Returning to the state that made him a rising star seven weeks ago, Herman Cain stumps this morning in South Florida as a different candidate, nagged by questions about his foreign-policy expertise and his handling of sexual-harassment allegations.
The top-tier Republican presidential candidate began Wednesday morning at the Claude and Mildred Pepper Center in Sweetwater where he sung happy birthday to Mayor Manny Morono, was serenaded with a rendition of ‘Guantanamera’ and was asked by the crowd to talk about Cuba, which he omitted mentioning.
“What about Cuba?” he asked. “One of my principles is: Go to the source closest to the problem. You will find the solution… I want to get from Cuban leaders a solution what we should do.”
After a translator spoke, Cain said “I don’t want to take the pressure off. I want to put more pressure on… Vive Cuba Libre!” The crowd roared.
Cain, who last week stumbled over questions about what he would do in Libya, seemed to know little about Cuba. His campaign kept reporters at bay, and when asked about the Cuban Adjustment Act and the so-called wet-foot, dry-foot policy, Cain seemed stumped.The policy allows Cuban immigrants who have made it to US soil to stay.
“Wet foot, dry foot policy?” Cain asked. His press handlers interrupted as Cain diverted his course and ducked back into the building. Later, when he emerged, he was asked again by another reporter. Cain wouldn’t answer.
“Gotta run, gentlemen,” Cain said. His staff promised he’d answer questions later at the Versailles Restaurant, a Little Havana nerve center for Miami-Dade’s politically active Cuban-American community, which accounts for more than 70 percent of the county’s 368,000 registered Republicans.
Cain, though, wouldn’t talk to reporters there, either. A FOX reporter asked Cain what he thought of President Obama’s easing of travel restrictions to Cuba. Cain said that was a “gotcha question.”