After captivating Republicans hungry for an alternative to 2012 GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, Cain has made a series of stumbles that have left some questioning whether he’s ready for the White House.
His words and actions have drawn more scrutiny since his rise in the polls catapulted him into the top tier of the race for the party’s white House nomination.
But Cain has sometimes appeared to be in over his head. Consider what’s happened over the past week:
–He suggested electrifying a fence along the U.S. border with Mexico to kill illegal immigrants trying to enter the United States. Cain later called it a joke and apologized if anyone was offended by the remarks.
–He said he would negotiate for the release of U.S. prisoners held by terrorists, then reversed himself and said he had misunderstood the question.
Through it all, Cain has appeared unflappable. He chalks up the reversals to the breakneck pace of the race.
“In a couple of instances … I misspoke because of the pace of the interview. I don’t call it a flip-flop. I’d rather come back and explain to people what I really meant,” Cain said Friday after an economic speech in Detroit. “It doesn’t send mixed messages. It just shows that I’m willing to correct myself … if in fact I need to correct myself for clarity. That’s what I’m trying to achieve.”