Herman Cain says he believes President Barack Obama’s relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is still “fair game,” despite Mitt Romney’s denunciation of a plan to attack the president’s ties to the controversial minister.
Cain, a former GOP presidential candidate who endorsed Romney on Wednesday for the Republican nomination, said he thought the plan put forward by a super political action committee with ties to Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts was designed to “muddy the water” around Obama.
Ricketts never approved the plan, which reportedly would have involved running negative ads in late August around the time of the Democratic National Convention.
But Cain told Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren Thursday night, “I think it is fair if someone wants to highlight the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his relationship with Barack Obama because, quite frankly, it wasn’t highlighted enough in 2008 when he was running for president the first time.
“The proposal didn’t go anywhere, but I think it is fair game,” Cain said, stressing again that he believes the relationship should not be “off limits” in the election.
Cain also rejected criticism of the proposal as racist.
“The reason that the liberals are going to call it racist is because President Obama is black and Jeremiah Wright is black. . . . It is not racist,” Cain said. “They hide behind the race card any time that someone wants to attack the president on grounds that he would freely and liberally attack somebody else.”
Asked about his endorsement of Romney, Cain said he did it to promote unity within the party and to remove any speculation about a potential fight over the nomination at the convention.
“I just wanted to clear the table and make sure that everybody understood that, as I have stated all along, I will support the eventual nominee, and that nominee is going to be [former Massachusetts] Gov. Romney,” he said.
Cain listed Romney’s views on the economy, energy independence, and Obamacare, as the three main reasons he decided to publicly back the Massachusetts governor.
“It’s real simple: Gov. Romney gets it right on the big issues; President Obama gets it wrong on the big issues,” he said.
Cain also said he plans to help Romney on the campaign trail by working to attract young and African-American voters.
“The mere fact that I’m out here promoting conservative values and I’m promoting fiscal responsibility, enforcing the Constitution, and I’m promoting the free market system, that’s causing a lot of African-Americans to think about and look at what the Republican Party has to offer,” Cain said.
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