Day: May 23, 2011

Herman Cain’s ‘Sarah Palin Moment ‘ – Backtracks Botched Answer on “Right of Return”

Herman Cain - Caricature

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Presidential candidate Herman Cain of Georgia is definitely “not ready for primetime.”

I was channel surfing and saw the part of  Fox News Sunday where Chris Wallace asked Cain about the “right of return” issue in Israel.   It was surely a Sarah Palin moment for Herman Cain.  Apparently he had never heard of the term and hesitated, until Wallace explained the term to Cain. (See video below.)

So, what we have here is yet another GOPer who doesn’t know jack!

Think Progress

Yesterday ThinkProgress reported on GOP presidential contender and former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain’s misstep in an interview on Fox News Sunday when he showed an embarrassing lack of knowledge about Middle East policy. Cain was asked about “right of return” — a key sticking point in peace talks that would allow displaced Palestinians to return to Israel — and appeared to have never heard of the issue. This dear-in-the-headlights moment clearly flustered his fledgling campaign, which issued a statement late last night trying to walk back and recast his answer to make it seem as if Cain knew what he was talking about all along.

In his Fox interview, Cain said he supported allowing Palestinian to return to Israel, because, he (falsely) claimed, the Israel government would have no problem with it. After the interview, Cain’s staff evidently informed him that this is, in fact, the opposite of Israel’s longstanding position. His campaign tried to contain the damage by issuing the following statement, which completely contradicts Cain’s position from earlier the same day:

All Israeli governments have rejected the “right” of large numbers of Arabs or Palestinians to return to what is now the state of Israel. Such an en masse return would unbalance Israel’s demographic makeup as the world’s sole Jewish state. [...]

Israel has a long record of being more gracious to its enemies than its enemies are to it, and this would be yet another example of that. But is the “right of return” a moral imperative? Is it something Israel must grant? Is it something the United States ought to encourage?

The answer is no on every count.

In his statement, Cain tells supporters that “as President, I will never lose sight of these basic facts [about the U.S.--Israel relationship].” Although that can’t be terribly reassuring given how tenuous his grasp of basic facts about the region is to begin with.

Watch the original video in which Wallace asks Cain the question:

CBS’s Face The Nation Dismantles Gingrich’s Lie That He ‘Wasn’t Referring To Ryan’

Gingrich tries to be as sleazy as possible in the following video….ugh!

 

 

Think Progress

Last Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Newt Gingrich offered a carefully conceived, triangulating strategy of attacking Obama’s health reform plan as well as the Republican plan proposed by Paul Ryan that privatizes Medicare. “I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” he said.

When the right-wing base predictably flipped out at Gingrich’s criticism of Ryan, Gingrich quickly folded, calling Ryan to personally apologize while stating on Fox News on Tuesday night that his comments were an “unfortunate…mistake.” But by Thursday, Gingrich offered a new formulation to Rush Limbaugh, arguing that his original comments about “right-wing social engineering” were not a reference to Paul Ryan.

This morning on CBS’s Face the Nation, Gingrich trotted out the same excuse. “I wasn’t referring to Ryan,” Gingrich pleaded. Host Bob Schieffer then played a clip of Gingrich on Meet the Press last week, in which Gingrich explicitly said Ryan’s plan was “too big a jump.” Caught in a trap of his own making, Gingrich could only say that Ryan’s plan is a “big plan that needs to be worked through.” Watch it:

David Gregory said this morning on Meet the Press that Gingrich’s claim that he wasn’t referring to Ryan is “on its face absurd.”

The Sad Stories of Believers Disappointed by Non-Apocalypse

It’s really sad when you hear about the many disappointed followers of Harold Camping, the man who predicted that the end of the world as we know it would occur on May 21, 2011…

The Atlantic Wire

If you hadn’t noticed, the world didn’t end yesterday, despite predictions by radio host Harold Camping, who spread the word via a multimillion dollar campaign, funded by donations from other believers. But while many were “celebrating” the Earth’s continued existence at “Rapture Parties,” for Camping’s believers, the noticeable lack of earthquakes, brimstone, famine, and death was deeply disappointing.

In New York, retired transportation agency worker Robert Fitzpatrick, who spent “over $140,000 of his savings on subway posters and outdoor advertisements,” stood in Times Square at 6 p.m., Reuters reports.

When the hour came and went, he said: “I do not understand why …,” as his speech broke off and he looked at his watch.

“I do not understand why nothing has happened.”

New York Magazine reports the story of Jeff, a Long Island firefighter, who ordered a pizza shortly before 5 p.m. on rush delivery, thinking he might not have time to eat it.

Rosana, Jeff’s wife, who had been out at a friend’s birthday party, comes home a little after 6. “What, nothing happened?” she asks with no small amount of contempt.

Meanwhile, Jeff is checking his text messages. “There are a bunch of friends here who are mocking me,” he says. “And that’s all right! I just put on my spiritual shield and endure.”

Keith Bauer hopped in his minivan in Maryland and drove his family 3,000 miles to California for the Rapture, reports the Los Angeles Times.

If it was his last week on Earth, he wanted to see parts of it he’d always heard about but missed, such as the Grand Canyon. With maxed-out credit cards and a growing mountain of bills, he said, the rapture would have been a relief.

Tom Evans, who acted as Camping’s PR aide, took his family to Ohio to await the rapture. Early next week, he told the Times, he would be returning to California.

“You can imagine we’re pretty disappointed, but the word of God is still true,” he said. “We obviously went too far, and that’s something we need to learn from.”

“As bad as it appears—and there’s no getting around it, it is bad, flat-out—I have not found anything close to the faithfulness of Family Radio,” he said.

As for Harold Camping, no word has been heard from him. His daughter Sue Espinoza received a call from him Saturday morning, according to the Times.

“He just said, ‘I’m a little bewildered that it didn’t happen, but it’s still May 21 [in the United States],'” Espinoza said, standing in the doorway of her Alameda home. “It’s going to be May 21 from now until midnight.”

The shades were drawn at his Alameda home and no one answered the door, though neighbors said he was there.

Sheila Doan, 65, who has lived next door to Camping since 1971, said he is a good neighbor and that she is concerned about Camping and his wife, because of the attention his pronouncement has received.

“I’m concerned for them, that somebody would possibly do something stupid, you just don’t know in this world what’s going to happen,” she said.

Camping’s believers would do well to follow that piece of advice instead.