Republican candidates have long expressed concern that Islamic extremists could use the new Libyan government as a means to vault themselves to power. But Herman Cain is probably the first to worry about the Taliban.
That’s right the Taliban: the Afghanistan/Pakistan based Islamic movement separated from Libya by several thousand miles (as well as their ethnicity and language).
“Do I agree with siding with the opposition? Do I agree with saying that Qaddafi should go? Do I agree that they now have a country where you’ve got Taliban and Al Qaeda that’s going to be part of the government?” Cain told reporters in Florida on Friday, according to Politico, while explaining his previous issues describing his Libya policy. “Do I agree with not knowing the government was going to — which part was he asking me about? I was trying to get him to be specific and he wouldn’t be specific.”
Cain has been reeling all week from a rambling non-answer he gave to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Libya in which he appeared unable to articulate either his or President Obama’s position on the United States’ military intervention. He later downplayed his lack of foreign policy knowledge, declaring in New Hampshire: “We need a leader, not a reader.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.