The Other McCain

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

The Cain Campaign in Iowa

Posted on | October 23, 2011 | 41 Comments

Last week, an ABC News crew got video of Herman Cain’s Iowa campaign office in Urbandale seemingly empty. Duane Lester of All-American Blogger interviewed Lisa Lockwood, communication director of Cain’s Iowa campaign, at this weekend’s Iowa Faith & Freedom Forum:

Duane vows to visit the Urbandale office of the Cain campaign next week. Meanwhile, as to the whole controversy over Cain’s views on abortion — which began with his Wednesday interview with Piers Morgan on CNN — Herman Cain emphasized his pro-life position in Iowa this weekend:

Businessman Herman Cain in particular sought to assure the audience of his commitment to pro-life causes.
“From conception, no abortions, no exceptions,” said Cain, who has been dogged all week by a controversy over a statement he made during a CNN interview that suggested abortion was a personal decision that shouldn’t be regulated by the government.
Though Cain was the first speaker of the evening, the issue came up again. Texas Gov. Rick Perry questioned the retired pizza magnate’s anti-abortion credentials. It is “a liberal canard to say I am personally pro-life but government should stay out of the decision,” Perry said during his speech. “If that is your view you are not pro-life. You are having your cake and eating it too.”
After Perry’s remarks, Cain again defended himself, telling reporters that, as president, he would sign a federal ban on abortion if such a bill crossed his desk. “I am pro-life. I have said it, I don’t know how many times,” Cain said.

A friend e-mailed to remind me that in 2006, Cain led a $1 million effort to encourage black voters to vote pro-life. Cain history of support for the pro-life cause ought to suffice as defense against Perry’s accusations. And we have another poll today, from the University of Iowa, showing Cain with a huge lead in the Hawkeye State and Perry a distant fifth:

Herman Cain ……………… 37.0%
Mitt Romney ……………… 27.0%
Ron Paul …………………… 11.5%
Newt Gingrich ……………… 7.7%
Rick Perry ………………….. 5.9%
Michele Bachmann ………… 3.7%
Rick Santorum ……………… 3.1%
Jon Huntsman …………….. 1.2%

When you look at the RCP average, you see that every Iowa poll for the past two weeks (beginning with the Oct. 7-10 PPP poll) has shown Cain in first place and Perry in single digits. It is therefore scarcely surprising — as I explained Friday — that the prime directive of the Perry campaign is now “Destroy Herman Cain.”

Persistent concerns about Cain’s “ground game” in Iowa cannot be ignored, given that we are now 72 days from the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. Organizing a campaign at the precinct level takes time, and the time is growing short. As I have said more than once, both here and in conversations with Cain staff, if I were in Mark Block’s position what I would do is to bring back Dan Tripp (who left the campaign earlier this year) and tell him to do two things: Kick ass and take names.

I’ve known Dan since the NY-23 campaign for Doug Hoffman, and his effectiveness as an ass-kicker is simply a neutral objective fact.

UPDATE: Linked by Nice Deb and The Lonely Conservativethanks! — and I expand the argument at the Hot Air Green Room:

Can the Perry campaign afford for their candidate to finish fourth, fifth or sixth in Iowa? No way, José. They don’t necessarily have to win it, but if Perry finishes as far back as fourth in Iowa on Jan. 3, it’s unlikely he will do much better in New Hampshire on Jan. 10. By the time the South Carolina primary rolls around on Jan. 21, the media will have been doing “death watch” reports on Perry campaign for more than two weeks. If Perry then underperforms in “must-win” South Carolina, there will be another ten days of “death watch” coverage before the crucial Florida primary on Jan. 31. Romney is reputedly strong in Nevada, so by the time Feb. 4 rolls around, Perry could be batting .200 in the first five nominating events, and perhaps even 0-for-5 if he were somehow to lose his “must-win” state.

Read the whole thing.


41 Responses to “The Cain Campaign in Iowa”

  1. richard mcenroe
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    [sarc]Are we seriously being asked to believe that someone can possibly be pro-life out of personal conviction and not as a politician whoring for votes? INCONCEIVABLE!  Who could believe that? [/sarc]

  2. Steve in TN
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

    Want to stop other candidates from pointing out when Cain says he is NOT completely pro-life? Stop making statements that are not completely pro-life.  Stacy, you’re wrong to slap at Perry (who was hardly alone among the candidates in pointing out Cain’s words) here.  Cain made the comments.

    Cain alone is responsible for the fall out from his abortion comments…  And his foreign policy comments… And all the other stupid things he has said. 

  3. Anonymous
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

    LOL….I really don’t see a ton of traction for this story.  It really seems to be coming from a few isolated bloggers.

    You either see multiple posts coming from said isolated bloggers or you see a MSM hit piece on Cain referencing isolated bloggers’ comments in relation to a “tough week” meme.

    Herman Cain has done more for the Pro-Life movement than all the other candidates combined.

