(CNN) - Herman Cain's barnstorm of Tennessee kicked off Friday with a speech lambasting questions from the media about the GOP presidential candidate's economic advisers and his 9-9-9 tax plan.
"They often ask me, 'Well, who are your economic advisers?'" Cain said in Bartlett, Tennessee. "And they hate it when I say, 'I'm not going to tell you.'"
Cain continued, "I'm not going to tell you! They're my advisers, not yours. They just want to know who my smart people are so they can attack them."
Cain said the media was criticizing his 9-9-9 tax plan, which proposes levying a 9% tax on income, corporate profits, and national sales, because they weren't accustomed to such sweeping change.
"They don't know how to respond to a real solution to a problem," Cain said. "When I presented 9-9-9 and American people started saying they like it, their brains exploded. They don't know how to attack it."
Cain said he wouldn't reveal the names of his foreign policy advisers either, predicting the media would attack them in the same way he sees the media going after his economic consultants.
During a GOP presidential debate Tuesday night, Cain was pressed on who helped him craft his 9-9-9 plan. Cain named one man, Rich Lowrie, who was later revealed in multiple reports to be a wealth manager for Wells Fargo.
Earlier, Cain had refused to name his economic advisers in an interview with Fox News, saying he didn't want to "compromise their confidentiality."
Cain's event Friday is part of a bus tour through Tennessee, which will also include stops in Jackson and Waverly.