In a much-touted radio appearance today, Republican contender Herman Cain suggested he would consider running as a vice presidential candidate alongside a presidential nominee who shares his ideas.
In the interview with talk-radio host Michael Savage in which Cain was expected to make a major announcement, Savage asked, “If someone else were chosen to run for the presidency, Mr. Cain, would you accept the VP slot?”
“It depends upon who’s asking and the conditions in which they would like for me to do it,” Cain responded. “First, I would want to know clearly what my role would be. Secondly, if we are ideologically and idea-wise so far apart, I couldn’t do that, because I believe the vice president should be a spokesperson for the president.”
He added that Mitt Romney has a 59-point economic growth plan “that’s got all kinds of stuff in it.”
“I don’t agree with that,” Cain said. “So, right now, today, I could not be out there, helping him promote his 59-point economic jobs plan. I couldn’t do that. I like him as a businessman. If he gets [the nomination], I am going to support him. But I’d have to work with someone that I could complement, not someone that wants to put me in a role that I would not want to do.”
The following is a clip of Savage’s interview with Cain:
Then Savage asked Cain which Cabinet position he would want if he doesn’t become the Republican nominee or a vice-presidential running mate.
“Defense Department,” Cain responded immediately. “Here’s why: I want to be in a position where I can make a difference.”
He continued, “I would only accept it if the president asking me to do it would understand that 1) I don’t want the priority to be on cutting. I want it to be on investing, and 2) I want to upgrade our … ballistic missile defense capable Aegis warships. And I would want to double that fleet. … So, I want to build our military and not tear it down.
“That would be the one that I could be excited about to help the generals and the commanders on the ground to get what they need to do what they do best – and that is to kick the you-know-what out of everybody in the world if something breaks out in other parts of the world.”
Savage said members of the military would “get a tingle up their spine” because they would love Cain, and he would “inspire confidence in the troops.”
Asked whether he would eliminate any departments if he became president, Cain responded, “I wouldn’t approach it that way. … I would do an across-the-board cut of 10 percent of every agency, except for Defense. I would review that to see if we’ve got the right priorities. Then each of my new Cabinet heads, I would then ask them to find another 10 percent by doing a deep dive. You have to go into each department and find programs that are outdated, obsolete, a conflict with some of our other programs. Once we do that, some departments may be totally gone. But I don’t want to make that judgment without looking down in the belly of each one of these.”
He said he expects his administration would cut costs by at least 20 percent in his first year “because we’re going to go at it the same way a businessman would go about cutting costs.”
“Let’s put every program on the table,” Cain said. “What are the cost-benefits of this program? If those cost-benefits do not justify themselves, it is gone.”
If elected president, Cain also said he would “bring about an attitude adjustment with the United Nations,” refusing to compromise the nation’s sovereignty under any circumstances. He would also work on legislation to “throw out the tax code” and pass his 9-9-9 plan.
“A Herman Cain presidency would first restore pride in being part of the greatest nation in the world,” he said. “A Herman Cain presidency would put ‘united’ back in United States of America. … I will never be one to apologize for the greatness of this country.”