Talk Radio Stays on Cain's Side, For Now

Friday, 18 Nov 2011 11:34 AM

By Newsmax Wires

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Conservative talk radio luminaries such as Rush Limbaugh were crucial in building the support for Herman Cain’s leap to the top of polls for Republican presidential candidates. Now that some serious missteps have sent the businessman’s poll numbers back down to earth, the fate of Cain’s White House bid may well rest with those same talk radio kingpins, Politico reports.

The irony of that dynamic is rich, given that Cain’s own star turn as an Atlanta radio talk show host helped launch his political career. The risk isn’t so much that the titan talkers will verbally bash Cain, but rather that they’ll ignore him, which would likely lead voters to do the same.

“If they don’t talk about you, it’s like you don’t exist,” an adviser to another Republican 2012 presidential campaign told Politico. “It’s not that they don’t like Herman, it’s not that they won’t defend him, it’s that they’ll just decide at some point that he’s irrelevant. And that’s a form of slow death.”

So far, the combination of Cain’s conservative views and talk radio style has resonated with the Republican rank and file. “Herman Cain is not just a talk radio guy, he’s a talk radio and a tea party guy, which is definitely helping him defy the laws of political gravity,” veteran conservative activist and former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed, told Politico. “The mainstream media doesn’t really get it. He connects with a core audience in this party.”

The talk radio kingpins relate to Cain’s disdain for the Washington establishment and details of governance. Limbaugh and Mark Levin have defended Cain through his troubles with sexual harassment allegations and dealing with policy-related questions from the media.

Limbaugh called reports of the sexual harassment allegations against Cain an “unconscionably racially charged attack.” After a video of Cain struggling to answer a simple question about Libya policy went viral, Limbaugh termed it “just the latest hit piece.”

To be sure, Limbaugh is defending all the candidates now except Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, notes author Zev Chafets. “If you see Rush stop defending him [Cain], then you’ll see him fall,” a senior GOP operative told Politico.

As for Levin, he went after Cain accuser Sharon Bialek on his show. Levin asked, “if you think the guy [Cain] was hitting on you, . . . why would you go out to have an Italian dinner” with him?

But one talk radio star has started giving Cain the business – Laura Ingraham. She defended Cain on the sexual harassment charges. But after Cain’s gaffes on Libya and other policy issues, she has begun to question his fitness for the presidency.

While playing the audio of Cain’s Libya comments this week, she interjected with resigned “oy”s and “wow”s.

“What happens when Godfather’s Pizza doesn’t deliver? You get Newt Gingrich in 30 minutes or less,” she said. “It is not good for conservatives to make excuses for people even if they have been unfairly maligned on other issues.”

The fact that most conservative radio talkers have stayed on Cain’s side helps explain why he hasn’t plunged in the polls like Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann. Cain has dropped from about 30 percent to the teens.

“Talk radio is still a very important factor in the Republican party,” long-time GOP pollster David Winston told Politico. “It’s probably cushioned his fall.”

Cain’s own background in talk radio is a double-edged sword. What plays well over the airwaves doesn’t necessarily translate in a political campaign.

“Cain has to learn that when you want to be president of the United States, and you step out of the hyperbolic entertainment world of talk radio and enter the world of presenting yourself to the American public to be president, you have to be careful not to use certain terms that on radio, as entertainment, are acceptable,” Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers magazine, a publication about talk radio, told Politico. He was referring to Cain calling House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi “Princess Nancy.”

http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=C430AD23-5629-41BA-A893-B138F3E73101





© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

NY Governor Hopefuls Debate Economy, Leadership

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 22:20 PM

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Republican challenger traded insults and clashed over the economy and corruption duri . . .

Experts: GOP Digital Talent Gap Needs to Close by 2016

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 22:05 PM

The GOP has a massive digital talent gap going into the 2016 presidential race, experts say.
While President Bara . . .

Texas' Davis Says She Would Welcome Obama Visit

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 21:10 PM

Democrat Wendy Davis said Wednesday she would welcome President Barack Obama campaigning for her in Texas after largely  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved