The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Remember When David Gregory Raked Obama Over the Coals on ‘Meet the Press’?

Posted on | October 16, 2011 | 35 Comments

Yeah. Me neither.

When Democrats go on Meet the Press, it’s like Justin Bieber sitting down for a hard-hitting interview with Tiger Beat. (“Do you like puppies?”) When conservatives go on Meet the Press, it’s like Hans Frank on trial at Nuremberg, except without benefit of a defense lawyer.

David Gregory just got through interrogating Herman Cain and grilled him relentlessly until, as Alex Pappas reports at The Daily Caller, the guilty perp finally confessed his crime:

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain admitted Sunday that “some people” would pay more in taxes every year under his “9-9-9” tax reform plan.
“That’s right. Some people will pay more,” Cain told David Gregory of NBC’s Meet the Press. “But most people will pay less, that’s my argument.”

Gregory, like all other critics of 9-9-9, seemed obsessed with the sales tax component. A 9% sales tax would be an incentive to saving and a disincentive to consumer spending, and you can argue about that as an economic effect. But as to the “who would pay more” question — a fetish of class-warfare liberals — Herman Cain is correct that this is dependent in large measure on individual choices, to wit:

Asked by Gregory who will pay more, Cain said, “The people who spend more money on new goods. The sales tax only applies to people who buy new goods, not used goods. That’s a big difference that doesn’t come out.”

UPDATE: After the Cain interrogation, Gregory then went to a panel discussion about the GOP campaign with Chuck Todd, Katty Kay and Joe Klein (none of whom would ever vote Republican under any circumstance) and followed that with a weird segment: a debate between Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (as proxy for Rick Perry) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (proxy for Mitt Romney). It was as if Gregory meant to say: “OK, now that we’ve dismissed Herman Cain as a complete joke, let’s talk about the real contenders.”

UPDATE II: The media’s Nuremberg tribunal continues:

Long Ties to Koch Brothers Key to Cain’s Campaign

You can see the gallows from the courtroom window.

UPDATE III: Of course, the liberal media were salivating in anticipation of Gregory’s MTP assault on Cain, as Salon news editor Steve Kornacki wrote Friday:

“Herman Cain is about to get his time in the bright lights and he’s got 20 days to show he can handle it,” Scott Reed, a GOP strategist told Politico for a story that ran this morning. Actually, Cain may have a lot less than 20 days, because a look at this weekend’s Sunday show lineup finds that he’s scheduled to appear on “Meet the Press.” . . .
As for Cain, it’s often seemed like he’s winging it as a candidate, tirelessly preaching the “boldness” of his 9-9-9 tax plan and trying to handle everything else on instinct. Does he know what he’s getting himself into on Sunday?

Thanks to Joe in the comments for the catch. It’s important to note that Herman Cain is a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Only if Gregory’s interview hurt Cain with GOP primary voters would it have any negative impact on his campaign. And from that perspective, I didn’t see any damage. Maybe others saw it differently — and I’m sure the usual suspects will show up in the comments to tell us all about how catastrophic MTP was for Cain.

UPDATE III: Quick rundown of the headline reaction:

Herman Cain: ‘I’m Not Familiar With
The Neoconservative Movement’

Huffington Post

Cain Says His Deadly Fence Plan Was ‘a Joke’
New York Times

 Cain foreign policy would lean on experts
 — Politico

Cain: People Will Demand 999
Even Though It Raises Their Taxes

Think Progress

Cain says his rise in polls is for real
Associated Press

GOP presidential candidate
Cain defends ‘9-9-9’

Washington Times

UPDATE IV: Thanks to The Lonely Conservative for the video:

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Comments

  • Joe

    David Gregory is a douchebag. 

    The nature of 999 is that many people will pay more.  Because paying nothing and paying something is more.  That may not be popular, but it is right. 

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    David Gregory is a douchebag, yes.

    Herman Cain needs to get some proxies to send on these shows, and some advisors who will be recognized as credible by the credential-obsessed media. Economists like Art Laffer, for example, who has praised 9-9-9 as a wonderful plan, or the Governor of some state — maybe Gary Johnson. Right now our media seems to be trying to kookify Cain, and Cain needs some additional voices from somewhere nearer the mainstream who might be able to explain his positions in greater depth.

    Laffer’s comments, for example, seem like a Godsend.

  • Joe

    Maybe you are being paranoid Stacy…

    http://www.salon.com/2011/10/14/herman_cains_peak_could_be_48_hours_away/singleton/

    ahhhhh, then again, maybe not. 

