Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain finally admitted on Wednesday night that Mitt Romney’s welfare attack ad is false. But even for Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, that admission took some wrangling.
In part three (below) of an interview that went well into overtime, Stewart continually pressed Cain on whether Romney’s campaign is lying in an ad that claims President Barack Obama “gutted” the welfare work requirement.
After much consternation, Cain seemed to just plain run out of wiggle room on the subject, going from insisting that the welfare work exception wasn’t a Republican idea to begin with (it was) to saying that the administration is letting states not fully enforce the work requirement, to finally agreeing with Stewart’s claim that the ad is simply wrong.
Stewart was friendly about the inaccuracy, but adamant, not letting Cain off the issue and even reading from Politifact’s critique of Romney’s ad, which they ranked “pants on fire.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, the truth tour begins tonight!” Stewart declared after reading from Politifact. “Hold on, let me get in my gloating chair.”
Cain insisted that Politifact was just talking about “the language” of the ad: that somehow the word “gutted” was simply too strong. But he still insisted that the rules give states the ability to weaken the requirement.
“I’m not disagreeing with the fact that the language was too strong,” Cain said. “But it gives states the opportunity to so called increase [in employment], but the examples I have been shown, it decreased.”
“No, no, no, no,” Stewart said. “It’s not about lessening them. It’s about making sure it’s not a, I believe the phrase is, ‘One size fits all.’”
“I would agree with that,” Cain said repeatedly.
“It seems to me that not only is ‘gutting’ wrong, but lessening is wrong,” Stewart replied. “That, lessening would still be pants, necessarily not on fire, but certainly smoldering.”
“There are situations where they were looking at lessening, but…” Cain trailed off. “But I’m not… I will go along with your description.”
Then Cain turned to the audience, raised his arms and shouted: “I am sorry! So shoot me!”
Stewart jumped out of his chair and danced behind the desk. “You’re a good man!” he said, shaking Cain’s hand.
This video is from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” broadcast Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Part one:
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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