GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain’s campaign has been so beset by foreign policy gaffes that he’s constantly forced to defend his record. First, it was his assertion that he believed in the Palestinian right of return — which he subsequently walked back under pressure. Then he unilaterally recognized Taiwan. Then last week he displayed deep ignorance about Uzbekistan, an increasingly important ally in the Afghanistan war that Cain called “Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan.” Cain again had to defend himself, and merely blamed liberal, African-American commentators for not “want(ing) black people to think for themselves.”
On Fox News yesterday, Cain again defended himself and posited that he is merely waiting to display a foreign policy acumen that he has spent a “long, long, long time” — nine months — building up. Here’s Cain’s secret plan to surprise everyone with his depth of knowledge on world affairs:
Have you ever heard the expression “the tiger in the tall grass”? Just sort of wait? Do they think that for the last nine months I have not been studying the foreign policy challenges that they face? Do they think for the last nine months I have not been consulting with a group of foreign policy advisers about all the different situations that we’re in? Do they think for a moment that I’m not a student of the position that I seek, and that I probably know more about foreign policy than they think?
What I’m just saying, Neil, is that I hope they continue to think that I’m foreign policy dumb, until the right time they will find out I’m not as foreign policy dumb as they think. I am have been a student of every one of these issues for a long, long, long time. So I hope they continue to maintain that attitude.
Watch Cain on Fox here:
The “Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan” gaffe prompted ThinkProgress’s Matt Yglesias to observe:
Cain is transparently running for talk radio host or something. If it wouldn’t make a good subject for a 10-minute drive time segment, he doesn’t want to talk about it… Cain, trying to leap from ex-CEO of third-rate pizza chain to president of the United States, doesn’t think he needs to do anything.
In yesterday’s Fox interview, Cain did not, however, mention any specifics. One wonders why, if Cain has been studying U.S. hotspots for nine months, he completely botched answers about China-Taiwan relations, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the geostrategic map of supplying U.S. troops fighting in the Afghanistan war. And if he’s been studying these issues for nine months and can still bungle answers this badly, is it even possible for him to become competent enough in foreign policy to occupy the white house in another 16 months?
(HT: Max Blumenthal)