Herman Cain has been taking heat for his response to questions about Politico's story on alleged sexual harassment. But today on Morning Joe, it was Politico's own Jonathan Martin, lead author of the story, who was being evasive about the details of the allegations against Cain.
Incredibly, when Willie Geist asked him to describe specifically what Politico is accusing Cain of having done, Martin hemmed, hawed then ultimately said "we're just not going to get into the details of exactly what happened with these women," beyond the sketchy generalities in the Politico story. Video after the jump.
Politico stunned the presidential campaign Sunday night with a hit piece on Herman Cain alleging with unnamed sources that two women accused the Republican candidate of "inappropriate behavior" decades ago.
Appearing on Fox News's Geraldo At Large moments after the story broke, conservative author Ann Coulter said, "It's outrageous the way liberals treat a black conservative. This is another high-tech lynching" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS’s Bob Schieffer unintentionally played the foil to Herman Cain on Sunday’s Face the Nation as Schieffer expressed his politically-correct displeasure with Cain’s “downright bizarre” Web video which briefly shows Cain’s chief of staff smoking, was flummoxed by Cain’s sense of humor (“You also said at one point that you might want to back that fence up with a moat and fill it with alligators. Was that a joke too?”) and was baffled by Cain’s accurate claim Planned Parenthood was spurred by the eugenics movement’s desire to reduce the black population.
On the ad, Schieffer decried how “it sends a signal that it’s cool to smoke” before he scolded Cain: “Well, let me just tell you, it’s not funny to me....I don't think it serves the country well, and this is an editorial opinion here, to be showing someone smoking a cigarette.” (video below)
Brian Maloney at the Radio Equalizer identified the dirty mind Politico writer Glenn Thrush brought to talk radio (although if it's liberal talk radio, it's probably not safe for young audiences anyway). On the October 27 edition of the Bill Press show, Press and Thrush were discussing the very buzzworthy Herman Cain ad that concludes with Cain chief of staff Mark Block blowing cigarette smoke at the end.
Many media people wondered if this would send a bad pro-smoking message to America's youth. To Thrush, that seemed like a celebratory smoke after sex:
CNN put Republican candidate Herman Cain in the spotlight on Friday for his apparent lack of knowledge, accusing him of "dodging" tough questions. Cain had multiple times answered tough foreign policy questions by saying he would need to consider "all of the facts" before making an well thought-out decision.
"One of the things that I've always prided myself on is making an informed decision based upon knowing all of the facts," Cain stated during the May 5 Republican presidential debate. [Video clip below the break. Click here for audio.]
On Thursday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Kristen Welker only managed to give 23 seconds to the State Department buying up $70,000 worth of President Obama's various books. However, on October 21, investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff offered a full report about Herman Cain's presidential campaign buying copies of the businessman's new book.
Isikoff portrayed the large purchase of Cain's book as a scandal and even a potential violation of campaign finance laws: "That means profits for Cain himself and could run afoul of campaign laws, say watchdog groups." In contrast, Welker described the Obama book buying in a single sentence, followed by a sound bite of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: "The White House didn't have anything to do with this..."
Thursday was Bash Republicans Day on Good Morning America. Reporter Jon Karl highlighted past Mitt Romney statements to spin the candidate as a flip flopper. In a follow up segment, Democrat James Carville appeared to dismiss Herman Cain as a "national distraction" and urge Rick Perry to drop out of the race.
Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative and longtime friend of Carville, offered his colleague free rein. Carville excoriated an ad featuring Cain's campaign manager smoking. He berated, "I saw him smoking a cigarette. If that guy wasn't drunk, I haven't taken a drink in my life. He was as high as he could be." (It should be pointed out that, just ten days ago, Pew Research found that Barack Obama was getting far worse coverage than any of his Republican rivals.) [MP3 audio here. Video can be downloaded here.]
MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Wednesday wondered if Herman Cain, who worked for the Department of the Navy during Vietnam, is a "chicken hawk" because he criticized the President's pull out of Iraq.
Talking to professor Michael Eric Dyson, Bashir complained, "And on the issue of Iran, does Cain remind you at all of Dick Cheney and that long roster of chicken hawks who've rabidly pushed for U.S. military action there?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
MSNBC's Martin Bashir tag-teamed with liberal pundit Jared Bernstein to slam Herman Cain and Rick Perry's tax plans today, insisting that both are a sop to the "rich" and an act of "class warfare" against the middle class. An onscreen bio graphic noted that Bernstein used to work for Vice President Biden, but that fact would go unnoted for any listeners to the program via MSNBC's SiriusXM satellite radio channel.
Also unaddressed by Bashir was that while Cain, Perry and the other GOP candidates are running against the Obama economic record, Bernstein had a hand in fashioning the 2009 stimulus package.
