WASHINGTON — Former pizza king Herman Cain can pile it on when talking about what he likes on his slice — but when asked for his opinion on Libya, he seemed to have forgotten the recipe. The GOP presidential hopeful looked hungry for a cheat sheet when the editorial board of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel asked him if he supported Obama’s backing of the revolution that toppled Moammar Khadafy.
“Okay … Libya,” Cain responded haltingly, according to a video of the interview.
He stared at the ceiling, fiddled with his blazer, blinked a bunch of times and pushed his water bottle away from him on the table.
Eleven seconds later, he spoke:
“President Obama supported the uprising, correct?” said the normally chatty former head of the Godfather’s Pizza chain.
“President Obama called for the removal of Khadafy — just wanted to make sure we are talking about the same thing,” he added, as if trying to goad his interviewers into confirming what he said was true.
More staring at the ceiling. “Nope, that’s a different one,” he blurted out, waving his hand, adjusting his chair and crossing his legs.
“I gotta go back and see,” he said, seemingly having his own Rick Perry-like brain freeze a full minute after the question was asked. “I got all this stuff twirling around in my head.”
Looking again to his interviewers for help, Cain lobbed a nonsensical question: “Specifically, what do you ask me that I agree or not disagree with Obama?”
A questioner said Obama’s support of the revolution was controversial within his administration. Cain finally offered an answer that was sloppier than an extra-cheese slice.
“I would have done a better job of determining who the opposition is,” he said, later saying he “would have supported many of the things they did.”
But Cain, who has previously been zinged by critics for having a less-than-stellar grasp of some issues, had no such brain-locks when talking recently with reporters for GQ magazine about his pizza preferences.
“The more toppings a man has on his pizza, I believe, the more manly he is,” Cain opined. “Because the more manly man is not afraid of abundance.”
And forget broccoli slices: “A manly man don’t want it piled high with vegetables! He would call that a sissy pizza,” Cain said.
The pizza chat came in mid-October, when Cain was riding high in the polls — and weeks before accusations surfaced that he had allegedly sexually harassed four women dating back to a stint as head of the National Restaurant Association. A CNN/Opinion Research poll released Monday found Cain has tumbled to third place in the GOP field, and his support is tanking, especially among women.
In the interview for the upcoming article in GQ, he assigned ice cream flavors to fellow GOP candidates: Mitt Romney, “plain vanilla;” Texas Gov. Perry, “Rocky Road;” Minnesota Gov. Michele Bachmann, “tutti frutti.”
He also touched on a past statement about not being willing to appoint a Muslim to a cabinet post.
“I have nothing against peaceful Muslims — nothing whatsoever,” Cain said, adding that he is fearful of Islamic extremists. “And I have had one very well-known Muslim voice say to me directly that a majority of Muslims share the extremist views.”
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