You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

Inside Politics

- - Sunday, November 13, 2011

GEORGIA

Cain: God told him to run for president

ATLANTA — Republican Herman Cain credits God with telling him that he needed to run for president.

The businessman-turned-candidate spoke about his religious beliefs Saturday during a speech to young Republicans in Atlanta.

Mr. Cain said he finally realized after much praying that God was saying that he needed to enter the presidential race. He compared his situation to Moses, who in the Bible initially questions whether God has chosen the right person to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.

Mr. Cain said that once he made the decision to run, he has not looked back.

Religious conservatives are a major voting bloc in Republican primaries, especially in the Deep South.

CAMPAIGN 2012

O'Malley: GOP candidates pander to tea party

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley says Republican presidential candidates are pandering to what he calls GOP extremists such as those affiliated with the tea party.

The chairman of the Democratic Governors Association made the comments Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Asked about Texas Gov. Rick Perry's statement in Saturday's debate that he would zero out foreign aid, Mr. O'Malley said the debates have featured numerous erratic statements by candidates pandering to GOP extremists. Mr. O'Malley said the statement was the latest in a series that lacked practical sense. He also criticized GOP candidates for not offering new ideas on improving the economy and putting people back to work.

Mr. O'Malley appeared on the Sunday news program with two Republicans, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Both mostly defended Mr. Perry and the GOP field.

CAMPAIGN

Wife says Herman Cain 'totally respects women'

Gloria Cain says the claims of sex harassment against her husband, Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain, don't ring true because he "totally respects women."

"I'm thinking he would have to have a split personality to do the things that were said," Mrs. Cain told Fox News' Great Van Susteren in an interview to be aired Monday during the show "On the Record."

In excerpts released Sunday night, Mrs. Cain says she can't believe the claims her husband harassed women when he led the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

"You hear the graphic allegations, and we know that would have been something that's totally disrespectful of her as a woman," she said. "And I know the type of person he is. He totally respects women."

Four women have now accused Mr. Cain of sexually harassing them when he led the restaurant group. He has denied wrongdoing and has been trying to move forward in his presidential campaign.

SEC

Commission disciplines 8 concerning Madoff failure

The Securities and Exchange Commission says it has disciplined eight employees for failing to uncover Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme over a 16-year period. None of the employees was fired.

SEC spokesman John Nester says the discipline varied. Three employees had their pay reduced. Two received 30-day suspensions without pay, one of whom also received a pay cut. The others received shorter suspension or counseling memos. The actions were based on recommendations by a law firm hired by the agency.

Two years ago, the SEC inspector general questioned the conduct of 21 employees in a report on the Madoff affair. Ten of those employees have since left the agency.

The SEC has been criticized for failing to spot the Ponzi scheme. Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence for securities fraud.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Paul says he wasn't trying to embarrass Perry

SPARTANBURG — Rep. Ron Paul said he didn't mean to embarrass fellow Texas Republican Rick Perry when Mr. Perry forgot, during a debate, one of the three federal agencies he wants to abolish.

Mr. Paul held up five fingers as Mr. Perry groped for words, and the video has been viewed thousands of times online since Wednesday's Republican debate.

Mr. Paul, a Texas congressman, said in an interview Saturday with the Associated Press that he wasn't piling on and that Mr. Perry had "a human reaction." Mr. Paul said he was trying to bring up his own proposal to abolish five federal agencies.

"But when he talked about three departments, the thing that flashed through my mind was, 'But I'm for five.' That's why I held up five fingers. Only three?" Mr. Paul said.

Mr. Paul has heaped plenty of criticism on Mr. Perry, the Texas governor, and did so again during Wednesday's debate. But Mr. Paul said he offered sympathy as the candidates left the stage.

"I said: 'You know, we all do that, you know,' " Mr. Paul said. "But I said: 'You're not supposed to do it on national television.' "

Mr. Paul spoke to a crowd of more than 200 Saturday at a veterans event in Spartanburg, where he and Mr. Perry and other GOP candidates were appearing at a debate on foreign policy in the evening.

WHITE HOUSE

First lady says she feels welcome in Hawaii

First lady Michelle Obama told spouses of international leaders at a luncheon in Hawaii on Sunday that she feels welcome in America's 50th state because of its "spirit of openness and tolerance."

"I feel like this is my home away from home, a place where I feel welcome and open and optimistic," Mrs. Obama said during the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, at the seaside resort of Ka'a'awa, Hawaii.

"Folks here view their differences as strengths - not as weaknesses. And people of all different backgrounds live together and work together and seek to learn from each other," the first lady said.

President Obama was born in Honolulu, and his wife joked that his birthplace was a compelling factor when she agreed to marry him.

"That's really one of the reasons I married Barack," Mrs. Obama said. "When I realized that this is where we'd be spending the holidays, I said, 'Yes - I love you!'"

From wire dispatches and staff reports