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 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • 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>