Cain: Electrocuting immigrants quip was just a joke — but not really

By David Edwards
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 10:49 EDT
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Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said Monday that while he was joking about an electric border fence, he’s not ruling it out as a possibility.

Over the weekend, Cain told NBC’s David Gregory that America needed to get a sense a humor about his suggestion that immigrants trying to cross the border should be electrocuted while scaling the border fence.

But at a news confernce with anti-immigration Sheriff Joe Arpaio Monday, Cain said the fence “might be electrified.”

“Let me first say, it was a joke and some people don’t think it was a good joke,” the candidate explained. “And it’s probably not a joke you’re supposed to make if you’re a presidential candidate. I apologize if it offended anyone. Mea Culpa, mia culpa, mia culpa.”

“It didn’t sound like a joke,” one reporter noted.

“You know, I think we’re splitting hairs here,” Cain replied. “I don’t apologize for using a combination of a fence and it might be electrified. I’m not walking away from that. I just don’t want to offend anybody.”

Arpaio later told reporters that he didn’t see what all the fuss was about.

“I have a electric fence around the tent jail,” he boasted. “I have illegal immigrants there. I have illegals on the chain gang. Nobody goes after me… I got an electric fence. It doesn’t kill people. It shocks you.”

Watch this video from MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, broadcast Oct. 18, 2011.

Watch this video on iPhone/iPad

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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