Cain has also suffered a few missteps, including these confusing and contradictory statements about abortion. He talked of killing illegal immigrants with an electric fence, later backtracked the statement, claiming it was a joke, then doubling down on it. In a debate, he said that as President, he might authorize the release of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for one American soldier. He has said he wouldn’t hire Muslims in his cabinet. Then he said he would. He’s had a really hard time defending his 9-9-9 tax plan. And despite his perceived likability, he becomes bristly and defensive when asked about his awkward statements.
The New York Times reports that what we see in front of the scenes may even be amplified behind the scenes. His campaign lacks tactical focus and organization.
Mr. Cain has hardly shown up in New Hampshire and Iowa, they said, spending the bulk of his time on a book tour through the South. He occasionally mishandled potential big donors or ignored real voters. His campaign churned through the small staff; last week, his campaign announced the appointment of the veteran campaigner Steve Grubbs, his third Iowa leader in four months.
Even bumper stickers have been hard to come by.
Perhaps most shockingly, the staff was sent an email instructing them, “Do not speak to him (Cain) unless you are spoken to.” Former campaign workers claimed that they were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements, preventing them from speaking to the media, which is extremely rare on political campaigns. From the NY Times:
Some former aides said they had longed to see the problem-solving side of Mr. Cain, or to see Mr. Cain at all. Over the spring and summer, he did not spend much time with workers. He did not plan conference calls or staff meetings and was given to changing his mind about appearances, sometimes with little notice, a tendency that angered his field workers.
“It was frustrating because we couldn’t get him here as much as I was led to believe he was going to be here,” said Kevin Hall, who worked for Mr. Cain in Iowa in June.
Many are speculating that Cain is not really running for President and with his apparent lack of seriousness on the campaign trail, I’m inclined to agree.