Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was left to defend his earlier remarks about not being comfortable appointing Muslims in his administration during Monday night's GOP debate in New Hampshire.
Cain clarified that he would not be comfortable having a Muslim in his administration, not, he said, that he would not appoint one.
You have peaceful Muslims and you have militant Muslims - those that are trying to kill us. And so when I said I wouldn't be comfortable I was thinking about the ones trying to kills us, said the former Godfather's Pizza CEO. I do not believe in Sharia law in American courts. I believe in American laws in American courts, period.
In March, Cain said in an interview with Think Progress that he would not be comfortable with a Muslim in his cabinet, or as a federal judge, because there is this creeping attempt to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government.
This is what happened in Europe. And little by little, to try and be politically correct, they made this little change, they made this little change, Cain previously said.
During the New Hampshire debate, the issue was raised by Josh McElveen of WMUR News, citing Cain's Think Progress interview. Cain attempted to defend himself when he was accused of singling out Muslims, saying he would ask certain questions to Muslims when interviewing them for a job, but said that it's not a litmus test.
It is simply trying to make sure that we have people committed to the Constitution first in order for them to work effectively in the administration, Cain said.
When asked by reporters following the debate whether he felt that American Muslims were less committed to the United States than Christians or Jews - Cain is a self-professed Christian - he said that was just going to be careful about who he puts in his administration and that it doesn't apply to other religions, because we don't have the same threat that we have from that particular one.