Politics

After running pizza chain, Cain says he can make foreign policy decisions

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Is running a pizza chain similar to being commander in chief of the armed forces?

Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza running for president, said he’s suited to make hard foreign policy decisions because he made tough calls as a businessman.

“When I first became president of Godfather’s Pizza, there was a very dangerous part of town in the black community where I wouldn’t allow my restaurants to deliver because we had kids beat, robbed,” he said in an interview outside a pizza joint here Sunday.

“And I said ‘if I won’t send my son over there, I’m not going to send someone else’s son or daughter over there.’ Last week in Omaha, Nebraska, that same neighborhood that I wouldn’t deliver in — that they are delivering in now — a Pizza Hut driver was killed.”

Continuing, he said: “When I get ready to make a decision relative to foreign policy I will make a decision based upon as if I’m sending my own kids, sons and daughters, into war. I’m not going to do that lightly.”

Cain has never held elective office, and in response to questions about his views on foreign policy, he has mostly given general answers, including saying he’s not going to take a position until he has all the information at his disposal that someone in the government would have.

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The Republican candidate for president — who was largely unknown outside of his talk radio audience and conservative circles — plans to travel to Israel in August, though he said that trip is not about bolstering his overseas credentials.

“Has absolutely nothing to do with that at all. I have just always wanted to experience the country of Israel and go to Jerusalem.”

Asked what he thinks about the country’s relationship with the United Nations, Cain said: “I want to give the UN a chance to work. But it does not work in the way it ought to be working right now.”

Should United States withdraw from the organization? “No, because I want to take a look at the situation,” he said. “I want to take a look at how it is structured. I know how it is structured generally speaking, but no, I’m not ready to just throw the baby out with the bath water yet.”