GOP Presidential Primary

Will Herman Cain’s Sunday sit-down be the new GOP front-runner’s star turn?

Herman Cain’s presidential bid faces a big test Sunday as the newly minted front-runner takes center-stage on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The appearance will mark the first time he has appeared on one of the Sunday morning shows since he became a top-tier contender. Cain has not had to answer in-depth questions on some topics since he became the center of attention. 

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday evening found that 27 percent of voters would pick Cain as their first choice for the Republican presidential nomination followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 23 percent and Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 16 percent. 

{mosads}”Meet the Press” Host David Gregory is known as a tough interviewer, and while Cain mostly held his own during last Tuesday’s GOP debate despite increased focus on his “9-9-9” economic platform, he has at times failed to show a depth of knowledge on some issues.

Cain took heat the last time he was on a Sunday show back in May when he showed a lack of knowledge of the details of Israeli-Palestinian tensions. On “Fox News Sunday” Cain stumbled through an answer on the “right of return” for Palestinians displaced from their homes during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that led to the creation of Israel — one of the two key intractable disagreements between the two sides.

“That is something that should be negotiated … That is something that should be negotiated,” Cain responded after a pause.

He also joked last week that he’s not concerned with learning the finer points on some policy issues — like knowing the names of some world leaders.

“When they ask me ‘who’s the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan,’ I’m gonna say, ‘You know, I don’t know, do you know?’” Cain said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. “And then I’m going to say, ‘How’s that gonna create one job?’”

Cain also praised former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan during Tuesday’s debate and defended his backing of the Troubled Asset Relief Program which bailed out Wall Street, although he criticized the program’s implementation. Many in the Tea Party movement abhor the Fed and hate Greenspan, and TARP is anathema to most conservatives. He will undoubtedly face questions on both of those topics.

So far these comments haven’t hurt Cain’s candidacy — he has been in first or second place in all national polls in the last week. But those types of answers are unlikely to fly with Gregory. How Cain handles himself could prove to voters that he’s ready for the spotlight — or quickly send him back to the second tier.

Meet the Press has interviewed Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty in the last few months, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has  been on the show most recently last December. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has avoided the Sunday shows as a candidate; his last appearance on Meet the Press was in 2005.

Tags Michele Bachmann

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video