Cain regrets no-Muslims-in-Cabinet remark

Republican presidential candidate businessman Herman Cain speaks during a Republican presidential debate, Oct. 18, 2011, in Las Vegas.
AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Herman Cain walked back comments on Muslims and an electrified border fence in television appearances Wednesday - and the Republican presidential contender named names when it came to whom he admires and doesn't among his rivals.

In an interview on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Cain expressed regret for saying earlier this year that he would not appoint Muslims to his Cabinet.

"This is an example of where I spoke too quick, because I'm thinking about extremists, not all Muslims," Cain said. "I do recognize there are peaceful Muslims and there are extremists. At the moment that I was asked that question, I wasn't thinking about peaceful Muslims."

Appearing later on Fox News's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Cain defended but softened his statement at a weekend rally in Tennessee that his border security plan would include an "electrocuted--electrified fence" with a sign that greeted violators: "It will kill you."

"I did it more in jest," he told Van Susteren, but added that his "real solution" would include a fence that's part technology and part boots on the ground.

Morgan asked Cain which of his fellow presidential candidates he most admired.

"I would say that Speaker [Newt] Gingrich and Gov. [Mitt] Romney are the two that I have the greatest amount of respect for, that I would feel comfortable with if I did not get it," Cain said, adding, "But I'm looking pretty good right now. But I have a lot of confidence in the type of job they would do." Pressed on who among his rivals he does not respect, Cain told Morgan: "I don't believe Rep. Ron Paul would be a good president."

Special Section: Campaign 2012
  • Lindsey Boerma On Twitter»

    Lindsey Boerma is senior video producer for