Herman Cain hit the glass ceiling Monday and went back to his role of defending the GOP against racism, rather than raising more concerns about racial insensitivity within the party ranks.
Yesterday, Cain attacked Rick Perry after the Washington Post reported his family held political events for years at a hunting parcel known as “Niggerhead.” (Perry’s campaign has dismissed the story and the name of the place has since been changed — though reports differ as to when a painted sign with the offensive name was painted over.)
Today, Cain’s campaign told TPM he “doesn’t have anything to add” to his comments and he told reporters this morning he won’t be discussing it further. What changed? The right wing went crazy over the Post story — about Cain’s response to it, that is.
“Oh, this is really disappointing,” Rush Limbaugh said Monday. “I liked Herman Cain — I like Herman Cain.”
Limbaugh dismissed the Post piece as a “macaca story,” a reference to the YouTube video that helped defeat Sen. George Allen (R-VA) in 2006. Limbaugh was upset that Cain would help further such a tale.
He wasn’t the only one. As New York reported, conservatives piled on Cain for his view that the Niggerhead story raised concerns about Rick Perry’s racial sensitivity.
This is not the Cain people like Limbaugh and the like are used to. Cain is normally among the first to defend the GOP against charges of even the slightest racial sensitivity problems. Why aren’t there more black tea partiers? Black people are too poor to go, Cain told TPM in June. Why aren’t there more black Republicans? “African Americans have been brainwashed,” Cain told CNN.
Other black Republicans have not been so quick to blame black people for the lack of black faces at GOP events. Former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele said the GOP needed to do more to attract black voters while he was in charge of the party. Colin Powell — who emerged last cycle as a strong supporter of President Obama — has spoken out against Republican attacks on affirmative action.
Anyway, faced with the barrage of attacks from the right for his statements on TV yesterday, Cain essentially said you’re not going to hear that kind of talk from him again anytime soon.
“All I said was the mere fact that that word was there was ‘insensitive.’” Cain told reporters outside his meeting with Donald Trump Monday. “That’s not playing the race card. I am not attacking Gov. Perry. Some people in the media want to attack him. I’m done with that issue!”
“I really don’t care about that word,” Cain said. “They painted over it. End of story! I accept Gov. Perry’s response on that.”
Asked if he’s changed his mind about Perry, Cain’s campaign told TPM what’s been said about Niggerhead by Cain has been said.
“Nothing’s changed,” Cain spokesperson J.D. Gordon told TPM. “We don’t have anything to add. Mr Cain already spoke to the issue. You can refer to the transcript.”