Four Things We’ve Learned About Herman Cain This Weekend

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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Herman Cain, the GOP superstar of the moment, has recently made headlines for his kooky 9-9-9 tax plan, his disinterest in foreign relations — remember "Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan" — and his links to the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity group. (All unpalatable to most liberals but not so much for Republican primary voters looking for someone, anyone, to be excited about.) And like any suddenly out-of-right-field serious candidate, Cain's gaffes and slip-ups are now increasingly seen as newsworthy. This weekend has brought us several, though none likely to prove too debilitating just yet.

Cain's Gruesome (and Supposedly Humorous) Solutions for Illegal Immigration:
At campaign stops in Tennessee yesterday, Cain put forward two separate plans for tackling the nation's immigration problem: An electrified fence along the border that would stop short the life of anyone trying to slip into the country illegally, and reequipping border forces "with real guns and real bullets." This morning on Meet the Press, he responded to the (unsurprising and immediate) backlash to his electric fence remarks, saying: "That's a joke. That's not a serious plan. I've also said America needs to get a sense of humor."

Cain's "Neo-What?" Moment:
After Meet the Press's David Gregory asked Cain if he considered himself a neoconservative, the presidential candidate replied: "I'm not sure what you mean by neoconservative. I am a conservative, yes. Neoconservative — labels sometimes will put you in a box. I'm very conservative."

Cain's Brainstorming Process:
"I think of this stuff as I go," Cain told Newsweek in this week's cover story. "My messages are spontaneous."

Cain's Prepared to Fight Fruit With Fruit:
In response to some pretty biting remarks from 84-year-old civil rights activist and singer Harry Belafonte, Cain told Newsweek: "He's been on that banana boat too long. Harry Belafonte called me a bad apple. Now he knows he's not going to shut me up."

Cain Says His Deadly Fence Plan Was 'a Joke' [Caucus/NYT]
Rise of the Anti-Obama [Newsweek]