Herman Cain on Sunday defended his smoking campaign ad, by saying “we weren’t trying to make smoking look cool. Mark Block smokes.”
Cain defended the ad, saying it was not meant to send a broader message that smoking is acceptable. “Mark Block smokes. That’s all that ad says,” Cain said. “We weren’t trying to say it’s cool to smoke.”
“One of the things within this campaign is let Herman be Herman,” Cain said. “Mark Block is a smoker, and we say let Mark be Mark. That’s all were trying to say because we believe let people be people.”
On the ad released last week, Block praises Cain and states, “America’s never seen a candidate like Herman Cain.” Then with the music “I am America” playing in the background, Block smokes a cigarette and blows smoke into the camera.
The best part is his interviewer, Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’s “Face the Nation,’’ ripped into Cain for the ad.
Schieffer, a bladder cancer survivor, lit into Cain on his show. “It’s not funny to me,” Schieffer said. “I had cancer that was smoking related, and I don’t think it serves the country well — and this is an editorial opinion here — to be showing someone smoking a cigarette.”
Oh, by the way, Herman Cain took thousands of dollars from Big Tobacco lobbying against smoking bans when he was head of the National Restaurant Association.
Compared to the sexual harassment scandal dogging Cain, this is pretty minor, but I still can’t help shaking my head at this bizarre ad.
By the way, this Colbert bit on the Herman Cain smoking ad is FREAKING hiliarious!