Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain insists that the color of President Barack Obama’s skin has nothing to do with the strong opposition he has faced from conservatives.
“I don’t think that people being uncomfortable with this president has anything whatsoever to do with his race,” Cain told an audience of supporters and journalists at the National Press Club Monday. “It’s bad policy that people have problem with this president.”
“Here’s where we stand on race in America in my opinion. Instead of us coming closer together, we’ve become more divided because of, selectively on the part of this administration and its surrogates playing the race card, the class warfare card, the economic inequity card — in order to turn people against one another — the millionaires tax. All part of the class warfare card. And so as a result, there’s more racial tension than there had been.”
The candidate continued: “The tea party has been painted as a racist organization. I started speaking at tea parties in 2009 before it was cool. … Some people have made the assertion that the only reason I’m doing so well trying to get the Republican nomination is because white Americans, the Republican Party and conservatives are trying to send a message, ‘We’re not racist.’ Come to some of our rallies, join us on our bus tour … and you will come to the conclusion that I have come to, that we have come to: this many white people can’t pretend that they like me!”
Cain has previously told CNN’s Candy Crowley that he believed that racism was no longer a significant factor in this country.
Princeton University professor Cornel West responded by saying that Cain needed to “get off the symbolic crack pipe and acknowledge that the evidence is overwhelming.”
At a funeral service for civil rights leader Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth last week, 90-year-old Rev. Joseph Lowery explained that Cain “ain’t helping [blacks] much but he’s having a ball.”
“And he’s not helping white folks because he won’t tell white folks what they need to hear,” Lowry added. “He’s telling them what they want to hear.”
Watch this video from C-SPAN, broadcast Oct. 31, 2011.