In a January 2009 memo co-authored with then-Obama economic advisor Christina Romer, the pair argued that a stimulus bill would stop the upward march of unemployment at 8 percent in the third quarter of 2009, with unemployment falling throughout 2011 and reaching around 5.5 percent by Election Day 2012 (see graph from that report below the page break).
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory ripped Rick Perry's flat tax proposal: "The problem is, this does help the rich. It hurts a lot of the poor and the middle class. Political professionals I talk to say the problem with the flat tax ideas is that once voters look at it a second or third time they don't like it much." [Audio available here]
Gregory even suggested Republican voters in Iowa would be opposed to the plan: "A lot of voters in the Iowa caucuses are not necessarily rich so it may not stand the test of time." He then added: "And oh, by the way, how do you get it passed when nobody can agree on tax reform right now?" [View video after the jump]
On Monday's Morning Edition, NPR's Carrie Kahn followed her network's standard operating procedure by omitting anti-illegal immigration conservatives from a report highlighting Latino Republicans' concern over the apparently "rough" language from GOP presidential candidates. Kahn cited one activist who bemoaned that the "the harsh talk is making it difficult to recruit new Latino voters."
During his introduction for the correspondent's report, fill-in host Ari Shapiro acknowledged that "Mr. Obama has lost popularity with Latinos recently, mostly due to the economy," but then added that "Hispanic voters looking for alternatives are not too happy with the Republican slate either." Kahn continued by playing up how "if you've been listening to the GOP presidential candidates lately, the talk about immigration control is getting rough."
Herman Cain has been ahead of Mitt Romney in the most recent GOP presidential candidate polling average at Real Clear Politics by a microscopic margin since late last week.
Readers might be surprised to know that the wordings of the presidential preference questions at the various polling organizations differ significantly. In my view, the same person might given a different answer depending on which organization's polling question was asked. Here are the examples, with the Cain-Romney split identified in each instance (links are to fairly large PDFs in some instances):
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough continued his almost relentless attacks on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain Monday this time also throwing an unnecessary barb at former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
When the "Morning Joe" discussion turned to what the Cain campaign is doing in Iowa to prepare for the upcoming caucuses, the supposedly conservative co-host said to Time magazine's Mark Halperin, "You may want to tell him next time you see him to read Foreign Affairs and the New York Times" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
On Sunday's Meet the Press, host David Gregory teed one up for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that was specifically designed to mock the Republican presidential candidates while allowing her to brag uninterrupted about the foreign policy successes of Barack Obama (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews this weekend made a somewhat self-deprecating comment about presidential candidate Mitt Romney telling the guests on the syndicated program bearing his name that Republicans "don't have a thrill up their leg about this guy."
After some laughter, they agreed (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Catching up with an admission from just after Tuesday’s Republican presidential candidate debate in Las Vegas, CNN’s Anderson Cooper lightheartedly conceded that when he confronted Herman Cain with his earlier criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protests, a criticism Cain reaffirmed to rousing audience applause, Cooper hadn’t intended it as a softball but as an embarrassing mis-cue from which he expected Cain to backtrack.
“Sort of teed it up for him there,” Cooper fretted in his post-debate hour after re-playing his exchange with Cain, “I didn’t really mean to. But he clearly just knocked that one out of the park. I mean, and it was obviously -- at least for this audience in this hall, that played very well.” (video below)
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer noted Herman Cain leading the Republican presidential field but wondered: "is he really aiming for the Oval Office or something else?" In the report that followed, correspondent Michael Isikoff proclaimed: "Herman Cain is facing new questions about whether he is profiting from his own campaign."
Isikoff reported: "Cain's campaign committee has used $100,000, collected from donors, to pay Cain's own company for thousands of these booklets written and self-published by Cain. That means profits for Cain himself and could run afoul of campaign laws, say watchdog groups." A sound bite was played of Craig Holman from the left-wing group Public Citizen declaring: "This has every appearance that Herman Cain is running for president largely to sell books and enrich his own company."
The notorious gay activist and ruthless bully behind the infamous Santorum 'Google' incident has done it again - he has called out another conservative Republican candidate with a raunchy request. This time, Dan Savage has asked for Herman Cain to choose to be gay and in fact prove it by sucking his 'd**k' in front of a waiting camera crew.
Savage's proposition came as a response to Herman Cain's appearance on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight show on Wednesday in which Cain said that being gay 'is a personal choice.'
The author who calls himself simply Toure -- a regular guest on MSNBC, and before that on CNN -- is throwing rhetorical bricks at Herman Cain for Time magazine. His article is headlined "Is Herman Cain the Most Unctuous Black Man Alive? Why the Hermanator experience is making me sick."
Toure compared Cain to a circus clown, called him a "buffoon," compared him to "rancid, spoiled, stinky, curdled milk" and dissed him (in the liberal mind) by calling him "the Black Sarah Palin." In the midst of that, he somehow scolds Cain for "sinking to teenage-level disses." He began:
CNN's Piers Morgan claimed on Wednesday that "elements" of the Tea Party are "racist" in an interview with GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain. "You all know there are elements of the Tea Party who are racist," he insisted to Cain.