  4. Anonymous
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

    Why couldn’t he have just said that the first time? The statement that if someone decided to get an abortion in spite of it being illegal being their decision was unnecessarily confusing.

  5. Anonymous
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

    AW, he was replying to a specific (and ambiguous) question from Morgan, as I pointed out in my Friday column for The American Spectator:

    The transcript shows the host repeatedly interrupting Cain’s answers after Morgan asked him about his views on abortion. Cain began by restating the “no exceptions” opposition that won him applause two weeks ago at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, but Morgan then asked him to respond to a hypothetical question: “If one of your female children, grandchildren was raped, you would honestly want her to bring up that baby as her own?” Cain’s answer sounded very much like a pro-choice argument, except that the question wasn’t whether he would want abortion to be legal, but rather whether he’d want his child or grandchild actually to raise the baby born under such circumstances. (The possibility of adoption was not discussed.) And, as Cain said in his initial response to Morgan’s question, “You’re mixing two things here.”

    Cain clearly did not handle it well. But as one of his campaign team pointed out, that interview came at the end of a 14-hour day for the candidate. When I saw him speak to a group of women Wednesday in Las Vegas, Cain was clearly tired — his voice was somewhat hoarse — and was not at the top of his game, speaking-wise. Of course, candidates have to be able to perform well under difficult circumstances, but this controversy will likely end up being categorized as a “learning experience” for the candidate, rather than as a “deal killeer.”

  6. Charles
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    Romney has made a major blunder in Iowa. He thought it would go to Bachmann, and could be written off as a favorite daughter situation. Instead he may lose to Herman Cain or Ron Paul or perhaps both.

  7. Anonymous
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

    I’m not knocking Cain for his position on abortion “as I understand it at the moment”, the fact that I’m compelled to use that phrasing IS the problem. Being thoroughly prepared to articulate one’s positions and policies is the best defense against gaffing due to being tired after the hundreds of 14 hour days candidates will be putting in. The “what if it were your wife or daughter” follow up question has been SOP for decades. Once one has entered the race for president they don’t get to have “personal opinions” only presidential ones.

  8. Joe
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

    Okay Steve.  Cain needs to follow your advice. 

    So what is your advice for Perry?  Oh wait, it’s too late for that.  He lost most of his support. 

    Perry is not helping himself anymore…he is helping Romney. 

  9. Joe
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

    Herman Cain has done more for the Pro-Life movement than all the other candidates combined.

    Herman spent over a $1,000,000 of his own money to support pro life.  What did Perry do?  Santorum talks a good talk, but I doubt he gave like Cain did.  And we know Ann Romney wrote a check for $100, to Planned Parenthood. 

    I will give Michelle Bachmann credit for raising those 20+ kids.  That is very real and just as substantial as Herman Cain spending those dollars on the issue.  In fact, maybe even more so. 

  10. Joe
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

    Stacy–when you are tired you do not do interviews with CNN or any of the Networks.  Period.  Tell them to come back tomorrow.  When you are front runner, you have that luxury of doing that. 

  11. Joe
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

    Boy that Huntsman is a power house?  I would love to know who the 1.7% supporting him are.  Are they even Republicans? 

  12. Steve in TN
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

    I agree.  He’s entering Bachmann’s “full retard” territory.  This campaign stinks.

  13. Steve in TN
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

    Stacy, if this were an isolated instance your excuse would hold water.  This is at least the THIRD issue where Cain has “misspoken.” 

    After four years of Obama we can not afford another political dilettante, not even a nominally conservative dilettante.

  14. Anonymous
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    They are the Mandarin speaking or Southern Chinese Cuisine loving element of the Republican Party. Plus, they like cheap lawn service and tanning booths. It’s a big tent.

  15. Herman Cain – Keeping Costs Low and Not Spending Money He Doesn’t Have | The Lonely Conservative
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

    […] bank” volunteers work from home, so there is no need for them to go into the office.Via The Other McCain, where you can also find the latest Iowa poll results, which don’t reflect an empty […]

  16. ThePaganTemple
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

    The Cain Campaign In Iowa? What the hell? Oh, I get it. Let me try one. How about “The Giraffe Population Of Kentucky”?

  17. richard mcenroe
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    I believe they’re all ex-employees of Townhall and Hugh Hewitt, for whom Mitt was too heartland.

  18. richard mcenroe
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    Nine.  Next question?

  19. Hermantum: “100% Pro-Life” Cain Leading In The Polls « Nice Deb
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

    […] RS McCain: The Cain Campaign in Iowa […]

  20. Anonymous
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    They’re the Iowa Republicans who have mistaken him for T. Coddington Van Voorhees VIII, the true conservative in the race.

  21. Rick Perry’s Prime Directive: Destroy Cain « The Greenroom
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

    […] supporters, as do the latest poll numbers from Iowa. But the poll numbers also point toward a looming danger for the Cain campaign: When you look at the RCP average, you see that every Iowa poll for the past two weeks (beginning […]

  22. Anonymous
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    The Van Voorhees coalition is a mighty juggernaut!

