GOP candidate: No Muslims in my administration

Presidential hopeful Herman Cain says he's too worried about sharia to appoint a Muslim to his future cabinet

Topics: 2012 Elections, War Room,

GOP candidate: No Muslims in my administrationFILE - In this Sept. 18, 2010 file photo, Georgia businessman Herman Cain, who is edging toward a run for the White House, addresses a gathering in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The former co-owner of the Godfather’s Pizza chain will join other potential Republican presidential candidates Monday at a forum in Des Moines. (AP Photo/The Arlington Heights Daily Herald, Mark Welsh) MANDATORY CREDIT(Credit: AP)

(UPDATED) Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain is not a first-tier presidential candidate. He is, however, actively running, and he does have real support. He won a straw poll at the Conservative Principles Conference in Iowa over the weekend, and last month won another straw poll at a conference organized by a Tea Party group.

That substantial support makes it all the more remarkable that Cain told Think Progress’ Scott Keyes over the weekend that he would not appoint a Muslim to his cabinet.

It’s hard to interpret this exchange as anything other than straight-up bigotry:

KEYES: You came under a bit of controversy this week for some of the comments made about Muslims in general. Would you be comfortable appointing a Muslim, either in your cabinet or as a federal judge?

CAIN: No, I would not. And here’s why. There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempt to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. This is what happened in Europe. And little by little, to try and be politically correct, they made this little change, they made this little change. And now they’ve got a social problem that they don’t know what to do with hardly.

Watch:

Some of the more mainstream candidates — including Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum — have already dabbled in anti-sharia rhetoric. But one wonders if they are now going to have to denounce Cain’s comments.

I’ve reached out to Cain’s campaign to see if he has any further comment on this, and I will update this post if I hear back.

UPDATE 3 p.m. In an interview just now, Cain spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael told me that Cain’s beef is with sharia, not Muslims in general. “He has worked side by side with folks of all religions and all backgrounds. It is not an issue with all Muslims,” she said.



Asked whether Cain stands by his statement that he would not appoint a Muslim to his cabinet, Carmichael said: “Mr. Cain would consider any person for a position based on merit, as anybody else would, as is the law.” She added that Cain would ask of potential hires: “Does this individual believe the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land?”

Citing his childhood in the segregated South, Carmichael also said it is ridiculous to suggest that Cain is a bigot.

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>