Businessman Herman Cain was taken to task by CBS’s Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation today for his viral campaign ad featuring Cain’s campaign chief of staff smoking a cigarette. Schieffer, a cancer survivor like Cain, said he was offended by the ad — saying it is wrong for the Republican front-runner to imply that smoking is somehow cool.
Cain initially defended the ad, saying his campaign wants “Herman to be Herman.”
“Mark Block is a smoker, and we say, let Mark be Mark,” he said.
Cain said the campaign thought some would find the video to be funny, which prompted Schieffer to make an “editorial opinion” and chastise Cain for belittling the issue.
“Let me just tell you, it’s not funny to me,” Schieffer said. “I am a cancer survivor, like you. I had cancer that’s smoking-related. I don’t think its serves the country well – and this an editorial opinion here – to be showing someone smoking a cigarette. And you’re the front runner now. And it seems to me as front runner you would have a responsibility of not to take that kind of a tone. I would suggest that perhaps as the front runner, you would want to raise the level of the campaign.”
Schieffer then called on Cain to set the record straight and say smoking is not cool — which the candidate ultimately did, telling young people, and all Americans, that they should not smoke.
Watch the video below (from 4:30):
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.