Herman Cain: “I’m Not Foreign Policy Dumb”

October 15, 2011 12:53 pm ET — Walid Zafar

Speaking to Fox News' Neil Cavuto yesterday, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain was asked about his foreign policy credentials. As so often happens when Cain is asked a contentious question, he avoided answering the question by accusing his critics of not understanding.

CAIN: Well Neil, have you ever heard the old expression "the tiger in the tall grass," just sort of wait? Do they think that for the last nine months, I have not been studying the foreign policy challenges that we face? Do they think for the last nine months, I have not been consulting with a group of foreign policy advisers about all sorts of situations we are in? Do they think for a moment that I'm not a student of the position that I seek and that I probably know more about foreign policy than they think? So what I am saying is Neil, I hope they continue to think that I am foreign policy dumb until the right time, they will find out I'm not foreign policy dumb as they think. I have been a student of every one of these issues for a long, long, long time. So I hope that they continue to maintain that attitude.

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So a frontrunner for the GOP nomination doesn't care if people think he's "foreign policy dumb" because he'll eventually prove that he's not. It's not entirely quite clear how he'll display his knowledge, since showing that knowledge off is the only way that he can continue to be taken as a serious candidate. If the past is any indication, however, Cain is actually quite "foreign policy dumb." Here are his stated positions are some of the most important foreign policy issues that confront us.

  • Herman Cain outlines his Cain Doctrine: "We need to clarify who our friends are, clarify who our enemies are, stop giving money to the enemies and make sure our enemies know who our friends are that we are going to stand solid behind. That's the Cain Doctrine."
  • Herman Cain on Iran's nuclear program: "The way you stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is for us to get serious about a real, energy independent strategy."
  • Herman Cain on knowing what is going on in strategically important countries: "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?"
  • Herman Cain on what he'd offer the Palestinians to make peace: "Nothing."
  • Herman Cain on confronting China: "Our China strategy should be two simple words: Outgrow them."

In these cases and many others, Cain has proven that he's not serious about foreign policy and doesn't really understand the world outside our borders. As Foreign Policy's Joshua Keating observes, "Rather than fake knowledge about this world, he by and large simply expresses contempt for it. Sadly, this strategy seems to have been effective so far." That might not last, however, since foreign policy will most certainly become a bigger issue in the election and because Cain is, according to the most recent polls, leading the GOP field. Cain will have to become 'foreign policy smart' quickly.

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