Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Not To Defend Herman Cain, But...

Kevin Drum excerpts the News Hour money quote that is making the blogospheric rounds
JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you view China as a potential military threat to the United States?

HERMAN CAIN: I do view China as a potential military threat to the United States....They've indicated that they're trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have. So yes, we have to consider them a military threat.
and I think makes the correct point: why didn't Woodruff follow this up?

I'm not sure whether this indicates that Cain doesn't know that China does indeed have nuclear weapons. "[T]rying to develop nuclear capability" could mean a lot of things: that they want to add to their stockpile or maybe that they are trying to develop nuclear-powered ships. Or it could mean that he doesn't know that China has been a nuclear weapons power since 1964, one of the five institutionalized in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and a nation with which America is holding talks on reducing nuclear weapons.

So I think there's a bit too much being made of this quote. It's been clear that Cain's strong suit is not foreign relations for some time. But it would have helped if Woodruff would have clarified.

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