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Stuff Twirling': Flustered Herman Cain Struggles to Answer Libya Question During Newspaper Interview


• Business Insider - "Cainwreck" • Hot Air - "Brutal" • National Review - "Confusing" • David Brody - Rick Perry Moment?

The Herman Cain campaign seems to be in crisis mode as Cain' s wife has emerged from silence to support the candidate against infectious sexual harassment allegations to new polls showing a surge in support for Newt Gingrich, taking the short-lived role Cain had as the chief opponent to the GOP presidential primary frontrunner Mitt Romney.

Cain has appeared to suffer another blow today, as the candidate has been heavily criticized in the media for an odd video interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that shows Cain stumbling while answering a question about President Obama's handling of Libya:

From the beginning of his answer, Cain takes a long pause (9 seconds) before speaking with what appears to be a twitching left eye. When words come out of his mouth, it does not get any better:

"Libya. President Obama supported the uprising, correct? President Obama called for the removal of Qadhafi. Just want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing before I say, yes I agree, I know I didn’t agree. I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason — no, that’s a different one. I gotta go back to … Got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me, did I agree or not disagree with on what? … Here’s what I would have — I would have done a better job of determining who the opposition is and I’m sure that our intelligence people have some of that information. Based upon who made up that opposition — based upon who made up that opposition, might have caused me to make some different decisions about how we participated. Secondly, no, I did not agree with Qadhafi killing his citizens. Absolutely not. So something would have had to be — I would have supported many of the things they did in order to help stop that. It’s not a simple yes-no, because there are different pieces and I would have gone about assessing the situation differently, which might have caused us to end up in the same place. But where I think more could have been done was, what’s the nature of the opposition?

POLITICO's Alexander Burns transcribed Cain's "doozy of an answer," emphasizing the point in time where Cain realizes he is commenting on the wrong situation.

Cain also said that he supports collective bargaining for public employees and mistakenly said federal workers already have the right to bargain collectively. These comments come in the state where the battle between the Scott Walker-led GOP statehouse and public sector unions has played out as one of the biggest political story lines of the year.

CBS News notes that Cain stumbled badly on the Libya question Monday despite avoiding major gaffes in Saturday's foreign policy debate. That said, the network notes that Cain,who has no foreign policy experience, offered vague answers when pressed on foreign policy questions.

The Atlantic writes that Monday's odd interview is latest in a string of foreign policy gaffes by the Georgia businessman from not knowing what Palestinian "right of return" was to saying that knowing who is the head of "small insignificant states around the world" is not critical to national security, to being unable to offer a full answer on whether an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador was an act of war.

Cain’s spokesman and national security adviser J.D. Gordon  told the New York Times that Cain was asked the question Monday toward the end of a 45-minute session amid a long day of traveling. Gordon continued that Cain has been spending "anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours a day boning up on national security issues," as well as speaking with the likes of former President George H.W. Bush and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

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