New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) - Basking in the glow of his rise in the national polls, Herman Cain closed his speech to the Republican Leadership Conference by asking "how do you like me now?"
The Republican presidential candidate, a former Godfather's Pizza CEO and radio talk show host, used his address to criticize those Republican pundits who said Cain didn't have a chance at winning his party's nomination. Once a longest of long shots for the Republican nomination, Cain has risen in the national polls in the GOP horserace, and now stands in the high single digits or low double digits in the most recent surveys.
Cain brought the audience at this major gathering of Republican activists to their feet four times during his Friday afternoon speech. Among the crowd pleasers: "The United States of America is not going to become the United States of Europe, not on our watch."
Cain also got the audience to rise from their seats with his strong defense of Israel, proclaiming that if "you mess with Israel, you mess with the United States of America."
That line also brought some boos from Ron Paul supporters, who were waiting for the longtime congressman from Texas to speak. Paul, who along with Cain, is one of about a half dozen GOP presidential candidates addressing the conference, followed Cain at the podium. Paul's a strident opponent of U.S. international alliances and of the country's military involvement in Afghanistan.
Cain began his speech by quoting from Martin Luther King, saying "I have a dream." He went on to say that he has two dreams, the second of which is "that you are looking at the next president of the United States. He went on to criticize President Barack Obama, saying that the U.S. faces a "deficiency of leadership crisis in the White House."
With the conference being held just a few blocks from the French Quarter of New Orleans, Cain tested out his French, saying that "when we put the right person in the White House, moi, America will be exceptional again."
Moi is French for me.
Mr. Cain, I'm Buddhist. Do I have to sign a loyalty statement to Christianity so I can work for you, like you have with those restrictions on Muslims? If so, you better go back and read the US Constitution muy pronto.
Very nice salesman ties and shirts. Not a chance. He should stick to mediocre pizza.
Yuck. What an inflated ego.
Fooling nobody but himself.
you will be another steele, the republicans will throw you under the bus
Cain, where is thy brother?
"He is in the White House, Lord."
Well, go get him. What are you waiting for?"
"My slice of Pizza."
The United States of America is not going to become the United States of Europe, not on our watch."
Obviously he has not been keeping up with the value of the Euro versus the dollar. We are headed to peso type currency and these people want to keep touting patriotism over tough decision and fair play.
When a politician can give criticism and credit to their opponent, then I listen. Even Obama gave credit to John McCain when he proposed a good idea. This party-line bashing just shows how the canidates know they just have to suck up to the party long enough to get the nomination, then you and I can only choose from the person who played the party role.
The people need representation.
Funny how those Neo-conned rose to their feet at the mention of not messing with Israel by a african-american, when alot of GOP-ites are decidedly anti-semitic and racist. One would think that the idealogical sameness of the Taliban would be more to their liking? Strange politics these days.
Still don't you or your pizza. and in single digits and saying it's a "rise"? iI could get that – and I wouldn't even vote for me!
There's no question Herman Cain could beat Obama. You could see in the debate that Cain is not the kind of guy that needs a teleprompter to guide him through a message. If he can get the Republican nomination he can beat Brack Obama. I think he will make a strong run for it. He has a great message and he will prove to be an exciting candidate as we go forward.
Sad part about Cain, is he can't even see it coming. Herm, please look at what happened to Micheal Steele, he had alot to do with getting out and getting people to vote, helping the GOP in 2010, soon as it was over.......kicked to the curb.
I like this man's confidence!
Wow. He may yet rise to the top of the single digits! Granted, his poll numbers are above those of Moe (margin of error), which is better than Chris Dodd had back in 2008 and Joe Lieberman had in 2004. Still, the man does not yet realize that running the country is not like running a company.
That's one bigoted angry black man. He won't get anywhere near the whitehouse. If he's so prejudiced, imagine where our diverse country would be. Back to 1600 – wait – he would be a slave. Oh well.
Sorry Herman –
Empty slogans don't get the job done. I need to hear some specific solutions NOW to judge you. Not hear what you have to say after your pollster tells you what resonates with some "focus group".
Mr. Businessman, you are supposedly a "capitalist" and a believer in a "free market economy", correct? If so,please tell me why American taxpayers are supporting exhortibantly profitable Oil & Gas corporations with handouts from the public treasury? Do you support cutting this spending of the citizens hard earned money?
he is right with that line about Europe...most of Europe has superior health care systems, public transportation systems that work, moving way faster on alternative energy sources etc ...yes we have nothing to learn from Europe, we know it all...
sorry not going to happen... blacks will vote democratic 95 % ...
Really? These people are out of touch with the reality I think. Everything they are saying are totally fabricated with great deal of lies, misinformation and fears. Nobody will buy these., OK?
I'm hoping a republican wins, except Ron Paul. I'm sick and tired of the way things are and the democratic party is really been letting me down. So I'm hoping for our current government system to dissolve and I know the republicans won't disappointment at being complete failures. I hope one day we have a totally different government that means what they say when it comes to freedom.
@Four and the Door – enlighten us on what Cain's message is because the rest of us have yet to hear it. So far all we hear is finger pointing from him but no solutions. Please tell us what we all have seemed to miss in his debate and interviews.
sorry not going to happen... blacks will vote democratic 95 %
It's not about race. It's about ideas. Herman Cain has great ideas. You can look around you and see how Obama's ideas played out. 9% unemployment, American debt increased by 40%, housing prices still dropping and what is Obama's biggest project now? Raise the debt ceiling. But don't make spending cuts. Really?
Pepperoni and extra cheese is what comes to mind !
Wow, I cannot believe the racist comments here. Everyone is hating on Mr. Cain just because he's black. He'd make a great president. I'd love to see a debate between Mr. Cain and Obama.
should be proof positive that those who rail against secularism that secularism is the ONLY way for a multicultural society to exist: if any one religion gains power, it will very quickly target opposing ones.
@four and the door: Still with the teleprompter thing? Epic fail- they all use teleprompters, and you know it. Still looking for the "long form" too? Prepare to be disappointed again in 2012, my wing nut friend...