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He could be President Obama’s worst nightmare – a business mastermind, a natural problem solver and a black man of “substance” who says he would “take the race card off the table” in a challenge against Obama as the GOP presidential candidate in 2012.
Has Obama met his match?
“We need a realistic candidate to run on the Republican ticket who can beat Barack Obama – not just beat the Democrats,” Herman Cain, an Atlanta radio talk-show host, former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and 2004 Senate seeker, told WND. “We’ve also got to beat Barack Obama.”
He added, “Obama is a master of rhetoric. He is a master of deceptive language. And any white candidate who runs against him will be up against the race card. I take the race card off the table.”
Cain, a devout Christian, emphasized he is “prayerfully considering” a 2012 bid for the GOP nomination.
“I’m a man of faith, and I do believe in prayerful consideration of something this big,” he explained.
In addition to serving as the former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza for 10 years, Cain, 64, is also former president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He’s been vice president of Burger King, vice president of Pillsbury Company, a mathematician for the U.S. Department of the Navy and a business analyst for Coca-Cola. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Morehouse College and a master’s degree in computer science from Purdue University.
Cain is now president and CEO of The New Voice, a WND columnist, host of “The Herman Cain Show” and an associate Baptist minister at Antioch Baptist Church in Atlanta. He is author of several books, including “They Think You’re Stupid.”
Nicknamed “The Hermanator,” Cain has more than 17,000 fans of his Facebook page, 5,000 Twitter fans and 45,000 members in his Intelligent Thinkers Movement. He is urging supporters to sign up for his political-action committee and help raise funds for conservative candidates for the 2010 election. He said support for that effort will help him gauge his backing for a 2012 bid.
“If I can get that kind of encouragement in trying to change Congress, it will be great encouragement in terms of possibly helping me make that decision as to whether or not I can do this,” he said. “We’re developing a ground game all over this country. We’ll have a way to mobilize all of those people.”
His supporters have launched a “Draft Herman Cain for President 2012” effort to develop teams of volunteers and build a grass-roots base for a presidential campaign.
“That’s been growing like gangbusters,” Cain said. “That’s the sort of thing I’ll be looking at in the next couple of months in making this decision.”
Anything’s possible with a little ‘sweat equity’
One of Cain’s key sources of inspiration was his own father, Luther Cain Jr. – a man with a high-school education who literally walked off a farm at the age of 18 with only the clothes on his back.
“He ended up in Atlanta where he used the only kind of equity that he had – sweat equity,” Cain explained. “At one point, my dad worked three jobs to make ends meet and save for his dreams.”
His father worked as a barber, a janitor and a chauffeur. One of his dreams was to give his sons a better start in life than he had.
“He encouraged us to go to college, even though he wasn’t able to foot the whole bill for us to go to college,” Cain said. “I inherited a lot of his natural leadership instincts. My dad was a leader in his own right, even though he wasn’t running a big corporation and wasn’t in a high position.”
Another major influence in his life was Cain’s high-school math teacher, Charles S. Johnson.
Johnson told Cain in a southern drawl, “Hummin Cain, you can be whatever you want to be. You might have to work a little harder. You might have to work a little longer.”
“I never forgot those words,” he said. “As I got older and started to be challenged in the business world, whenever things got tough, I thought about the words of Mr. Johnson, or I thought about the fact that my dad used to work three jobs. That would give me a second wind to confront whatever challenges I needed to take on.”
Cain recently discussed his family’s hardships and his respect for the American dream in an interview with the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy. The following is a video of the interview posted on YouTube:
A miraculous second chance
Cain’s resolve was put to the test in 2006 when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, a condition in which the disease had invaded his liver and colon. He endured double surgery, including removal of 30 percent of his colon and 70 percent of his liver, and chemotherapy treatments.
“I was given a 30 percent chance of living five years,” he recalled.
But Cain wouldn’t succumb to the illness.
“It’s been four years now, and I haven’t just been living, I’ve been living totally cancer-free,” he said.
His oncologist said there would be no need for remedial chemotherapy because his tests are “absolutely clear.” He said the doctor told him, “Your body doesn’t even look like you ever had cancer.”
“That’s quite a blessing,” Cain said joyfully.
The ‘S’ word and communism
Now that Cain’s recovered, he’s looking to the future.
One of the biggest challenges for the GOP and conservative candidates in the 2010 and 2012 elections, he explained, will be to “educate the public on what has truly happened in the first two years of this administration and this Congress.”
