of him as a potential candidate will be whether he learns and gets better.

J.E. Dyer on May 23, 2011 at 9:21 PM

I agree with huckleberryfriend, he has the money to hire top-notch political consultants and subscribe to StratFor. He should be nailing down his positions on all of these issues.

John the Libertarian on May 23, 2011 at 9:27 PM

They’re allowed to push back, and I’m allowed to point out that they overreact to any reference to her that isn’t overwhelmingly positive.

Allahpundit on May 23, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Exactly. “not allowed” is inapt.

alwaysfiredup on May 23, 2011 at 9:27 PM

On the 17th he says…“I wouldn’t raise it. I would force the hard discipline now.”

On the 22nd he says… My plan to not raise the debt ceiling won’t work

sharrukin on May 23, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Remember, Obama had zero foreign policy experience and it was weighing on him during his campaign, then he got his foreign policy expert on board—Joey Biden. All is well now, right?

Rovin on May 23, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Let’s see where he goes with it, and if the kind of background and advice he makes use of produces the answers conservative Israel-supporters want to hear.

J.E. Dyer on May 23, 2011 at 9:21 PM

In total agreement. I haven’t seen it yet, but a commenter just said he admitted not knowing what the term meant just a minute ago on Hannity. That’s a good starting (over) point.

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:28 PM

unseen on May 23, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Cain should be taking notes at about this time…..

unseen on May 23, 2011 at 9:29 PM

TimeTraveler on May 23, 2011 at 9:24 PM

Nope, Huntsman is Romney lite in any other suit, just as empty.

No, I agree with Bill Kristol, the real candidate hasn’t announced yet.

Kini on May 23, 2011 at 9:29 PM

The problem with Cain is that he is wide and shallow on most topics. So, it’s hard to know what he thinks if he doesn’t know himself.

faraway on May 23, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Huntsman…

Reagan Republican on May 23, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Obama without the melanin.

AUINSC on May 23, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Huntsman is solidly conservative on economic and national security issues. He’s center-right on social and environmental issues. Obama’s left on all. How are they the same?

Reagan Republican on May 23, 2011 at 9:30 PM

As Reason’s Mike Riggs recently noted, there’s an odd dynamic here where on the one hand Cain is modest almost to a fault about making any commitments abroad until he has maximum information from U.S. intel, and on the other hand he’s fiercely pro-Israel despite seemingly not knowing the most basic basics about the Palestinians’ most basic demands. Why?

This,the “right to return” gaffe isn’t so bad , but the combination. The “you’ll find out when I’m elected” doesn’t work.

the_nile on May 23, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Why would you care one way or the other how readers react?

Why would I care what my own readers think? You want me not to care at all about my own audience?

Allahpundit on May 23, 2011 at 9:30 PM

I’m sorry to have to say it, but this gaffe is huge.

Bugler on May 23, 2011 at 9:32 PM

That’s a good starting (over) point.

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Yeah maybe not sure. candidate s not admit they are wrong for a reason. Their opponents use it against them. So it might be good if no one uses it against him.

On a side note I just don’t think ther eis time for Cain to learn what he needs to know at this stage. the press will ask him foreign policy question after question now. It has exposed a wweakness and the MSM will use it to hammer him with…

unseen on May 23, 2011 at 9:32 PM

Remember, Obama had zero foreign policy experience and it was weighing on him during his campaign, then he got his foreign policy expert on board—Joey Biden. All is well now, right?

Rovin on May 23, 2011 at 9:28 PM

heh. yeah, I think dad let joey try to pull the car out of the driveway today and had a little ‘issue’ if you will….

ted c on May 23, 2011 at 9:32 PM

In total agreement. I haven’t seen it yet, but a commenter just said he admitted not knowing what the term meant just a minute ago on Hannity. That’s a good starting (over) point.

Bee on May 23, 2011 at 9:28 PM

They will make excuses for his lack of preparation. Certain other candidates did not get such dispensation on missteps right out of the gate; Palin’s still getting hit for her Couric interview in the other thread. Not saying anyone is at fault, just observing.

alwaysfiredup on May 23, 2011 at 9:32 PM

No Palin supporter should dare criticize him. If he would have just babbled about “freedom” for 2 sentences it would have matched Palin’s answers on many questions she obviously didn’t know the answer to.

thphilli on May 23, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Cain’s lack of knowledge about Right of Return pales in comparison to the Gingrich self-destruct on the Ryan budget plan, the latter of which poses a problem for every Republican house member in a swing or close district, and may have changed its fate in the senate from life support to blue line.

Yes, Cain should’ve known the clean and clear answer to Wallace’s question, just viscerally if not prepped by staff on it, but that’s something fixable going forward. I’ll bet he won’t boot the ball again but, if he does, he’s over. It’s good for him that a gaffe like this occurred so early on, and it wasn’t about an issue as important to the primary electorate as, for example, the Ryan plan.

