Opinion Brief

Herman Cain's 'baffling' Libya stumble

The GOP presidential hopeful mangles an assessment of Obama's Libya policy. How could he flub such a basic foreign policy question?

In a "baffling" video that political analysts are comparing to Rick Perry's infamous "oops" moment, Herman Cain is seriously flustered when an interviewer asks for his opinion on how President Obama handled the Libyan uprising against the late Moammar Gadhafi. (Watch the interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board below). "OK, Libya," Cain says, before pausing. "President Obama supported the uprising, correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gadhafi — just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing before I say, 'Yes, I agree,' or 'No, I didn't agree.'" The GOP presidential hopeful then says he disagreed with Obama's approach, before backtracking: "Nope, that's a different one." Cain then tried to explain his stumbles by saying, "I've got all of this stuff twirling around in my head." What does this video tell us about Cain? 

He is not ready to be president: There is only one way to read Herman Cain's "Rick Perry-esque loop," says Colby Hall at Mediaite. His detractors were right all along — the former restaurant executive and motivational speaker is "not a serious candidate." "If a working knowledge of current foreign policy is a prerequisite," Cain's "cringeworthy" brain freeze is solid proof that he is not ready for the job."Watch Herman Cain flounder with Libya question during editorial board interview"

Give Cain a break. He was just tired: When Cain sat down for this interview, he "going on four hours' sleep," Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon tells The New York Times. It just took him a moment to "get his bearings," and once he did he "got the answer right," saying he would have learned more about the Libyan opposition before backing it. He wasn't clueless, just tired."Cain appears flustered when asked about Libya"

Cain can't explain this away: Sleep deprivation is no excuse for a "supergaffe" like this, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. There's simply no good reason why a candidate for the presidency would have to be reminded "whether Obama is pro- or anti-Gadhafi," when pretty much anybody "could nail that detail even on three hours' sleep." There's still plenty of uncertainty over whether Cain is actually guilty of sexual harassment, as several women charge. But there's no denying his "hair-raising vagueness" on foreign policy."Cain's campaign on Libya gaffe: He had four hours of sleep last night and was taken out of context"

Take a look at how Cain handled the Libya question:

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