Cain complains that Cuba policy questions in Florida are “gotchas”
posted at 11:00 am on November 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
Really? That could be a valid complaint from a candidate stumping for votes in places like Iowa and New Hampshire, where voters probably don’t have too much concern over the “wet foot dry foot” policy of accepting Cuban refugees. When a candidate goes to Florida and explicitly campaigns in the Cuban-American community to get them, those questions seem more pertinent than “gotcha” — especially when the topic at hand was Barack Obama’s “foggy foreign policy”:
Cain, who last week stumbled over questions about what he would do in Libya, seemed to know little about Cuba. His campaign kept reporters at bay, and when asked about the Cuban Adjustment Act and the so-called wet-foot, dry-foot policy, Cain seemed stumped. The policy allows Cuban immigrants who have made it to US soil to stay.
“Wet foot, dry foot policy?” Cain asked. His press handlers interrupted as Cain diverted his course and ducked back into the building. Later, when he emerged, he was asked again by another reporter. Cain wouldn’t answer. …
Cain, though, wouldn’t talk to reporters there, either. A FOX reporter asked Cain what he thought of President Obama’s easing of travel restrictions to Cuba. Cain said that was a “gotcha question.”
The Miami Herald has video of the question regarding refugee policy:
Cain also offered what looks like a moment similar to Barack Obama’s “Austrian” language gaffe:
At Versailles, Cain sipped cafecito and munched on croquetas[.] “How do you say ‘delicious’ in Cuban?” he asked, perhaps not realizing there is not language as ‘Cuban.’
Perhaps this was another joke on the campaign trail, but we raked Obama over the coals for doing the exact same thing in 2009. And saying that Obama does this, as Cain’s defenders have done with other “jokes” on the campaign trail, isn’t much of a confidence builder.
On economic policy, Cain has a great deal to contribute. On foreign policy, though, he seems lost. The refugee policy that the Herald referenced is a big deal in America’s policy toward Cuba, and the status of travel restrictions even more so. Cain came to Florida to speak to the Cuban-American community on foreign policy without apparently bothering to study on the issues that mean the most to them. The lack of depth on foreign policy is worrisome enough, but the lack of skillful preparation for this campaign tour is even more worrisome.