Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has faced a steady drumbeat of criticism ever since ThinkProgress originally reported that he declared during a trip to Iowa that he would not be comfortable appointing a Muslim to his administration. In recent weeks Cain has surged ahead in the polls, and today he was back in the Hawkeye state for several events with the anti-gay conservative group The Family Leader. During a question and answer session in Pella, IA this afternoon, ThinkProgress asked Cain if he would be opposed to appointing a qualified gay person to serve in his cabinet. Cain said he would have no problem appointing someone who was openly gay, then immediately refreshed his anti-Muslim rhetoric. Leaning in conspiratorially, Cain explained gay appointees are “not going to try to put sharia laws in our laws,” before laughing.
TP: Mr. Cain, you recently came under fire for your comments about the kind of people you would appoint to your cabinet. Would you be opposed to appointing an openly gay but qualified person to be in your cabinet?
CAIN: Nope, not at all. I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all. I just want people who are qualified, I want them to believe in the Constitution of the United States of America. So yep, I don’t have a problem with appointing an openly gay person. Because they’re not going to try to put sharia law in our laws.
Interestingly, Cain made these remarks while standing next to Iowa kingmaker and notorious homophobe Bob Vander Plaats, who seemed to register no objection to Cain’s comfort appointing openly gay people to his administration. Of course, Cain’s open-mindedness about gay appointees is seriously undermined by his rationale and paranoia about American Muslims imposing sharia law in the U.S.