Herman Cain stays on message at speech, spokesman says ‘in it to win it’
Embattled presidential candidate Herman Cain stayed on message in a foreign policy address in Michigan Tuesday night, pledging to restore America’s place in the world by firming up the economy.
And following the speech, Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon said that Cain was not dropping out of the GOP presidential contest and was “in it to win it.”
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain delivers a speech about foreign policy at Hillsdale College November 29, 2011 in Hillsdale, Mich. Earlier in the day Cain told staff members that he would be reassessing whether he should continue his bid for president, after a new accusation of an extended extramarital affair.
Cain has been struggling to rescue his campaign in the wake of allegations that he had inappropriate contact with several women, including Ginger White who went public Monday night with allegations of a 13-year affair with the married Cain (Cain denies the relationship and calls White a friend).
Right before the speech Tuesday, Cain sent out an e-mail to supporters asking them to “Stand with me.” The missive sought to assure supporters that White was “troubled” and that her story was “completely false.”
“Let me assure you, I am not deterred,” Cain insisted, despite the fact that aides candidly said earlier that the campaign was reassessing its position in the GOP race.
Cain went ahead with the major foreign policy speech on Tuesday night, despite the fact that international affairs are hardly the businessman’s strong suit and indeed, he has made a few heavily-criticized gaffes in the area.
In discussing Libya, for instance, he appeared confused in a video interview with the Milwauke Journal Sentinel and later suggested that the Taliban played a role in the insurgency there. He also didn’t know that China was a nuclear power.
To adequately prepare, campaign aides said that Cain spent two days huddled with 30 policy advisers in Atlanta this past weekend, studying up on international and domestic affairs, and energy reform.
In the Tuesday speech, Cain recalled an encounter with Binyamin Netanyahu, current Israeli prime minister.
“Terrorists are an urgent threat,” he said, echoing Netanyahu’s words. “The terrorists have one objective, to kill all of us, because their system failed, and they want revenge by bringing down our system.”
Unveiling a map of the world , Cain said that “knowledge and information is a currency.”
“We have a couple of dangerous situations where we are involved militarily,” he said.
Cain argued that President Obama’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year will create a power vacuum in the region.
“Nobody likes war, but there is a right way to get out of a war, and there’s a right way to get into a war,” he said, adding that the mission must be clear when going to war. “With peace, we need strength, and with strength we need clarity.”
Cain pledged to “never, ever apologize for the greatness of America. He also veered at times into his own biography as an African-American boy growing up in segregated Georgia.
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