  • Joe

    Remember when Obama refused to go on Fox.  I think he only agreed to do so after he was the nominee and then only once with Wallace and once with O’Reilly.  That was it. 

    So why don’t Republican candidates tell the MSM to pound sand, only go on Fox, at least through the early part of the primaries. 

    Why get drawn into a battle on terrain you do not control? 

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    I didn’t see the entire interview, but I did see a part of it, and what part I saw didn’t seem too bad. But then again I’m judging it according to what I would ordinarily expect from the likes of David Gregory. I missed most of what was said about the 9-9-9 Plan, but overall, I think Cain helped himself immensely. His foreign affairs responses, particularly about Iraq and Afghanistan, seemed reasonable, and his answer about the immigration issue was nothing but common sense. I like how he told Gregory, pertaining to his earlier debate joke about an electric fence at the border, that America needs to learn to take a joke.

    One thing I did notice was that Gregory didn’t seem none to eager to dwell on the experiential differences between Cain and Obama, especially when it came to their lives as “black Americans”.

    Another point, no this wasn’t a sympathetic interview with softball questions, but like I said, Cain helped himself here. A good candidate has to be able to field the tough questions. After it was over, I skipped the “debate” between Jindal and Perry. I got too much shit to do to be put to sleep this damn early in the day.

  • Anonymous

    Cain was once again masterful during this interview.
     
    They tried to bait him and set him up with “gotcha” questions but he was extremely quick on his feet.
     
    His line about researching issues before reacting to them in regards to foreign policy was terrific and seemed to stun the liberal host for a moment.
     
    Would have liked him to throw the support the 9-9-9 plan has garnered from the Club for Growth and Laffer…but he will likely add that in his response to future criticisms.  His campaign has shown a tremendous ability to review the tapes and come up with better defeneses and attacks. 

    Cain has certainly become a better “politician” over the past few months.

  • Anonymous

    This is a great idea. 

    However, to a certain extent, I like how Cain has shifted cricism of his candidacy from his advisors and his family (you never have and never will hear Cain’s wife apologizing and playing the religious victim card).

    I recognize, that Cain is still working on getting top notch people in his camp, so he probably doesn’t have a lot of well known folks to trout out yet…., but just like a CEO, he has taken the full brunt of the responsibility and criticism of his surging campaign.

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  • Anonymous

    Obama was an “expert” in foreign affairs since he was raised outside the country.  BFD.

    What this country needs is an EXPERT is US affairs and that is our friend Herman Cain who expertly pulled himself up by his bootstraps and achieved all of his American Dreams.  We need a President who believes in American Exceptionalism.

  • Joe

    Nice!  Good comment dandpani! I believe you are an exceptional commentator! 

  • Anonymous

    Ah, shucks, Joe.  Just saying what I’m thinking…

    Stacy is a gracious host for letting us speak our minds.

  • Dan King

    I watched the interview. I thought Cain handled it very well. The only people who won’t like it are people who won’t vote Republican no matter what.

    What’s the problem?

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  • Anonymous

    Because their advisers tell them or they themselves conclude that they can’t afford to pass up free TV exposure. By doing this they will reach people who don’t watch Fox or read this blog etc. Whether or not that actually helps is a question that they don’t ask, I suspect. Going on the Winston Smith Media programs, if they recognize that they are in enemy territory and prepare for that, might be helpful. For instance when David Gregory asks an obviously biased question Herman Cain could stab him in the eye with a pen. Now that would certainly shore up his support among people like myself.

  • http://twitter.com/Kala_Bon Tom Callow

    The liberal media is just begnning to get primed up for targets other than Bachman and Perry. They are starting to go after anyone who looks like they can take out Romney (and that includes you Bill O’Reilly)

    Should Herman decline any interviews with Charlie Gibson ? I think he should.

    If Cain is able and holds strong and gets the nomination, will be get to see 10,000 + of his emails, say ones when he was a member of The Fed, or ones involving  a certain pizza company?

    Cain is going to be a tough nut for them to tear down tho, he is NOT a woman so that takes out the mysoginists and he is black so that takes out the main stream race baiting.

    The lame stream and the moonbats  will soon come out with an all out “Cain is just dumb” campaign for the white  people and “Cain is white in disguise” to the black people.

    It is already started and just getting  ramped up and it is already disgusting.

  • Left Coast Red

    The Hermanator is somethin else, truly.

