Former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain said the controversy surrounding conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh's comments about a Georgetown law student is nothing more than an attempt to deflect attention from the issues that are important in the 2012 elections.
"In case our liberal friends have not heard, Rush Limbaugh is not running for anything – he's not a candidate for president of the United States," said Cain in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Thursday afternoon. Cain was touring Alabama with Kathy Peterson, a GOP candidate for the state's Public Service Commission.
The controversy regarding Limbaugh began a little more than a week ago when he referred to Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke as a "slut" and a "prostitute," leading several advertisers to pull their ads on the popular daily talk show with an estimated 15 million daily listeners. He made the comments after Fluke testified before a panel of congressional Democrats in support of President Obama's policy of mandating free contraceptives to all female employees, even at religious institutions (such as hospitals and colleges) that object to such services.
Like Limbaugh, the one-time GOP presidential contender had to deal with a sting of repeated attacks on his personal life when several females who Cain had known in years past made accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate relationships.
Cain said the personal attacks are a symptom of a larger problem critics are trying to cover up and they are simply looking for any issue they believe will divert attention from what conservatives view as the failed policies of President Obama and the Democratic Party.
"The left is eager to throw stones but I will tell you they are the ones that have a problem that I refer to as S-I-N," said Cain.
"'S' means they like to shift the subject from issues such as fast and furious and the president's numerous failed policies over the last four years. 'I' is they are many times ignorant of the facts when they unleash their attack dogs," exclaimed Cain. "And 'N' stands for their propensity to name-call. I know. I've been on the receiving end of their tactics."
Conservative pundits and elected officials have publicly said that Limbaugh's statements were inappropriate and wetr made in poor taste and that the comments should not have been made.
But Media Research Center, whose specialty is neutralizing what they consider "left-wing" bias news organizations, has questioned the double standard imposed on Limbaugh by liberals who said nothing when pundits such as Bill Maher and liberal radio host Mike Mallory made derogatory comments about conservative females and Christians.
During a radio broadcast on March 2, Mallory gave a rambling diatribe attacking evangelical Christians in the South and Midwest after a series of deadly tornadoes devastated their homes.
"Their God, if this is the way they want to look at it, keeps smashing them into little grease spots on the pavement, in Alabama, in Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia and Oklahoma – you know, the Bible Belt ... where they ain't gonna let no g*dd*mn science get in the way, it says in the Bible, blah blah blah, so according to their way of thinking, y'know, God with his omnipotent thumb, and so far tonight, has smashed so far 20 people on Highway 12, or whatever the hell highway they live next to," said Mallory.
Mallory issued a sincerely worded apology for his comments, saying, "I made a mistake, I was wrong, and I will not let it happen again." Maher also commented earlier this week via Twitter that liberals looked bad by not accepting Limbaugh's apology.
Meanwhile, directing the focus back on the campaign trail, Cain said the Republican candidates running for office need to redefine their message, and one way to do so is to tailor their message to young voters.
"It's imperative we capture the hearts of our young people by focusing on a message of economic hope," said Cain. "I believe if we stay on track and accomplish that goal, then our chances are even better of winning in November."