ABC’s Susan Archer and Michael Falcone report:
On the campaign trail, presidential candidate Herman Cain touts his 9-9-9 plan, but his top adviser appears to be subtly suggesting a different slogan: ”Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.”
On Monday night, the Cain campaign released a quirky web video, featuring Cain’s chief of staff and campaign manager, Mark Block.
In the ad, Block says, “We need you to get involved, because together we can do this. We can take this country back.” At the en of the spot, Block is shown taking a long drag from a cigarette and blowing smoke into the camera lens as Tea Party singer Krista Branch’s song, “I Am America” provides the soundtrack.
Block is no ordinary campaign chief.
According to a recent Daily Caller profile, Block was “banned from politics in Wisconsin for three years and forced to pay a $15,000 fine after being accused by the Wisconsin State Elections Board of violating election law in 1997 as campaign manager to state Supreme Court Justice.”
The profile, by the Daily Caller’s Alex Pappas, also notes that Block “settled with the Wisconsin State Elections Board without admitting guilt. Broke and unable to work in politics under the settlement, he stocked shelves at Target.”
Block isn’t the only Cain staffer with an interesting backstory. Cain’s vice president of national field and political pperations, Jamie Brazil, once worked for Hillary Clinton and he’s even godfather to Mrs. Clinton’s nephew, Simon Rodham.
It’s not just political staffers, but bodyguards too. One of them, Kristian Otto Herzog, has been seen on the trail with the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO. Herzog served as personal bodyguard to Mel Gibson’s ex-wife Oksana Grigorieva among other celebrities. According to the celebrity gossip website, TMZ, the convicted felon will no longer be on the trail with Cain.
All of this might be highly unusual in a normal presidential campaign, but take it from Block, who says in the video: “We’ve run a campaign like nobody’s ever seen but then, America’s never seen a candidate like Herman Cain.”