The bracket thus far. The first three rounds have been blowouts. Will today be any closer?
1. HERMAN CAIN'S LONG PAUSE ON LIBYA
On Oct. 23, 2011, Libya celebrated its independence from Muammar Gaddafi. It was sort of a big deal, the revolution having dominated news coverage for months. Poor Republicans had no idea what to do, given the positive resolution of the war. It's hard to criticize the president for playing a helpful role in the revolution, without costing our nation lives or significant treasure—you know, the opposite of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Still, Herman Cain had three weeks to figure out how to deal with the question of Libya when he sat down with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal's editorial board on Nov. 14. The results, if you can bear to watch that painful first minute:
Here's a transcript. Note, those few words below filed 65 eternal seconds:
Okay, Libya. [really long pause] President Obama supported the uprising, correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gaddafi. Just want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing before I say ‘Yes, I agree,’ or ‘No, I did not agree.’Painful. Cain was already on a downward trajectory following revelations of his serial sexual harassment. This interview sealed his fate.
I did not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason: [brief pause] nope, that’s a different one. Uh… I gotta go back, I got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me did I agree or not disagree with Obama?
2. JFK MAKES RICK SANTORUM PUKE
When you are a Catholic candidate supposedly seeking Catholic support, you:
a) Embrace JFK as a transformational figure in the Catholic community, or at worst, ignore him, or
b) Talk about how much he makes you want to puke?
That's not a trick question, but it sure as hell tripped up Rick Santorum.
His full comments:
To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case?Hoookay. Two days and much sturm and drang later, Santorum lost the Michigan Republican primary Catholic vote 44-37 to the guy whose religion isn't even considered legitimate! Had he won Catholics, he would've won the state and we'd still be caring about the GOP nomination contest tonight. Even conservatives were shaking their heads.
That makes me throw up and it should make every American who is seen from the president, someone who is now trying to tell people of faith that you will do what the government says, we are going to impose our values on you, not that you can’t come to the public square and argue against it, but now we’re going to turn around and say we’re going to impose our values from the government on people of faith, which of course is the next logical step when people of faith, at least according to John Kennedy, have no role in the public square.
Today Ingraham, a conservative radio host, told the former Pennsylvania Senator that she believes he is a tolerant person but “sometimes Senator, when you’re out there and it’s like ‘I’m going to throw up when I heard JFKs line on that.’ I mean, as a Catholic, he’s a revered president of the United States, assassinated, I probably wouldn’t have gone down that road with JFK and I was going to throw up. We generally don’t want to hear presidential candidates talking about throwing up at all in any context.”It's particularly unpleasant to hear about presidential candidates named Santorum mention anything about throwing up.