“One of the tactics of the Left is the assumption that 50 percent of the American public is clueless and makes all of its decisions based on sound bites and pretty speeches,” he explained. “They’re right. The biggest challenge for the GOP and conservatives will be to educate people. This is why the Left is trying to demagogue talk radio, Fox News and WorldNetDaily.”
He said Obama’s supporters don’t want people to know the truth or challenge the administration’s policies. Rather, they seek to silence their opposition.
“People really must be aware of what has happened, what’s going on and the true motivation of this Congress and this president,” he said. “The true motivation of this Congress and this president is to change this country from a free-market capitalistic system to a socialized system moving toward communism.
“Yes, I said it!
“They criticize me when I start using the ‘S’ word, so you know they’re calling me all kinds of names when I start talking about communism. That’s exactly where this is headed. If you make the economy and the misery bad enough, this is how you get to socialism and communism. You’ll have enough people who are so desperate for help, that the government at the time can get people behind any kind of crazy ideas.”
‘Problem solver’ in chief?
Cain told WND his experience as a problem solver – and not a politician – is the No. 1 reason he can beat Obama in an election.
“People don’t understand the difference,” he said. “Barack Obama is an outstanding politician – and that’s all! He is not a problem solver.”
Cain said his whole life and career have been about solving problems, including his experience with Stage 4 cancer.
“The way I went about that was, how do I improve my odds?” he said. “I’ve turned around situations where companies were about to go bankrupt. Now the United States of America is about to go bankrupt. I think my ability to solve problems will appeal to a lot of people.”
Cain has a direct challenge for Obama: Forget the slick campaign ads and “pretty speeches” and debate me solely on the issues.
“He’s not going to debate me face-to-face because he can’t do it with a teleprompter,” Cain said. “He would never debate me face-to-face. … That’s where, quite frankly, I could beat Barack Obama.”
Tea party: ‘It’s not about race!’
Cain has been a keynote speaker at more than 20 tea-party rallies. In August 2009, an estimated 12,000 people attended a rally in Atlanta’s Olympic Centennial Park where Cain was scheduled to speak. His first tea-party speech was April 15, 2009, at a tea party in Las Vegas. Organizers were expecting 600 people, and 2,600 people arrived.
Cain also inspired a massive tea-party crowd in Atlanta April 15, 2010. His speech was captured in the following video posted on YouTube:
After all his experience with tea parties, Cain said he is certain the movement is not racist – an accusation often hurled by left-leaning mainstream media outlets.
“They can produce no proof – no evidence whatsoever – to substantiate this claim,” Cain said. “When the tea parties first started, I have to acknowledge that some people brought signs that denigrated the image of President Obama – not because he was black, but because they did not like his policies.”
But he said tea-party organizers discouraged and denounced those signs during the early tea parties last year. He said NAACP accusations of racism within the tea-party movement are just an example of the “dirty work of the Left.”
“You haven’t seen those signs since summer 2009,” he said. “You simply don’t see them. But every time they want to show a clip from CNN of signs that might imply racism, it’s always from the very early protests. Yet the NAACP wants the tea party to denounce that? They did already! How many more times do they need to denounce it?”
Cain was at a tea-party rally July 16, and he asked attendees, “Will all of the KKK members raise your hand?”
He scanned the crowd and said, “Let the record show none are here.”
Then he asked, “Will all of the people that are members of a white supremacist organization raise your hand?”
Herman Cain addresses tea-party crowd
He scanned the crowd and repeated, “Let the record show none are here.”
“I’m sick of this mess!” he interjected. “I want to put it to bed once and for all.
“Now, will all of the people who are patriots of the United States of America let me hear some noise?”
Cain said, “We had 3,000 people just about cheer the roof off the place. This isn’t about race.”
‘The Hermanator’ on the issues
Cain has shared a host of ideas for improving the nation’s health-care system, immigration policy, economy and other issues. He shares most of his plans for action in his weekly columns and on his website. The following are his positions on some key issues:
Immigration ‘reform’: Stop pandering and get it done!
Cain said he doesn’t expect the Obama administration and Congress to pass any type of “immigration reform” before the November election.
“They just want to give the impression that they are passionate about the plight of illegals in this country so they do as little as they possibly can,” he explained. “That’s what this is about – pandering to the Hispanic vote.”
Likewise, he said Democrats are banking on the federal lawsuit against Arizona being drawn out this year.
“It is just their way of setting up to say, ‘We care about the plight of Hispanics in this country. We care about illegals in this country who might be racially profiled,'” Cain said. “They don’t give a flip about racial profiling! This is all politically motivated. So they had to sue Arizona to bring attention, and they’re going to drag it out intentionally so it gives the impression that they’re passionate about Hispanics in this country.”
