Businessman and onetime Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain says the mainstream media are trying to paint him as a religious nut by mocking his belief in God.
"They intentionally misinterpreted what I said," Cain told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
Media outlets zeroed in on the Georgia restaurateur's religious zeal when he recently spoke about the possibility of making a stab for the White House in 2016.
"I do not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future, and I trust in God," Cain said at the annual Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.
One news website, The Moderate Voice, headlined its article: "Will God tell Herman Cain to Run Again?''
"You have liberals and mainstream media people and people who will want to try and attack me, they're trying to basically mock the fact that I believe in God and that I believe in the guidance of God in making decisions,'' Cain said Monday.
"That's what they're trying to do, they're trying to portray me as some sort of wacko because I'm going to depend upon inspiration from God almighty in order to make that decision."
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Cain, former chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza and a 2012 candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, told host Steve Malzberg he is sticking to his spiritual answer concerning his political future.
I made statements which I have been making for months . . . I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future and that's God almighty, and that's truly the real answer,'' he said.
The thing is, when you look at some of the people in the mainstream media, they want a yes, no, black, white, now or never answer.''
He said seeking the White House is not a simple decision.
"You have to consider the amount of investments you'd have to personally make because no matter what office you run for, you're going to have to put some of your personal money on the line in order to prime the pump,'' he said.
"Secondly, you've got to consider the impact it's going to have on you and your family because as you know, when you run for president or almost any office you are under a microscope.
"I gave up some very lucrative board positions the last time, I gave up my ability to earn income because when you're running for office you don't have the luxuries to earn money.''
But Cain also said he is leaving the door open.
"I never say never, but it is way too early for me to say that it is a clear-cut decision of yes I will or yes I won't,'' he said.
"That might play well with the mainstream media in trying to come up with a sensational headline, but again, they're not looking at it the way I look at it, and I'm not trying to please the mainstream media.''
Cain also warned Republican lawmakers not to make too much of an issue over the swap of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five high-ranking Taliban prisoners.
"The administration did this to create a major distraction . . . I hope that many of the Republican leaders are listening: Don't chase this rabbit. You want to know why? Because regardless of what the answers are to all those questions, it's not going to advance the Republican Party's position on anything," Cain said.
"The Republican Party . . . should determine the legality of what the president and the administration did, but they should not make this a major item that they along with the mainstream media are going to chase for two weeks in order to get away from the Obamacare disaster, the IRS scandal, the EPA assault that they're trying to bring onto the coal industry, the sluggish economy.
"That's what we ought to focus on. I happen to believe that this was a deliberate attempt to distract the media and to get the Republicans attacking something else other than all these other issues.''
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