The Washington Times - October 31, 2011, 02:19PM

Businessman Herman Cain on Monday pushed back against the notion that his success in the Republican presidential race is a sign that conservatives want to send a message that they are not racist.

“This many white people can’t pretend that they like me,” Mr. Cain said during an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington.


The response came after he was asked about race in the nation and whether people dislike President Obama because he is the nation’s first black president.

“I don’t think people being uncomfortable with this president has anything to do with race. It is bad policy,” he said, accusing the president of dividing the country through class warfare. “As a result, there is more racial tension than there has been.”

The sole black candidate in the Republican presidential field, Mr. Cain has not shied away from addressing race during the campaign.

Earlier this month, he contrasted his black experience with that of President Obama, saying that after growing up in the racially segregated South, he’s still connected with the trials and travails of the black community — a connection symbolized, Mr. Cain said, by the fact that his “church is still in the ‘hood.”