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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

Cain: Kissinger Declined to Join Administration

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, speaks at the CBS News/National Journal foreign policy debate at the Benjamin Johnson Arena, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 in Spartanburg, S.C. The debate covered foreign policy, which has gotten little attention from the GOP candidates in recent weeks. During the debate Cain said President Barack Obama has been on the wrong side of nearly every situation in the Arab world and the United States has mishandled the uprisings in the region. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)(Richard Shiro/AP)

photo of Sara Sorcher
November 15, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain could probably use a foreign policy adviser after stumbling, in a much-publicized interview, over an answer on the Libya uprising, but it apparently won't be Nixon-era Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

In the same interview, Cain revealed that the 88-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner declined his offer to serve as secretary of State in a Cain administration.

"Dr. Kissinger turned my offer down to be secretary of State," he told the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He's perfectly happy to be doing what he's doing." Earlier this month, Cain paid a visit to Kissinger in New York City to discuss foreign policy issues.

 

Cain went on to list several people he's considering as officials in his hypothetical administration. They include: Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.; former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton; former Reagan Pentagon spokeswoman K.T. McFarland; and former head of Strategic Air Command Gen. John Chain. He also said he admires Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., but doesn't want to pin down the Budget Committee chairman's position quite yet. "I don't want to get pigeonholed," he said.

"My administration will have a majority of business people, as well as some seasoned officeholders who are not afraid to challenge the status quo," Cain said.

The reporters asked Cain a question about Libya, which provoked a drawn-out and uncertain response from the usually assertive Cain. At one point, he acknowledged his confusion over the foreign policy question, saying: "I've got all this stuff twirling around in my head."

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