I have been wondering how long it was going to take for someone to raise the ugly specter of racial bias in the ongoing battle for the Republican presidential nomination to face Democrat Barack Obama next year.

The FOX Business Channel answered that question Monday afternoon on The Willis Report, in a segment where Washington insider Michael Barone was asked to comment on Herman Cain's rising star, especially his overwhelming victory in the Florida Straw Poll Saturday.

Cain, a highly successful black businessman, is the only candidate with a workable and explainable alternative to our failed tax code, and has had several solid performances in the GOP debates. On Saturday, after a another good showing in the Fox-Google debate Thursday night, Cain won the Florida Straw Poll with 37 percent of the vote, outpolling the next two finishers, Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney combined, with 8 points to spare!

Many Insider-the-Beltway pundits, obviously caught off guard by Cain's strong finish, immediately went to work trying to discredit his victory as a fluke. Many claimed that the vote wasn't FOR Cain but AGAINST the frontrunners, which doesn’t hold water since there were other candidates to choose from including Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Michele Bachmann, all of whom could have been recipients of backlash votes too, but none of them even came close.

When asked to comment on the GOP field, which he has written off as incompetent and not worthy of his attention, Barone replied that the only reason Cain got such a boost on Saturday was because white conservative voters like a black man on their ticket for the same reason that white liberal voters supported Barack Obama.

Barone went on to say that having a minority person on the ticket, validating their political beliefs, makes such voters feel good about themselves, but otherwise, Cain has no chance of sustaining a serious campaign for the GOP nomination.

What a reprehensible, indefensible, bigoted, racist statement! So what does that make Cain; a token, our pet black man? What unspeakable arrogance, to claim to know what is in my heart and mind, not to mention the hearts and minds of the Florida delegates who voted for him.

Here's my opinion; Michael Barone came across like an inside-the-beltway pseudo-elitist wannabe hack, who sounded exactly like the kind of bigoted jerk that should go the way of the Dodo bird.

What bothered me nearly as much as Barone's obvious bias was that the show's hostess, Geri Willis, did not call Barone out on his comment, at least not right away. I don't know how the rest of the show went because I stopped watching immediately after that segment.

The Willis Report is officially on probation in my house.

Interestingly, two Fox commentators who were trying to undermine Cain earlier in the day bashed him for flubbing a question on the Palestinian Right of Return issue several months earlier on Fox News Sunday - which he did, but I noticed he went right out and educated himself on the issue – and because he supposedly doesn’t have "the right kind of experience" for the job of president.

Really? Here's a portion of his resume; what part disqualifies him to be president? Because he isn't a professional politician? That doesn't even qualify for an answer.

Cain graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in mathematics and a minor in chemistry in 1968, worked as a ballistics analyst for the Department of the Navy, and then completed a master's degree in computer science. He has not held public office, but did try a run for U.S. senator in Georgia in 2004 losing the Republican primary to Newt Gingrich's replacement.

As a businessman he has a record of successes including CEO of Godfather's Pizza, and was chairman of the National Restaurant Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Frankly, I see a man with enough varied experience to do very well as the President of the United States.

Similarly, as a white conservative Republican with a special interest in our nation's financial status and national security I am absolutely thrilled to see the Republican Party represented by people like Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana; Michelle Bachmann, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin; Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley, Governor of South Caroina, and like Jindal the child of parents born in India; and of course Sarah Palin.

Maybe a bunch of stodgy old white guys who have been inside the beltway contemplating their own navels too long don't see how a wide range of diverse backgrounds strengthens our party, but many Republican voters do, and we can only help they don't pay attention to people like Michael Barone.

Here's what should happen in the wake of Barone's bigoted commentary. First he should apologize to Herman Cain. Then he should apologize to the rest of the GOP field. Then he should apologize to the Republican voters of Florida, and then to the rest of the white conservative voters in America who are taking a close look at Herman Cain's background, his proposals for fixing the economy and his performance on the campaign trail.

Then FOX should show Barone the door. His type of nuanced bigotry has no place on the Fair and Balanced network.