Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain had so much trouble articulating his position on the United States’ role in Libya on Monday that he admitted he was confused.
“I got all this stuff twirling around in my head,” Cain told reporters and editors during a meeting with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The newspaper posted the video online of Cain stumbling on the question of whether he agrees with President Barack Obama on Libya.
“Ok. Libya,” Cain said, closing his eyes to gather his thoughts, letting several seconds go by.
“President Obama supported the uprising, correct?” he asked the editors. “President Obama called for the removal of Gadhafi. I just want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing before I say yes I agree or no I didn’t agree. I did not agree with the way he handled it for the following reasons.”
He then paused and said, “No, that’s a different one.”
After asking the paper to repeat specifically what they want to know about Libya, Cain went on to say, “I would’ve done a better job of determining who the opposition is.”
He also said he does “not agree with Gadhafi killing his citizens.”
“I would’ve supported many of the things they did to stop that,” Cain said of the Obama administration.
Ultimately, he said the question of whether he agreed with Obama on Libya is “not a simple yes or no because there are different pieces and I would have gone about assessing the situation differently, which might have caused us to end up at the same place but where I think more could’ve been done was what’s the nature of the opposition.”
In August, Cain said in an email to supporters: “The U.S. involvement in Libya has deteriorated into a debacle. The objective was not clear. The exit strategy is not clear. But the fact that we are shouldering the biggest share of the costs in this war is real clear. That’s not leadership.”
Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, has never held elective office and has admitted that foreign policy is not his strength.
In the interview Monday, he said it’s not necessary for him to memorize all the facts about foreign policy, saying what’s important is that he’s a businessman who knows how to solve problems.
“Some people want to say, ‘Well as president you’re supposed to know everything.’ No you don’t. I believe in having all the information, as much of it as I possibly can, rather than making a decision or making a statement about whether I totally agree or didn’t agree when I wasn’t privy to the entire situation.”