Herman Cain: "Manly" men like more pizza toppings

Cain speaks at the CBS News/National Journal foreign policy debate at the Benjamin Johnson Arena, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 in Spartanburg, S.C. During the debate, Cain said President Obama has been on the wrong side of nearly every situation in the Arab world and the United States has mishandled the uprisings in the region. AP Photo/Richard Shiro

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said in an interview with GQ out Monday that one can tell how "manly" a man is by looking at how many toppings he puts on his pizza. He also said a pizza covered in vegetables is a "sissy pizza."

"The more toppings a man has on his pizza, I believe the more manly he is," said the former Godfather's Pizza CEO.

Cain, laughing, then explained that "the more manly man is not afraid of abundance" before calling into question the manliness of a pizza with vegetables on it.

"A manly man don't want it piled high with vegetables! He would call that a sissy pizza," Cain said.

The interview was conducted while Cain sampled a variety of pizzas at a Washington restaurant in mid-October, before Politico first reported Oct. 30 that Cain had been accused of sexual harassment more than a decade ago. At one point, he said he preferred a pie with arugula on it, prompting an interviewer to say "one would think that you'd brand that one the sissiest pizza of them all."

"Well, you didn't let me finish answering the question the first time!" Cain responded, though the interview transcript does not suggest he was cut off. "It's not only abundance; it's taste. Okay? It's taste." Later, when a pizza covered in meat was brought to the table, Cain exclaimed, "NOW THAT'S A MANLY-LOOKING PIZZA!!"

Those were not the only food-related comments Cain made in the interview. Cain has compared himself to black walnut ice cream; asked what flavor Mitt Romney would be, Cain responded, "just plain vanilla."

He went on to call Rick Perry "rocky road" and deem Michele Bachmann "tutti-frutti" after initially insisting, when asked about Bachmann, "I'm not going to say it. I'm not going to say it."

"I know I'm going to get in trouble!," Cain said after deeming Bachmann tutti-frutti.

He went on to say that Ron Paul is "just not an ice cream flavor." Cain said he would be "scared" if Paul was president and that he is "puzzled by some of his extreme statements, like 'End the Fed!' 'End everything!'"

He also criticized Perry, whom he suggested would not be an effective "communicator in chief," and Rick Santorum, about whom he said, "I just don't think that he would be an effective president."

As for Bachmann, Cain said he doesn't "see great leadership qualities" in her.

"I think she has some leadership qualities," he said. "But I don't see those qualities that are going to be strong enough to do many of the things that I know the next president of the United States is going to have to do." Cain stressed his assessment is not because Bachmann is a woman, saying "Margaret Thatcher was a great leader. So that has nothing to do with her gender."

At another point in the interview, Cain seemed to suggest he believes a majority of American Muslims are extremists, telling his interviewers, "I have had one very well known Muslim voice say to me directly that a majority of Muslims share the extremist views."

Asked if he agreed with that unnamed "Muslim voice" - whom Cain declined to identify other than saying "he is a very prominent voice in the Muslim community" - Cain said, "Yes, because that's his community." 

The interview comes in the wake of Saturday's CBS News-sponsored Republican presidential debate as well as Cain's wife Gloria's first interview on the sexual harassment allegations against her husband, where she said the charges don't ring true because Cain "totally respects women."

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