Herman Cain in 2007: Voters ‘are too hung up on people’s baggage’ when choosing a president

In a 2007 interview, Herman Cain bemoaned the tendency of voters to focus on candidates' personal lives during presidential campaigns, a comment that stands out now given the recent bumps on Cain's own road to the White House.

Back when the nation was wondering if Hillary Clinton would be the first female president, Cain, then an Atlanta-based talk radio host, sat down with the blogger Jason Pye for a wide-ranging podcast interview about the 2008 presidential election, why he supported Mitt Romney and why Republicans lost in the 2006 midterm election. Near the end of the conversation, Cain discussed how he thought that the infatuation with a candidate's past was one of the worst parts of running for national office.

"People are too hung up on people's baggage," Cain told Pye during a discussion about whether former House Speaker Newt Gingrich would ever run for president. "Everybody has baggage! Let it go! This country is starved for leadership."

"Being able to manage the public perception is absolutely critical," Cain added.

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