EDITOR’S NOTE: Four years ago today, I published a piece about my trust in then-Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain being placed in peril and, eventually, broken more than eight months after I’d asked him a serious question during a phone call. Hoping the 2016 candidates are paying attention, I share it again (only slightly modified for republication) below:
On March 14, 2011, I participated in a conference call with a number of online writers — including bloggers, citizen journalists, reporters and others. During that call, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain answered plenty of questions, one of which was mine.
At the time, I didn’t intend to write a post based on what transpired during the call; instead, I simply wanted to hear the man speak and answer some questions. Little did I know almost nine months later how important the question I asked him would become.
Though I don’t remember the exact wording of my question, it went something like this:
“When the opposition research folks start digging into your background, are they going to find any skeletons in your closet?”
“They’ll find I have a 20 handicap in golf and it never got lower. I have an original copy of my birth certificate. I have no illegitimate children, I have no mistresses.”
So, did Herman Cain tell me the truth? Is he telling the truth today? At this point, it appears he did and he is — unless, that is, one wants to count as indisputably true the numerous accusations made in recent weeks without evidence to back them up.
Still, many Americans think Cain isn’t telling the truth, and I suspect much of their skepticism stems from a combination of two factors:
• First, the boneheaded statement Linn Wood gave to an Atlanta television station did not help the candidate’s cause [Note: See the paragraphs in italics at the end of this report to read Cain’s lawyer’s statement]; and
• Second, the mainstream media’s penchant for smearing black conservatives.
Have I completely given up on the “Cain Train” because of recent events? No. Do I think he’s off track? Yes.
Today, he needs to come back with both fists swinging, demanding someone show proof — beyond phone bills, that is — that he is a philanderer. After all, his name isn’t Herman Kennedy.
UPDATE 11/30/11 at 5:03 p.m. Central: See also Brent Bozell’s recent column.
UPDATE 12/02/11 at 8:37 a.m. Central: When news broke yesterday afternoon that Cain had been paying Ms. White money without his wife knowing about it, I had to end my ride on the “Cain Train.” After all, if he’s willing to keep things from his wife, he’ll probably do the same thing to taxpayers – and that’s not good!
With the 2016 presidential election season running full steam ahead, remember to ask your favorite candidates questions. Tough questions. A lot of tough questions. In short, make them earn your trust.
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