*(Via Wash Post) – Herman Cain does not endorse smoking, despite his campaign’s decision to prominently feature an aide smoking a cigarette in a recent Web video, the businessman and GOP presidential candidate said Sunday.
During an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” host Bob Schieffer – who survived a bout with bladder cancer that he attributes to smoking – said the ad “sends a signal that it’s cool to smoke,” a charge Cain denied.
“[Cain chief of staff] Mark Block smokes,” Cain said. “That’s all that ad says. We weren’t trying to say it’s cool to smoke. You have a lot of people in this country that smoke. But what I respect about Mark as a smoker, who is my chief of staff, he never smokes around me or smokes around anyone else. He goes outside.”
Cain explained that the video, which has received more than 1.2 million views on YouTube, was about letting “people be people.”
“One of the themes 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 we’re trying to say, because we believe let people be people.”
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