However, Cain said he believes the Democrats’ plan will fail:
“I’ve had Hispanics call my radio show who are legal immigrants, and they say they’re insulted by what the administration is doing in giving the impression that it’s going to give a free pass to all those people who are here illegally. I get dozens of calls like this. Not only are they insulted, they say it’s going to backfire because most of the illegals aren’t going to be able to vote anyway. The legal Hispanics here do not like the fact that Democrats are trying to pander to Hispanics by trying to show this false compassion for this illegal-immigration issue.”
For true immigration reform, Cain said, the U.S. must 1) secure the border, 2) enforce the current laws and 3) streamline the process for becoming a U.S. citizen.
“‘Comprehensive immigration reform’ is a joke, because it would mean government is capable of solving all three problems at once,” he explained. “When was the last time government solved one problem correctly? Time is up!”
He noted that Republicans tried “comprehensive immigration reform” in 2007, led by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and it failed.
“The Obama administration could not execute ‘Cash for Clunkers,’ not to mention the mishandling of the Gulf oil tragedy,” Cain said. “Add the lawsuit against Arizona and the rhetoric about ‘comprehensive immigration reform,’ and we have a political delay tactic to do nothing.”
Securing the border is not a difficult task with the technology available to the U.S., he said, but pandering and political correctness are keeping the job from getting done.
“Failure to enforce the current immigration laws is just negligence by the federal government,” Cain said. “And when Arizona wants to do something to protect itself, it gets sued. I am on Arizona’s side of this fight.”
He added, “Lastly, no one has reviewed the process for becoming a citizen since dirt! Just ask people who have done it the right way about how frustrating it is.”
Obamacare: Slow it down and repeal it
Cain received national attention in 1994 when he challenged then-President Bill Clinton at a presidential town-hall meeting on health-care reform.
“Mr. President, with all due respect, your calculations are incorrect,” said Cain, who proceeded to give Clinton a math tutorial on employee benefits and government mandates.
Today, Cain said Americans still don’t want the Democrats’ health-care “reform.”
“They passed it. Obama forced it through anyway,” he said.
After Obama signs the “Wall Street Reform Bill,” Cain believes Democrats will come back with cap-and-trade, a measure he calls “just another tax.”
“What do you think they’re going to do if they get a little bit of support on this other stupid legislation?” he asked.
As for Obamacare, Cain said, “We have to first take back control of the House of Representatives and start a process to repeal it. You’ll never repeal it under Obama, but you can at least slow it down.”
He added, “One of the biggest challenges of 2010 is to take back the House so we can slow down health-care deform, cap-and-trade deform and financial deform. That’s our highest priority.”
Cain has outlined seven ways to make health care better in America.
Abortion: Not an option
Cain doesn’t waver or mince words when it comes to his stance on abortion.
“I believe life begins at conception,” he said, “so I do not support abortion.”
Definition of ‘marriage’
Asked about his beliefs on homosexual “marriage,” Cain said his position is clear: “Marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Economy: Grow businesses, slash taxes
Cain opposes new taxes and tax increases and calls for an indefinite cap on federal spending and a restructuring of Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security.
In his October 2009 commentary, Cain outlined his prescription for ending the recession in 12 months.
He suggested suspension of the payroll tax for one year, a move he says would give an immediate 7.65 percent increase in take-home pay to all workers and lower payroll costs for employers by 7.65 percent. He estimated his plan would inject about $900 billion into the economy immediately.
Cain proposed suspending the federal tax on repatriated profits.
“Multinational U.S. businesses are hungry for cash flow, which could come from cash they have sitting in foreign countries to avoid double taxation,” he explained. “The last time this was only partially done, in 2005 during the Bush administration, nearly $300 billion came back to U.S. businesses from their overseas operations.”
Finally, he recommends replacing the tax code with a Fair Tax, which would replace federal income taxes with a national consumption tax on retail sales.
“This would produce a huge sucking sound of businesses from around the world wanting to establish businesses here in the U.S.,” he wrote. “It would supercharge our economy like never before. The problem that the Democrats have with this proposal (H.R. 25) is that it gives power back to the people. What a patriotic idea!”
The following is one of Cain’s 2004 U.S. Senate campaign ads released when he was vying for the Republican nomination in Georgia:
On national security, Cain has championed a strong military and defense spending that is never cut below 4 percent of GDP. On energy, he advocates maximizing use of America’s natural resources and pursuing renewable fuel technologies.
Finally, Cain proudly acknowledges at tea parties that he is “crazy” – “crazy” about the U.S. Constitution, “crazy” about the Declaration of Independence and “crazy” about the United States of America.
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