Morgan again stated it as a matter of fact, in his question to Cain: "How do you deal with that element in the Tea Party that is overtly racist?"
The CNN host also cited black liberals Harry Belafonte and Morgan Freeman as bona-fide experts about the matter, and pressed Cain to respond to them and other "leading black Americans" who think the movement is racist. [Video below the break.]
New York Times reporter Susan Saulny suggested G.O.P. presidential contender Herman Cain employed old anti-black stereotypes in Wednesday’s “Behind Cain’s Humor, a Question of Seriousness,” even letting a professor accuse Cain of using “a certain kind of minstrelsy to play to white audiences.”
CBS's Early Show on Wednesday somehow couldn't find time for any Republicans to comment on the most recent GOP presidential debate, and instead, brought on David Axelrod, the chief strategist for President Obama's reelection campaign, to bash the GOP. Anchors Erica Hill and Jeff Glor gave Axelrod the kid glove treatment, instead of pressing him about the issues that may negatively affect the President.
Glor began with the simplest question possible to the presidential advisor: "What did you think of the debate last night? Let's start with that." As one might expect, Axelrod bashed the Republican field in general and Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Mitt Romney specifically. When the Democrat then singled out the former Massachusetts governor for further criticism, the anchor followed up by asking, "You've had some of your strongest words for Romney. Is he still your primary focus right now?"
To discuss presidential candidate Herman Cain's views on race and racism, CNN's Don Lemon aired the opinions of two African-American liberals, in addition to analysis from conservative blogger Erick Erickson.
Lemon, himself an African-American anchor who has shown his own liberal bias in the past, hosted leftist LZ Granderson of ESPN and played a clip of Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher slamming Cain as a racist at the end of CNN's 12 p.m. hour of Newsroom. [Video below the break.]
Andrea Mitchell's attempt to imply Rick Perry was being racially insensitive, for calling fellow GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain "brother," during Tuesday's Republican debate, was so lame even her NBC colleague Chuck Todd wasn't buying it. Mitchell, on Wednesday's edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, dredged up the N-Head controversy on Perry as she scolded: "If I were Rick Perry and had that sign or the, the stone that used to be on that, that property I'm not sure I would've gone with the 'brother' stuff, over and over again."
Todd then tried to rein in his NBC colleague as he admonished: "Just very quickly on the 'brother' thing. That's a Southern cultural thing," and reminded her that their "late friend Mr. [Tim] Russert" was also fond of using that term in a friendly way, "He loved to refer to all of us as brother." Even the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza came to Perry's defense as he agreed with Todd and offered: "It sounded to me more like Hulk Hogan saying, 'brother.'" [video after the jump]
While their colleagues at MSNBC spend hours of airtime mercilessly bashing Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, the folks on Morning Joe took a different position Wednesday.
Much to the surprise of this author, Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist claimed that if Cain were a Democrat, the media would be "swooning over" him just like they did Barack Obama (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Carman clearly loathes Cain when he dismisses his business acumen by suggesting death was involved. "One of his primary credentials for the job involves his nearly miraculous healing of the once-moribund Godfather’s Pizza, as if America were a midgrade Midwestern chain whose many problems could be solved with a few deaths in the family (read: store closings) and a tough-talking thug in a pin-stripe suit and fedora."
A lively GOP debate dissection on today's Morning Joe. Mika Brzezinski really liked Romney's performance, saying among other things that he was "fabulous." She also had surprising praise for Michelle Bachmann.
There was consensus that 9-9-9 was "deboned" and that Herman Cain hurt himself badly with his pre-debate answer on releasing terrorists from Gitmo. Meanwhile, Michael Steele had a striking way of saying that Perry's aggressiveness backfired. Video and more after the jump.
Hours before Republican presidential candidates faced off in Tuesday's debate in Las Vegas, Martin Bashir took a swipe at six of them.
On the MSNBC program bearing his name, the host said that since Mitt Romney is "the inevitable candidate," the rest of the contestants are auditioning "for future employment" at Fox News (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Anderson Cooper opened his Monday night show hitting GOP candidate Herman Cain for his comments on immigration, which Cain claimed were meant in jest. Cooper continued lock-step with his trend of hitting Republicans with critical "Keeping Them Honest" reports at a much higher rate than Democrats.
It was Cooper's third "Keeping Them Honest" report on Cain in less than two weeks, which equals the same number of those reports that President Obama has received in three full months.
"He says he's only joking and said it again just this evening," Cooper spoke of Cain's comments that as President, he would install an electric fence on the Mexican border with a moat full of alligators. "But new polling shows him to be a serious candidate at this point....So people are now taking everything he says seriously whether he likes it or not." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]