Pizza mogul Herman Cain has taken the GOP presidential campaign by storm in recent weeks, rising to the top of many state and national polls (recent sexual harassment scandals not withstanding). But despite his rise, Cain’s policies are certainly suspect, particularly his views on national security. Statements from Cain, like saying he’s not concerned about knowing who the president of “Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan is, have led some Republicans to conclude that he’s not quite “ready for primetime,” but Cain insists he’s now a foreign policy expert.
But Cain’s latest gaffe — his indication that he doesn’t know China has nuclear weapons — got former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wondering yesterday on Laura Ingraham’s radio show about Cain’s foreign policy prowess:
INGRAHAM: What do you make of that comment? Is that accurate what he said about China?
RICE: Well no clearly he misspoke. It is obvious that China is increasing its military capability. They’ve built an aircraft carrier for the first time and that sort of thing. They have have been a nuclear power for quite a long time as a matter of fact that’s one reason that they are grandfathered under the nonproliferation treaty because they were a nuclear power before that treaty came in to being so…people misspeak and not everybody’s a foreign policy expert going in to a presidential campaign. [...]
Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and say maybe it was misspoken but obviously if you’re going to run for president you’re eventually going to really have to know these things because China is a big challenge out there in a lot of important ways, including militarily.
Listen to the clip:
If anyone knows anything about presidential candidates not knowing anything about foreign policy, it’s Rice — and that didn’t work out so well.