Herman Cain, a one-time pizza magnate and sunny-skies orator, is entering a new phase of scrutiny after a wave of Republican Party dissatisfaction with its presidential choices thrust him into second place in a Bloomberg News-Washington Post poll.
Cain, 65, whose come-from-way-behind campaign has been conducted largely via television, presents himself as destined for victory: His new memoir is called “This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House.” Now, in the run-up to tomorrow’s Republican debate in New Hampshire, Cain is being pressed on his so-called 9-9-9 tax plan — a flat 9 percent rate on corporate and personal income and a national sales tax — his criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protesters and his lack of experience in public office.
“Get ready for an aberration of historic proportion,” Cain said in an interview yesterday during “State of the Union” on CNN. “People who are criticizing me because I have not held public office, they are out of touch with the voters out there.”
The rise of Cain, political analysts say, is a reflection of prolonged hunger among a segment of Republican voters for someone to inspire — someone who isn’t former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who has been criticized for inconstancy. In the past week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin declined to enter the race. Texas Governor Rick Perry has stumbled, creating an opportunity for Cain.
Cain is “not a career politician,” said Alison Howard, 22, who works for a nonprofit organization in Washington and attended the Values Voter Summit in Washington last week, where Cain appeared. “People relate to him because he’s a hard worker who took advantage of capitalistic principles.”
Cain, who describes himself as an “American black conservative,” finished second in the Bloomberg News and Washington Post poll released today. Romney led with 24 percent among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, followed by Cain at 16 percent. When asked which candidate would do the most to improve the economy, 22 percent picked Romney and 20 percent picked Cain.
Source: Washington Post | Tim Jones