  23. ThePaganTemple
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 5:50 pm

    Tired? See, this is exactly one of the things I’m most worried about with him. You can’t be “tired” and run for President. This is probably why he isn’t working the Iowa caucuses like he should. How do you think he’s going to be in a Presidential campaign where you’re doing damn good to average four hours sleep a night and have to be constantly on the move from one state to the next, sometimes two, maybe even three states in one day. I’m telling you, I don’t think he can handle it.

  24. ThePaganTemple
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

    And that might be about how many hours Cain has spent in Iowa and the way things are going about how many days he will have been there by the time the caucuses start.

  25. Joe
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

    Even presidential candidates are human, but I agree, they can’t appear to be human. 

  26. Joe
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

    He better straighten this shit out.  Otherwise we got Romney. 

  27. Joe
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

    I don’t know how many giraffes there are in Kentucky.  But I can tell you it is a shrinking population in Ohio. 

  28. Anonymous
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

    He’s going to be tired for the rest of his life or until he get’s out of the race for whatever reason or until he finishes his second term.

  29. Anonymous
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

    Snack the Giraffe should be a lesson for all the giraffes in Kentucky and the rest of the country.

  30. Joe
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 7:58 pm
  31. Joe
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 9:12 pm


  32. Rosalinda Kilmer
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

    I can vouch for the “virtual” all center Stacy. I have volunteered several hrs from my home in South Dakota calling IA voters before and after the Ames event and I know several other “cainiacs” who are doing the same. That’s why the ABC video footage didn’t bother me at all but I suppose that it is a bad optic that feeds into the lamestream media narrative that Cain isn’t serious and doesn’t have any ground game.

  33. Herman Cain – Keeping Costs Low and Not Spending Money He Doesn’t Have | Herman Cain PAC
    October 23rd, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

    […] The Other McCain, where you can also find the latest Iowa poll results, which don’t reflect an empty […]

  34. Adjoran
    October 24th, 2011 @ 1:35 am

    For the record, I think Perry’s response was over the top.  He would have been more effective by just questioning Cain’s commitment to life issues as a result of the interview.  Attempting to assign particular views to Cain instead reeks of desperation.

    And that was dumb, because just focusing the spotlight on Cain and letting him explain himself is the best course.  I accept Cain at his word on clarification, but I’ve never heard a pro-life advocate describe the issue in the terms he did. 

    I accept it was a misstatement, but it was a big one and one in a series of such errors, always unforced by any trick question or with a timed response in debates.  It’s getting to the point if you want to trip Cain up, just ask him a question and he’ll take it from there.

    Cain has a very short learning curve.  We’ll see if he can adapt.  Soon.

  35. Adjoran
    October 24th, 2011 @ 1:58 am

    When Cain needs supporters to attack the question as ambiguous and make excuses that he had a long day, he better start a less demanding project than running for President.  Voting hasn’t started anywhere yet, there aren’t going to be many rest days from now on if he makes a real run of it.

    Misspeaking is not one of the top habits of highly successful candidates.

  36. Adjoran
    October 24th, 2011 @ 2:06 am

    He hasn’t made the personal appearances he did in the last cycle, but his organization is still there.  I think his best chance is to push hard in Iowa.  Losing to Cain there wouldn’t hurt him so much, but if he can force Perry down to fourth or fifth there and then in New Hampshire, then Perry is set up like Gore in ’88 – by banking on the Southern states on Super Tuesday and ignoring the early states, Gore was an afterthought by the time Super Tuesday arrived.

    If Romney should win Iowa and New Hampshire both, though, it’s effectively over.  South Carolina always goes with the winner.  Perry won’t finish in the top two if he is 4th or 5th in the first two contests.  The momentum of three in a row will be hard to counter, and if Florida goes Romney then it is over, done, there will be no money for the others.

  37. Adjoran
    October 24th, 2011 @ 2:08 am

    Well, what was the margin of error?  3.5 or 4%?  

    Huntsman’s support is best described as “statistical noise” – probably just a few isolated Ron Paul stoners who thought “Huntsman” was a funny name in between cookies.

  38. Adjoran
    October 24th, 2011 @ 2:10 am

    True conservative, true enough, but who the heck do you think BUILT the dang Establishment in the first place?

    HINT:  it was Mexicans, but they were hired by the Voorhees to do it.

  39. Adjoran
    October 24th, 2011 @ 2:23 am

    Yup – that’ll teach ’em to stick their necks out.

  40. The Incredible Shrinking Rick Perry « Don Surber
    October 24th, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    […] Robert Stacy McCain: “A friend e-mailed to remind me that in 2006, Cain led a $1 million effort to encourage […]

  41. ThePaganTemple
    October 24th, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

    It’s not a narrative, its a fact. Iowa voters aren’t going to be impressed by a virtual campaign, whatever that is. Unless Cain can virtually go to Iowa farms and virtually pitch some hay to the cattle, I wouldn’t count on it helping much.