In case it wasn’t obvious already, Herman Cain’s brief outreach to the Muslim community to atone for his unending list of inflammatory statements is definitely over.
Visiting a Jesus-themed amusement park in Orlando, Cain gave a moving speech to visitors after the daily reenactment of the crucifixion about his experience battling colon cancer. But per Yahoo’s Chris Moody, things got awkward once the topic turned to his choice of physician:
He did have a slight worry at one point during the chemotherapy process when he discovered that one of the surgeon’s name was “Dr. Abdallah.”
“I said to his physician assistant, I said, ‘That sounds foreign—not that I had anything against foreign doctors—but it sounded too foreign,” Cain tells the audience. “She said, ‘He’s from Lebanon.’ Oh, Lebanon! My mind immediately started thinking, wait a minute, maybe his religious persuasion is different than mine! She could see the look on my face and she said, ‘Don’t worry, Mr. Cain, he’s a Christian from Lebanon.’”
“Hallelujah!” Cain says. “Thank God!”
The crowd laughs uneasily.
This isn’t a new story: Cain told it repeatedly this Spring, playing it up for Christian audiences especially. But since that time Cain made a brief — apparently abortive — attempt to apologize to Muslim leaders for his bigoted statements and refocus his campaign on the economy. Looks like that stretch is over.
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.