MINNEAPOLIS -- Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain defended his statements on Muslims in a meeting with bloggers Saturday, saying he would allow a Muslim to enter his administration like anyone else -- even while he continued to say he would use special precautions to keep out terrorists.
In May, Cain said he would not allow a Muslim to work in his cabinet because of "creeping Shariah law." At the conservative Right Online conference Saturday, the presidential hopeful said he's not racist, but careful.
"I am not anti-Muslim. I am anti-terrorist," he said. "My statement has been misconstrued several times. I've even been called a bigot, because I've expressed a desire to be cautious if I were to consider a Muslim for my administration."
Still, he stood by that caution, tying Muslims to violent extremism and terrorism threats.
"I'm thinking from the perspective of what [Israeli President Benjamin] Netanyahu said when I first heard him two months after 9/11/2001," he said. "Number one, he said terrorism is going to last a long time, and number two, America's got to learn that they -- the terrorists, the jihadists -- they want to kill all of us."
"So no, I'm not going to play nicey nice and say that I'm not going to take extra precautions in order to be able to make sure that we can do our job," he said.
Later, when pressed on what those extra precautions might be, Cain became angry and yelled at a reporter. "I never said I would use any 'special precautions!'" he said. "I never used those words. Those words were used by somebody on the Internet."
The reporter asked if a Muslim would get into the administration like anyone else if they applied. Cain replied, "Yes."
Later, Cain touted his ability to make calm, rational decisions based on fact when asked about his foreign policy. "They like the fact that I'm not going to make a snap, shoot-from-the-hip judgment," he said of his fans.
Tweets about Cain's speech, compiled by HuffPost's Mandy Jenkins.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place