Republicans and Democrats alike held their collective breath this evening to see how Herman Cain would present himself at this evening’s CNBC debate. Not only did Herman Cain show up for the Republican chat fest, responses from viewers on Twitter appeared to support his strong responses to questions and his focus on the issues. Herman Cain took full opportunity to use the bully pulpit to defend his character at the Republican debate.
Cain appeared to enjoy great support from the audience who openly groaned when the moderators touched on the subject of Cain’s alleged sexual harassment of former employees and colleagues. It was a particularly awkward moment when the moderator asked candidate Mitt Romney, if as a former CEO of Bain Capital, he would have hired Mr. Cain. it was clear from the audience reaction that they believed the question was in poor taste. Romney answered politely that the audience in the auditorium as well as those watching would ultimately make up their mind about Mr. Cain.
Herman Cain’s response to direct questions addressed the fact that he was not going to be tried in the court of public opinion, but instead preferred to focus on the issues affecting the American economy.
Having said that, some critics immediately jumped on two statements that Cain made as the debate continued.
The first was his reference to former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, as Princess Nancy. He made the reference to former Speaker Pelosi, when Cain spoke about proposed legislation which he said had been derailed by ‘Princess Nancy.” Immediately after the debate, in an interview with CNBC hosts, Cain said he probably should not have made that statement.
The second statement Cain made which might leave some people scratching their heads was when he said that for every one woman who made these accusations against him, there were thousands who had not. Most people might get what he was trying to say, but it was an awkward statement to make.
No doubt there will continue to be speculation about the women who have accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment. These two statements might not have helped his case.