Last night on Fox News, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain — who has seen his popularity jump in recent weeks — explained how he would have responded to the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States: missiles:
CAIN: I would have done something earlier such that it probably would have encouraged them not to do something like this and that is one of great capabilities we have is our ballistic missile defense systems that could be upgraded, and we could place these Aegis ballistic missile defense systems in international water in that part of the world. [...]
I would send strong signals to let them know that we would be prepared to take whatever actions we needed to take. … We have got to show them our capability. And one of the capabilities that this president is not maximizing is the use of these ballistic missile Aegis warships that we have. We have a great number of them, and we are not flexing our muscles.
But by this morning, Cain appeared to have come to his senses. When MSNBC host Chuck Todd asked Cain how he would’ve responded to the alleged plot as president, Cain said he’d take time to get the facts before making a decision:
CAIN: A President Cain would respond to these allegations about Iran by first asking all of my intelligence sources to come in, asking the Joint Chiefs of Staffs, getting everybody that knows something about this situation to come in. Let’s take a look at the complete picture. Let’s take a look at all of the data and then make a decision. I can’t say what I would do sitting here based upon just the news reports.
Watch the clips:
As the New York Times notes, the plot is a “bizarre scheme involving an Iranian-American used-car salesman who believed he was hiring assassins from a Mexican drug cartel for $1.5 million.” According to Cain, apparently nothing scares Mexican drug cartel triggermen more than ballistic missile defense on ships in the Persian Gulf.