<html> <head><style type ="text/css">body { font-family: "Bloomberg Prop Unicode I", Verdana, sans-serif; font-size:125%; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; color: #FF9F0F; background-color: #000000; text-align: left; } p {line-height: 1.25em; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" );} h1, h2, h3 { text-align: left; font-weight: normal; color: #FFFFFF; } h1 { font-size: 130%; } h2 { font-size: 115%; } h3 { font-size: 100%; } #bb-style { font-size: 90%; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" ); } b, strong { font-weight: bold; } i, em { color: #FEC54A; } pre { font-family: "Andale Mono", "Monaco", "Lucida Console"; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; line-height: 1.25em; } table { border: 0; font-size: 90%; width: 100%; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; } td, tr { text-align: left; } td.numeric { text-align: right; } a:link { color:#53B2F5; text-decoration: none; } a:visited {color:#53B2F5} a:active {color:#53B2F5} a:hover {color:#53B2F5} </style> </head> <body> <p>By Paula Dwyer</p> <p>At the Republican presidential debate last night, Texas Governor Rick Perry twice referred to Herman Cain, the only black candidate on the Las Vegas stage, as "brother." That raised a lot of eyebrows and burned up the social media channels. Some said they found the use of the word to be racist, and that it made them cringe.</p> <p>Comedian @KathyGriffin wrote on her twitter feed: "I know! Awkward. I'm waiting 4 Perry 2 say "jive turkey".</p> <p>Others gave him the benefit of the doubt and said calling someone "brother" in Texas is akin to calling him "pardner."</p> <p>Ray Sullivan, a Perry spokesman, said on CNN this morning that the governor was just being friendly. "He is a friendly fellow. He uses that kind of language. And he views all those folks on stage as colleagues, as fellow Republicans, and he speaks accordingly," Sullivan said.</p> <p>Sullivan insisted that Perry also referred to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney the same way, but a review of the broadcast and transcript by CNN employees couldn't find any such references. In fact, Perry referred to Romney as "sir."</p> <p>Here's the Perry quote: “Herman, I love you, brother, but let me tell you something, you don’t need to have a big analysis to figure this thing out,” Perry said. “At the end of the week, I’m going to be laying out a plan that clearly -- I’ll bump plans with you, brother, and we’ll see who has the best idea about how you get this country working again.”</p> <p>So, was Perry being condescending in calling Cain "brother?" Or was he being friendly? Tell us what you think.</p> <p>(Paula Dwyer is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board.)<br class="spacer_"></p> </body> </html>