    Gregory was anticipating making a meal of Herman (his eyes fairly gleamed in anticipation early on) yet he went away hungry. I thought the exchange on 9-9-9 was unsatisfying for all parties, Herman needs to find better ways to present the benefits of the plan and minimize yet address the deficits. But he held his ground, was quick on his feet and this part of the interview I thought was a draw. He won everything else.

    They are trying for the early knock-out (see O’Donnell interview), but Herman is proving to be something that they hadn’t bargained on. He’s a quick study, learns from his mistakes and doesn’t repeat them. He is showing he can take multiple punches and finish strong.

    We may perceive this treatment as extremely inequitable (which it is), but out of fire comes steel. We are seeing the emergence of a formidable candidate.

  • Anonymous

    *puts on crazy, leftist thinking helmet*

    *waits a bit till neurons are all shorted out*

    *takes it back off*

    *inhale deeply*

    David Gregory is trying to make everyone scared of a dark-skinned black man!  He’s a raaaaacist!

    *off to read the collected works of Jean-François Revel to get neurons working again*

  • Joe

    I thought Cain could not afford advisors. 

    I have not seen the interview yet, but I will take your word that Gregory went away without the kill he was looking for.  Still, it would be smarter for the GOP to control its own debate process.  That the candidates put up with it is amazing.  I would love to hear Herman Cain say, debate without me or let’s debate at the Heritage Foundation.  Let the HF pick the questioners. 

  • Joe

    My comment is more general than that.  Of course you should do some interviews with the other side.   But remember they are a bunch of snakes. 

  • Joe

    Ann Althouse thinks Herman Cain nailed Meet The Press and that David Gregory revealed himself as biased. 

    Coming from an Obama voter who was critical of Cain in his last debate, that is worth noting. 

  • Anonymous

    I submit his race will escalate the race baiting.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    Didn’t watch it, and haven’t watched MTP since they gave the show to the leftist propagandist and general asshole David Gregory.  The panel lineup gives a solid clue as to where the show is coming from – and it is not the search for truth and enlightenment.

    Hoft seems to think the foreign policy stuff was the weakest.

  • Anonymous

    The reference to advisers is more generic to all of the candidates.
    Surely you don’t think Cain has no advisers, paid or not.
    The exchange with Gregory about state sales taxes on top of the national sales tax was truly bizarre, such obtuseness can only be deliberate.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    It took them putting David Gregory on the show to clue you in to all that? What the hell about Tim Russert? He was an openly leftist propagandist and went out of his way to openly promote John McCain in 2008.

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  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    Russert was a liberal, but he did make an effort to do his research before he had anyone on.  I didn’t watch much in the later years.  Gregory is just a hack.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Cain has been holding his own in these appearances on hostile media. He was absolutely incredible under fire from Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC, and good yesterday on NBC’s Meet the Press. Last week I understand he was on another Sunday political show, maybe Face The Nation, one I don’t get here where I live overseas — as well as CNN’s weaksauce Sunday show State of the Union. He also did the Tonight Show recently.

    Why go on these shows if it is known that they are hostile to Republicans? Because that’s where the voters are. At least half of ‘em. Herman Cain’s big issue is low name recognition — i.e., there are a ton of Herman Cain supporters out there who don’t know they support him, because they’ve never heard him, seen him, or know very much about him. The more Americans get to know about Herman Cain, the more they like what they see. Americans are hungry for what he’s got on offer. So I, for one, would urge Cain to get out on those shows. Every. Single. Weekend. And as much in between as he can muster. Go spar with David Letterman, Herman.

    The real question is why the producers of those other, non-FOX political shows let Herman Cain on their programs. He’s cleaning up over there!

  • Rightklik

    GREGORY: “The other defect in the plan comes from fellow conservatives who say, ‘You’ve got some problems here.'”

    “Defect?” Nice bit of objective journalism, there.

  • http://twitter.com/DaMav DaMav

    Wow,  this guy Cain is sharp.  Gregory threw everything and the kitchen sink at him and he handled it deftly.  Cain is going to clean Obama’s clock.

  • Patriot1

    Your wasting your time with Cain, he doesn’t know to shut up when it benefits him. Romney will keep him viable as long as it suits him but then it will be gonzo Herman.

  • OkieMan

    Listen folks if you can’t handle hard questions you have no business running for national office. It is the reason I could never support Palin.

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  • philwynk

    OMG. Did I just hear David Gregory offer as an argument against a proposal that “there is an intractable divide between left and right in Congress?”

    Just out of curiosity, Mr. Gregory, to which proposal in Congress does this objection NOT apply?

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