Herman Cain admitted on “Meet the Press” Sunday morning that he doesn’t know what neoconservativism is. Here’s the exchange:
CAIN: I’m not sure what you mean by neoconservative. I am a conservative, yes. Neoconservative — labels sometimes will put you in a box. I’m very conservative.
GREGORY: But you’re familiar with the neoconservative movement?
CAIN: I’m not familiar with the neoconservative movement. I’m familiar with the conservative movement.
I like Herman Cain the man, but this is a real problem. How does a guy run for President and not know anything about one of the major ideological movements influencing American Foreign policy for the last decade? I think I could have done better than Cain on this question. I’m no expert, but then again I’m not running for President!
Cain’s answer suggests to me that he has been generally unengaged over the last ten years. A knowledge of neoconservativism doesn’t require a degree in political science. Simply reading one news magazine with some amount of regularity over the last ten years would have done the trick. Heck, even watching cable news would have gotten the point across. Bill Kristol and The Weekly Standard guys are regulars on Fox News. How can a person running for the Republican nomination not know what neoconservatism is? Yet Cain acted like he had never heard the term before.
Again, I like Herman Cain, but that bit did not show very well at all.