Cain relishes 'top tier' status in speech
October 7th, 2011
05:59 PM ET
3 years ago

Cain relishes 'top tier' status in speech

Washington (CNN) - Presidential contender Herman Cain reacted to a number of recent polls that have him near the top of the GOP race in a speech at the Values Voter Summit on Friday.

In an energized speech, the former CEO of Godfathers Pizza said he didn't want his followers to be confused by some of the 'garbage that people throw out there."

"When you run for president and you move into the top tier," Cain said to cheers and laughter. "You get this bulls-eye on your back and people take pot shots left and right."

Cain went on to say that the rest of the field is afraid, "that this long shot may not be a long shot any longer."

Though Cain never referenced any candidate directly, earlier in the day, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum launched his "0-0-0" plan, a riff off of Cain's "9-9-9" tax reform plan.

"I know there's a plan out there that's the 9-9-9 plan. I got a better plan. It's the 0-0-0 plan," Santorum said to a round of laughs.

Cain branded himself as a one-time long shot candidate and said his success in the polls shows that the political pundits, who said he didn't have enough name recognition to win, were wrong.

"The political pundits said Herman Cain cannot get the nomination," Cain said. "Let me tell you what the American people are saying. They don't care about katrillion dollars. America wants to raise some Cain, not more money."

The Values Voter Summit is a yearly forum held by the political action arm of the Family Research Council. First held in 2006, the event has become a platform for candidates to define their positions on social issues, including abortion and same-sex marriage.

Cain, the only candidate to never hold elected office, spent a good portion of the speech speaking about foreign policy. Taking a page from former President Ronald Reagan's presidency, Cain said his foreign policy mantra would be "peace through strength and clarity."

Cain expanded upon the clarity aspect, saying the United States has to know who the countries friends are, who the countries enemies area and "stop giving money to our enemies."

"We might be the shinning city on a hill that has slid down to the side of the hill temporarily," Cain said. "But we are still the nation that all the other nations in the world look up to because we are an exceptional nation and I'll never apologize for America's greatness."

Cain also answered a question he said he gets all the time.

"America has problems, I am a problem solver, that is why I am running," Cain said. "My challenge to you is to stay informed, because we are up against a lot of stupid people in America, who do not have a clue."

CNN's Poll of Polls shows Cain surging of late. According to the poll, Cain is now in second place with 17%, behind only Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Also see:

Rep. Paul: War and abortion pose threats to liberty


Romney jabs controversial speaker at Values Voter Summit


Santorum takes aim at Cain, introduces '0-0-0 plan'

Don't settle for a moderate, Bachmann urges voters

Gingrich talks judiciary, jabs front-runners on polls


Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • Values Voter Summit
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. thomas

    "When you run for president and you move into the top tier," Cain said to cheers and laughter. "You get this bulls-eye on your back and people take pot shots left and right."

    Thats not a very health analogy !

    October 7, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. thomas

    "When you run for president and you move into the top tier," Cain said to cheers and laughter. "You get this bulls-eye on your back and people take pot shots left and right."

    Thats not a very healthy analogy !
    Ask Gabrielle Giffords.

    October 7, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. Dani

    Mr. Cain is going to fall from grace and fall hard. I can't wait.

    October 7, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. The Greedy Old PIgs have lost their minds!

    He's like the GOBP's version of Charlie Sheen: "WINNING!"

    October 7, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. Gemini Girl

    "My challenge to you is to stay informed, because we are up against a lot of stupid people in America, who do not have a clue." Keep talking like this, Cain, you will only bury yourself. You are not going to get on the good side of people with dumb speeches like this. ALSO, when Lawrence O'Donnell asked about your non-participation in the 1960's civil rights turmoil, you pretended you were in HIGH SCHOOL! Well, he pointed out you were in COLLEGE during that time! What else are you lying about? I say you are going the way of Rick Perry, just a matter of time, tick...tick...tick...

    October 7, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    ►"America has problems, I am a problem solver…”◄
    So stick with me and I will take you to the alter
    But I can’t get their without your dollars and funding
    So drop me a few $$$$$ because “…that is why I am running."

    ►"My challenge to you is to stay informed…”◄
    Because I’ve been a “deliverer” since the day I was born
    And if it’s not pizza that you want – then I’ll deliver ME as President to you
    “…because we are up against a lot of stupid people in America, who do not have a clue."

    The more I listen to Cain – he’s INSANE!! He doesn’t even sound “presidential.”

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 7, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. Dan

    What a fine president Mr. Cain would make.

    October 7, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Herb should have run for president of a school PTA and been elected before he decided to run for POTUS.

    October 7, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  9. MrD

    Cain, enjoy it while it lasts. Afterall it's the Republicans, they don't want Mormons so what do u think?

    October 8, 2011 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  10. BK

    Former CEO of Godfather's Pizza? Do we all get free pizza if he wins? Cause I'll totally vote for free pizza.

    October 8, 2011 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  11. Dan

    I do admire this man and think he would make a great president, but I'm sure the LIBERAL RACIST will be out in full force with their hateful RACIST comments........must be because Mr. Cain is a black man.

    October 8, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    Cain is the Charlie Sheen of the GOBP deathcult. "WINNING!"

    October 8, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |