From THINK PROGRESS SECURITY:
In an interview with the religious right Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain badly bungled Uzbekistan’s name and said his standard answer to “‘gotcha’ questions” would be that he doesn’t have answers.
CAIN: I’m ready for the ‘gotcha’ questions and they’re already starting to come. And when they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan I’m going to say, you know, I don’t know. Do you know?
And then I’m going to say how’s that going to create one job?
Knowing who is the head of some of these small insignificant states around the world — I don’t think that is something that is critical to focusing on national security and getting this economy going. When I get ready to go visit that country, I’ll know who it is. But until then, I want to focus on the big issues that we need to solve.
With U.S.-Pakistan tensions on the rise, the Obama administration is in discussions with Uzbekistan about increasing military supply routes to the U.S.-led Afghanistan war through the former-Soviet republic, whose authoritarian president — Islam Karimov — has some human rights issues.
Cain’s mocking and ignorance of Uzbekistan come at the tail end of a tough week for the former pizza chain CEO on foreign policy, even as his star slid up a notch in the Republican nomination contest.
Lately, Cain’s been assailed by conservatives and liberals alike. On Wednesday, neoconservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin decried Cain’s “lack of rudimentary knowledge about foreign policy.” And an earlier Cain gaffe about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict led off a Saturday front page New York Times article about the GOP race’s inattention to global affairs (despite the nomination frontrunner Mitt Romney’s largely substance-free fear-mongering and general hawkishness).
From THINK PROGRESS ECONOMY:
The centerpiece of former pizza czar Herman Cain’s presidential campaign is his “999″ plan, which would slash taxes on the wealthy, drive up deficits to the worst point since World War II, and force low-income Americans to pay a massive nine times their current tax rate. In an interview this morning with CNN’s Candy Crowley, Cain even said food and clothing would not be exempt from the 9 percent national sales tax he would put in place if elected president.
CROWLEY: Is there any exception, as you see it, in this consumption tax? Except for clothing, perhaps? Except for food? [...]
CAIN: Nope, you don’t have to do that. Nope, you don’t have to do that. [...]
CROWLEY: So a poor person is paying the same amount of taxes on groceries as I am? Does that sound fair to you, just in a vacuum?
CAIN: Yes, it does sound fair because of the other point I’m about to make. If they need to buy a car or a home or some hard goods that are used, they pay no taxes.
Because he says his plan would lower the income tax for some Americans — and, by his calculations, leave people with more money to spend — Cain seems to think his plan would leave low-income Americans with more money. He is wrong. Presently, the bottom quintile of earners pays about 2 percent of their income in federal taxes. Under Cain’s plan, their taxes would increase all the way up to 18 percent.
Taxing poor people’s food is considered so beyond the pale that even the Tea Party group FreedomWorks assumed that the final version of Cain’s tax plan would exempt food from the sales tax.
This week, Cain said his plan would not be regressive because “It expands the base so that everybody has a lower rate. And it is not regressive on the poor.” Clearly, he is ignoring how his tax plan would actually affect hardworking Americans, especially when it comes to the food they buy so that they can feed their families.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Republican presidential contender Herman Cain amplified his criticism Sunday of the growing Occupy Wall Street movement, calling the protesters “jealous” Americans who “play the victim card.”…snip…
[...]Cain, surging in popularity among many conservatives, seems to have had among the most virulent responses to the protests. He suggested that the rallies had been organized by labor unions as a “distraction so that many people won’t focus on the failed policies of the Obamaadministration.” The banking and financial services industries aren’t responsible for those policies, Cain said. “To protest Wall Street and the bankers is basically saying you’re anticapitalism,” he said.