At two different rallies in Tennessee over the weekend, Herman Cain discussed immigration and proposed an electrified fence on the U.S. border with Mexico, a proposal he later said was a joke.
Yesterday in Arizona, Cain met with anti-immigrant Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (whose endorsement Michele Bachmann fished for in September), and talked about the electrified fence remarks, which he again said were a joke.
But not really.
Halfway through the question about the electric fence, Cain butted in with "it was a joke!"
"Let me first say it was a joke, and some people don't think that it was a good joke, and it's probably not a joke that you're supposed to make if you're a presidential candidate," Cain continued. "I apologize if it offended anyone. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa."
Only, it might not be a joke, he later said, before finally saying he just doesn't want to offend anyone.
"I don't like to offend anyone...however, I don't apologize for using a combination of a fence. And it might be electrified -- I'm not walking away from that," Cain backtracked. "I just don't want to offend anybody. It was a joke to the extent in the context of the views of that speech, but in terms of what we need to do, I fully intend to do so because I'm more sensitive to our citizens being hurt."
Watch Cain's remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...
Herman Cain Doesn't Really Want to Electrocute Mexicans [tr]