The Corner

Cain: Christie Too Liberal, Perry Insensitive

Herman Cain said today that Chris Christie’s positions would “turn off a lot of conservatives.”

In response to questions from Fox News host Chris Wallace, who noted Christie had strayed from conservative orthodoxy on several issues, Cain said his potential rival was incapable of drawing support from “a lot of conservatives” if he chose to run.

“Most of the conservatives believe that we should enforce our borders, they do not believe people should be here without documentation, they do not believe global warming is a crisis or threat … as you go right down the line, he’s going to turn off a lot of conservatives with those positions,” Cain said of Christie.

Cain also criticized Rick Perry, when Wallace asked him for his reaction to a Washington Post story today about land leased by Perry and his family for hunting had had at one point a rock with “N[word]head” on it.

“For him to leave it there as long as he did before I hear that they finally painted over it is just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country,” Cain said.

Perry communications director Ray Sullivan responded to Cain’s remarks in a statement issued this morning. “Mr. Cain is wrong about the Perry family’s quick action to eliminate the word on the rock,” Sullivan said, “but is right the word written by others long ago is insensitive and offensive. That is why the Perrys took quick action to cover and obscure it.”

Asked about his remarks that two-thirds of African-Americans are brainwashed, Cain pointed to his personal experience.

“Some black people that I run into, not all … they won’t even take my 9-9-9 brochure because I’m that conservative, that Republican,” he said. Pushing back against the argument that his brainwashing remark was “insensitive,” Cain retorted that President Obama’s “scolding” of the Congressional Black Caucus last month was more offensive.

Talking briefly about some of his GOP rivals, Cain called Ron Paul a “grumpy, old man” and noted that in the debates, Santorum often had a “stressful look.” He said Mitt Romney had “good hair,” but also took a jab at Romney’s business experience. “His business experience is in Wall Street, my business experience has been Main Street,” Cain remarked.

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Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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