Herman Cain: ‘Stupid people and ignorant people are ruining America’

By Megan Carpentier
Thursday, February 9, 2012 18:02 EDT
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Herman Cain announcing his withdrawal from the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Screenshot via MSNBC.
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Former presidential candidate Herman Cain triumphantly took the stage at CPAC this afternoon in front of a friendly crowd to explain something many attendees already believe: that their ideological opponents on the left aren’t “misguided” (as Sen. Rand Paul later offered) but downright stupid.

“We must outsmart the liberals,” Cain said. “We must outsmart the people who are trying to ruin this country.” But, he said, it wasn’t just the stupid people who were ruining the country: “Stupid and ignorant people are ruining America,” Cain posited — and running it.

The attendees at CPAC needed to understand that Cain didn’t leave the race because he was one of the “stupid” people. Rather, Cain said, he left for two reasons: “gutter politics” and because he “chose to put family first.” Cain’s remarks about the political process likely have more resonance now than they did in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment against Cain, given that the GOP primary has turned more negative in the last few weeks.

Cain then turned to attack the newly-positive employment numbers. Despite the fact that the underemployment rate has been calculated as an alternate measure of unemployment since long before the economic crisis began, conservatives have begun to call for the always-higher rate to be used as the standard measure rather than the unemployment calculation that has been in use for decades. Cain, for his part, called using the standard unemployment rate a “manipulation” of the Obama administration.

“They stopped counting the people who dropped out of the work force, they stopped counting the underemployed,” to arrive at the current unemployment rate. Notably, people who have stopped looking for work and those who take less-than-full-time jobs rather than be unemployed have never counted as “unemployed.” But according to Cain, “The lame stream lapdog media can’t do these calculations,” and trumpets only the unemployment rate. The underemployment rate, which Cain prefers, is calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, though Cain credited it to former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao (R), and released each month along with the official rate.

Cain used the unemployment rate as an example of why CPAC attendees needed to “pay attention” and then trumpeted his 999 Plan as why they needed to stay involved. “The 999 Plan is leading the revolution,” he said.

In addition to promoting his economic agenda, Cain used his time on stage to officially endorse Joe The Plumber for Rep. Marcy Kaptur’s (D-OH) House seat and to call for a new revolution. “We the people are coming,” he said, “and we want our power back.”

“We need another revolution in this country,” announced Cain. “It won’t be bombs and bullets, not this time. It’ll be brains and ballots.”

Megan Carpentier
Megan Carpentier is the executive editor of Raw Story. She previously served as an associate editor at Talking Points Memo; the editor of news and politics at Air America; an editor at Jezebel.com; and an associate editor at Wonkette. Her published works include pieces for the Washington Post, the Washington Independent, Ms Magazine, RH Reality Check, the Women's Media Center, On the Issues, the New York Press, Bitch and Women's eNews.
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