On ABC’s This Week, former George W. Bush administration Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dinged the sometimes goofy, gaffe-prone foreign policy of Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain. Asked by host Christiane Amanpour about Cain’s seeming ignorance, and in particular the now-infamous “Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan” gaffe, Rice responded with a chuckle that those sorts of comments weren’t the sort of things you like to hear out of a presidential candidate’s mouth:
AMANPOUR: [I]n this particular campaign, [Republicans] all seem like they’re rushing for the exits when it comes to foreign policy. Or, in the case of Herman Cain, kind of making fun of a lack of knowledge — I mean, he did the whole “Uzbeki-beki-beki-stan.” Do you find that a little cavalier?
RICE: Well, I think in retrospect it probably wasn’t a great thing to say if you’re running for president. And foreign policy ought to be more a part of the debate than it is, because we’re so interconnected.
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Amanpour also brought up Cain’s statement this week that China’s “indicated that they’re trying to develop nuclear capability,” when, as Amanpour put it, “obviously we all know China has been a nuclear power since the 1960s.” Last week Rice said “not everybody’s a foreign policy expert” when asked to comment on Cain’s China claim. But today when Amanpour asked if she was “alarmed” by the gaffe, the former Secretary of State demurred and said Cain might have misspoke — a suggestion that left Amanpour incredulous. “Christiane, I wasn’t listening and I really don’t know,” said the former Secretary of State. “It concerns me that we are not having a discussion about foreign policy.”