TXUS on May 23, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Slowly, almost subtely Hotair.com is becoming more and more hostile to Palin as they ramp up to back T-Paw. Notice Ace acting weird about Palin too.

milemarker2020 on May 23, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Everybody here saw what happened to Palin and any misinterpretations and fabrications of non-issues that made her look like she was not polished on foreign policy. Like, “honey educate yourself and come back later-preferably not, mhkay?”

Palinistas are watching stuff like this closely because it is telling people like me how any gaffe the potential candidates make have a great chance in 2012.

I like the guy; but if I am gonna hand him over the nuke keys, he better brush up on foreign policy; if not he won’t have a chance to even give the order.

Smart Power. Peace Through Strength.

ProudPalinFan on May 23, 2011 at 9:33 PM

I’m going to repeat a comment I made here weeks ago.

Cain looks interesting in some ways, but needs to show how he can make the leap from losing a Senate primary (admittedly years ago) to winning a POTUS race.

This isn’t doing that, so far…

cs89 on May 23, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Allahpundit on May 23, 2011 at 9:19 PM

You are, indeed, allowed to point out the hyper-sensitive response by some in the pro-Palin camp, to any comment that’s not relentlessly Palin-positive. It’s easy to get carried away by enthusiasm. Also interesting to watch the responses to a solid candidate like Pawlenty; many seem to have an I’ll vote for him if I have to attitude at this point.

Some of the Palin over-sensitivity grew out of the relentless attacks on her, by both the opposition party and some within our own camp. After constant, talking points criticism, it’s easy to get caught in constant defensiveness.

Your criticisms of her, (and Ed’s) seem to be more moderate, keyed to a specific point or position.

massrighty on May 23, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Cain should be taking notes at about this time…..

unseen on May 23, 2011 at 9:29 PM

If anything, Cain should have been better prepared to answer, what appears to be a simple foreign policy question.

Kini on May 23, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Bad enough that he didn’t know what the so-called right of return issue is. Bewildering that he apparently didn’t hear Netanyahu’s comments with a furious Obama sitting next to him in the Oval Office.

ProfessorMiao on May 23, 2011 at 9:37 PM

You can have your president who has spent a great deal of time studying how to please the Palestinians. I’d much prefer a president who focused more on what Americans want.

Is Geraghty working for Cain? That spin is so totally lame. My 14 yr old niece knows what the right of return is, so I would expect my president would know it too. And for crying out loud, it was all over the news a mere 36 hrs before Cain went on FNS and he never heard it? Duh.

By itself, this isn’t that big a deal, but his channeling John “I have a plan for Iraq but I won’t tell you what it is until after the election” Kerry and his whiffing on Afghanistan during the SC debate (you want your president to study that one, Geraghty?), it reflects total ignorance on foreign policy. Sorry, but I’m passing on Cain.

rcpjr on May 23, 2011 at 9:37 PM

No. There is another.

No one else has the stardust like Huntsman. Things change when he walks into a room. I’ve been in one of those rooms. He’s going to catch on like wildfire. You heard here first.

Reagan Republican on May 23, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Allahpundit on May 23, 2011 at 9:30 PM

We demand your personal opinion on Huntsman and his chances in winning the GOP nod.

TimeTraveler on May 23, 2011 at 9:37 PM

I’m sorry to have to say it, but this gaffe is huge.

Bugler on May 23, 2011 at 9:32 PM

It belies a fundamental lack of knowledges about this subject, sure. But ‘huge’? If he had no knowledge or understanding of the Israel issue AT ALL – THAT would be huge.

What he does with it is the real question. Does he dig in – al la Newt – not willing to acknowledge a fault, then try to walk it back (but not really) wink – al la Newt as well, or does he grow as a candidate?

I like Cain. Mostly because he isn’t a career pol. He needs some work but I think that’s a good thing.

catmman on May 23, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Huntsman is solidly conservative on economic and national security issues. He’s center-right on social and environmental issues. Obama’s left on all. How are they the same?
Reagan Republican on May 23, 2011 at 9:30 PM

No way! Give me the positions that support those ridiculous assertions you just made and I might reconsider.

He served Obama…one of the few GOP to do so…and I don’t think he did any good for our nation in China.

AUINSC on May 23, 2011 at 9:38 PM

TimeTraveler on May 23, 2011 at 9:24 PM

The base didn’t need a smear campaign. He lost out on 2012 as soon as he quit Utah to work on behalf of Obama.
We all found out then that the Gov. of Utah wasn’t exactly conservative.
Tell me, I’m assuming you are a Huntsman supporter and part of No Labels, unless this has all been sarcasm.

What did he ever disagree with Obama on anyway?

CTSherman on May 23, 2011 at 9:38 PM

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