The good news for Herman Cain last night? CNN almost entirely avoided foreign policy last night in its debate questions. The bad news? Cain talked foreign policy in a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer and made a howler of a mistake in saying that he would consider swapping everyone in Gitmo for one captured American, by saying, “I could see myself making that kind of transfer.” That clip went immediately viral, and when the question arose at the debate, it came from Twitter and not from Anderson Cooper directly. Cain tried brushing it off by claiming that the question didn’t involve al-Qaeda, but still ended up being called “naive” by Michelle Bachmann:
In the intervening time, someone obviously reminded Cain that America has had a consistent policy to refuse to negotiate with terrorists, which he reiterated in the debate, but then watered down by then saying that he’d have to look at each individual situation. That didn’t clear up matters at all — we won’t negotiate with terrorists unless we will? — and so after the debate, Cain finally admitted what everyone already knew:
It’s refreshing to hear a candidate admit an error, but unfortunately for Cain, it’s becoming a habit. Earlier this week Cain proposed using an electrified fence on the southern border to permanently deter illegals from crossing into the US, and then had to claim later that it was a joke. On economics, Cain has a command that few can match, but it has become increasingly apparent that Cain is out of his depth on foreign policy. It won’t be enough to derail Cain’s campaign, but these unforced errors will have people approaching a Cain bid with more skepticism in the days ahead. We’ll see how that translates in polling.