The influential editorial board of the New Hampshire Union Leader ripped GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain on Monday for dodging the newspaper’s interview.
In a column titled “What’s he afraid of?” the Union Leader said it was “strange” that Cain would base his entire campaign off of media coverage and then not allow the newspaper’s long-form interview with the candidate to be videotaped.
“It seems that Cain is fine with everyone seeing him give short, prepared answers, but not with everyone seeing him try to answer questions in which he has more than 30 or 60 seconds to respond,” the editorial concluded. “He would do well to rethink that decision, for it gives the impression that he’s got something to hide.”
“Cain campaign said we’d do a one-hour interview. Then said no video taping. Then said interview only 20 mins. Then canceled,” editorial page editor Drew Cline wrote on Twitter.
The Cain campaign blamed the newspaper for the mix-up.
“The newspaper cancelled with one of our advance staff at approximately 9:00 am today. I was surprised to hear that minutes later," said Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon. "We had been in discussion on the length and format of the interview since Monday. Yesterday the campaign agreed on 20 minutes, vice [sic] the 45 minutes with video that had been requested."
The meeting had become highly anticipated after a video of Cain’s interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board went viral last week.
In that meeting, Cain struggled to describe his views on Libya, at times searching for words in awkward silence before saying he had “all of this stuff twirling around in my head.”
The Union Leader’s endorsement is highly coveted in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, and candidates traditionally meet with the editorial board in the run-up to the primary.