Roundtable: Cain's Mixed Messages

George Will, Arianna Huffington, Matthew Dowd, and Niall Ferguson.
8:07 | 11/06/11

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Transcript for Roundtable: Cain's Mixed Messages
Herman Cain sunny campaign took a stormy time this week. The candidate sent mixed messages -- days as he confronted sexual harassment allegations from his -- And so will scandal bring his soaring campaign backed down to let us bring back the roundtable. George first you can Herman -- survive it and fix it. He can fix it and it still won't survive that is I don't think -- is a viable presidential campaign he's just not regardless of he's not conducting and as a presidential campaign is not going with -- early voters are going to vote. Things like little indices like that is not raising money. This looks like something other than what purports to be. So -- I think -- interesting about that is I agree he's not conducting this like a normal campaign but the interesting thing is is either leads the polls -- is tied in the polls not doing all the traditional things in this campaign. I think they're a bunch of voters out there that -- a nontraditional candidate which is why Herman -- Risen in the polls even though -- doesn't have experience he's made a bunch of mistakes in these latest allegations. If he gets through them -- -- -- -- -- you never know what more more shoes are gonna drop in mishandled this terribly mishandled this whole thing terribly but to me. This whole thing with -- came as a signal about how tribal. Our politics has become because it immediately when this allegations comes out. The right sort of -- the gates Politico and kept -- broke the story castigate the -- castigate them saying okay this is horrible. And nonetheless says that he's disqualified he can't run and nobody can actually have a measure conversation about the people involved -- what's the issue and -- we because we line up and tribes and we throw rocks at each other. Without any conversation. I think this is my problem with them media contact me -- -- is -- -- -- by. You know everybody is -- -- -- -- lot of cable comrades but given that they now to exit like -- these stories on -- -- confessed. The days. Andy beauty last commentators. Have all Fiat whether they really think that is probably about him and can't even before -- -- -- them. And seeing can imagine that is not pizza and that White House. They -- -- you know I don't know why are -- -- -- -- about. -- he could become the candidate I don't think. -- chance of becoming president but the interesting thing here is the Republican field isn't such a -- That anything's possible and is -- people given the mood in the in the policy amongst the accident that they weren't. I'm going to Mitt Romney and that they will actually -- me before we get to -- -- -- -- ask you about what -- not just allegations that the substantive issues just say. What Herman Cain said on PBS just a few days ago about China. -- yes and 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 militant threat. Yeah well you know we do know that China's had a nuclear capability since the sixty's so is this again something that's problematic is -- -- misspeak is he said. Mean how does a presidential candidate say that kind of thing this. Orient for the embarrassment was books -- -- -- -- sexual harassment because no noting that tunnels already nuclear. Seems like a bit of a game changer for somebody's credibility as a potential president so what -- I must say -- -- -- -- off. Because if you don't know that what else to consider -- -- entire -- she used to say stuff like that and everybody said. Forget that and I think that suggested that the really serious thing that's happened to him he's lost his candidacy. -- is a leading indicator for this month of a multi month phenomenon which is resistance Mitt Romney now what Mitt Romney's people so I've talked to that. Someone really knows is with him in New Hampshire and worries about that -- -- that pieces. The cure to a lack of enthusiasm -- winning. Once you start winning. The -- -- -- New Hampshire they think it went in New Hampshire on their way in the possibility of rolling the dice and try underwent an which he went and Iowa New Hampshire it's over. So they think that the enthusiasm can be cured by success. -- -- this they just something that Mitt Romney said he has obviously a lot of the discomfort with him is what people consider flip flopping so that's. Have a quick look at what you just said about this issue. I cannot state every single issue exactly the same words every single time and so there are some folks who. Obviously for various political campaign purposes we'll -- I have some change. And -- drawn great attention to something which looks like change which in fact is entirely consistent. The problem in this is what. Problems a thing that's mild nuances and is different than nineteenth 96 he denounced the flat tax that tax cut for fat cats. This year he says I love a flat tax that's not a new. And the fundamental problem that he hasn't my twice its at this point 5% late and much by the Tea Party voters in the Republican Party won't vote for which like conservatives don't want no part is they think he's -- a secret and his secret is going to be. He's gonna win the nomination as soon as he wins the nomination. He's gonna go back to what he was in in Massachusetts and he's going to be set himself up as a moderate to -- -- Barack Obama as a moderate to -- that's what they think. And their -- to fear there's that much of the voters and Republican Party -- ballot to fear that that's what he's got to do so when I actually think the base case. -- is that is that is exactly what's gonna happen. He'll get the nomination. And -- -- -- of grumbling on the rise and then he will be the credible contender it can actually beat Obama I think right now he'd be very unwise to bet against Mitt Romney becoming president we choose to remember the back. And that's Jon Huntsman would that neither China -- been thinking about anything. I had heard it here but I give her pain better shot than yeah -- -- say that that Jon Huntsman would be into the -- times -- Mathematical algorithm they came out with. They say that actually husband would be the most serious challenge of if he doesn't have. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- you can make that decision and that voters do not like Jon Huntsman in the Republican. The mom as a mom that I saw the front runners I think glowed and why NAFTA beyond that and that's me for Romney so radioactive. -- -- -- you -- Amanda fox. And Jon Huntsman may believe -- last man that has got it right. Newt Gingrich if if Herman -- in the course of this if this week and he doesn't handle well there's more stories that he faults the numbers are gonna go that voters are gonna go to Mitt Romney yet they're gonna go to somebody else in the natural when I think right now go to this is -- -- he's. -- -- -- Is -- still just going and then a musician I think it's under fluid until the Iowa Caucuses and I think anything can happen up until the Iowa caucus I think it's flawed because as George pointed out. There's this huge vote there's huge vote up there that's moving around it's at and he said he represented keeps wanting some -- -- other than that Romney. Until they're forced to actually make the decision they're gonna keep moving accompanying -- was the Rick Perry video. President Clinton joined. We're not going to quote -- in this sort of swaggering Texan I can't get enough about the but with all the Texans under current stuns them and that seems like -- pretty bad -- to me because if you really want that gone. You'll be sold. She was very humid and yeah it would look that -- And it has enabled an attacked -- explanation is that -- The idea that I didn't -- that was passed on an appropriate thing it took his campaign should come out and had me. I have seen Rick -- before in Texas and then watched him for 25 years I have seen that side of him and it's not necessarily related people saying -- painkillers or whatever he sometimes does that that's some sort of here's what he does it loosens up and -- that -- I actually think in some ways it could help because part of that they've been to step down hasn't performed well. Until you get a little bit goofy and there's parts of that that -- a little that you went into the coffee. What you thought George he has sort of stiffened up his campaign pro says he's retooled his -- will -- -- you know the wrong Texans who is an -- protect our raw politics Heatley donor list will -- -- minority. The second development or second the people in the room and New Hampshire seem to like it. Third now about -- wrong. That Romney may -- -- Henry Moore Navarre famously converted to catholicism. Just keep the throne. Saying memorably that's all politicians eventually do Paris is well worth the masks and it may work permit.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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