File this one under “Shutting the Barn Door.”
JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you view China as a potential military threat to the United States?
HERMAN CAIN: I do view China as a potential military threat to the United States.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And what could you do as president to head that off?
HERMAN CAIN: My China strategy is quite simply outgrow China. It gets back to economics. China has a $6 trillion economy and they’re growing at approximately 10 percent. We have a $14 trillion economy — much bigger — but we’re growing at an anemic 1.5, 1.6 percent. When we get our economy growing back at the rate of 5 or 6 percent that it has the ability to do, we will outgrow China.
And secondly, we already have superiority in terms of our military capability, and I plan to get away from making cutting our defense a priority and make investing in our military capability a priority, going back to my statement: peace through strength and clarity. So yes they’re a military threat. They’ve indicated that they’re trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have. So yes, we have to consider them a military threat.
Yes, they have indicated they are trying to develop a nuclear capability. They did so rather convincingly in 1964.
One has to believe that Cain knows China joined the ranks of nuclear powers in 1964. Or one hopes so anyway. But when that comment is sandwiched with “they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have” it gives one pause as they have no carriers in commission at all the only options one is left with are that either 1) Cain is woefully uninformed about China or 2) he has a studied disregard for the English language when opining on which nations are threats to the United States.
For the record, I have no doubt that China is a long term threat to our vital interests on the Pacific Rim. It has a policy of dominating the smaller nations in that region and aggrandizing the natural resources and navigation rights of the South China Sea to itself. I encourage everyone to read this study by the Hoover Institute as a starting point.
There are a lot of subjects where candidates shooting from the lip is fine. China isn’t one of them.