What comments by likely 2012 GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain have some accusing him of “bigotry?” Lets just say it has something to do with his recent thoughts on Muslims in America.

At last week’s Conservative Principles Conference in Iowa, the liberal site Think Progress asked Cain if he would be comfortable appointing a Muslim, either in his cabinet or as a federal judge. This was his response:

No, I would not. And here’s why. There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempt to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. This is what happened in Europe. And little by little, to try and be politically correct, they made this little change, they made this little change. And now they’ve got a social problem that they don’t know what to do with hardly.

The question that was asked that “raised some questions” and, as my grandfather said, “I does not care, I feel the way I feel.” I was asked, “what is the role of Islam in America?” I thought it was an odd question. I said the role of Islam in America is for those that believe in Islam to practice it and leave us alone. Just like Christianity. We have a First Amendment. And I get upset when the Muslims in this country, some of them, try to force their Sharia law onto the rest of us.

“Cain’s apparent rationale for refusing to even consider a Muslim nominee for any position in his administration is as simple as it is abhorrent,” Think Progress says. Last week Cain trumpeted a similar message when he decried Muslims “trying to convert the rest of us.”

But criticism of Cain isn’t exclusive to the left. Regarding Cain’s most recent comments (and coupled with remarks by Newt Gingrich), blogger Matt Welch from the Libertarian think tank Reason says, “If this is where the Republican Party is at in 2011, the term ‘lost the plot’ does not begin to describe it.”

(H/T: Weasel Zippers)