Letterman offers Cain his 9-9-9 plan
November 18th, 2011
08:32 AM ET
7 years ago

Letterman offers Cain his 9-9-9 plan

(CNN) - Leave it to one of the kings of late night comedy to press Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain on his "9-9-9" tax plan and offer up his own suggestion to the former pizza executive.

"You ought to get some sort of toll-free number," Letterman told Cain in an interview set to air Friday. "You dial 9-9-9, you get a free pizza."

Although the plan is "clever" and "fun," Letterman, host of CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman," told Cain: "You don't even know what it means."

Cain's response? "It works."

The candidate's tax plan, a pillar of his White House bid, proposes replacing the current tax system with a 9% corporate tax, 9% income tax and 9% national tax rate.

"Instead of a free pizza when you dial 9-9-9 you're going to be able to get a job, that's the whole point, OK?" Cain said. "I'm about creating jobs."

But Letterman countered that the economy may be "beyond solvability at this point," to which Cain jokingly responded, "Are you trying to talk me out of this? He's trying real hard to talk me out of this."

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain
soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. sensible

    Maybe Cain was just joking about "9-9-9".....everything else he has ever said he now says was only a joke!

    November 18, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  2. Dan

    Like Cain's excuse for not knowing about our military/political involvement in Libya.
    His response of "Noone can know everything about every Country" is laughable.
    His "That's why you surround yourself with smart people and lead" comment is even more of a joke.
    Sorry Hermie, when it comes to deciding if/when we drop bombs on people, it can't be "delegated".
    I'm sure most of us would kind of like our CINC to know at least the basics before using a military attack, and not "delegate" the decision to bomb someone.

    November 18, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  3. Puddin

    At first he had us thinking he was intelligent, but after the "Libya" question, I realized he had us all fooled. Oh no......... anyone running for president should at least have a good bit of knowledge of world history.

    November 18, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  4. Chedar

    999 goody now I get to dial a free pizza courtesy of Cain. Any topping like groping that comes with it?

    November 18, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  5. v_mag

    We don't know the details, but it seems to me that the world is in a lot more danger from Herman Cain than the other way around. I mean the man is threatening us with becoming president, and that threat shouldn't be taken lightly.

    On the other hand, maybe the Secret Service is not so much protecting Herman Cain as it is keeping an eye on him.

    November 18, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  6. SiriusVH

    How on earth can anyone seriously think of Cain as a viable presidential candidate when his ONLY contribution to the overall debate so far has been ... '9-9-9' .... and when he has ALREADY shown that he knows absolutely NOTHING outside of the pizza business. Compared to Cain, Palin is beginning to look/sound smart!

    November 18, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  7. Donadlbain

    Herman Cain is done like dinner. He will be making the rounds on speaking tours for years off of this run. When that plays out there is always FOX news....

    November 18, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. TM

    Ok, Mr. Cain. You claim your SimCity based economic plan will create jobs? HOW?! Tell me that and I'll vote for you. Tell us EXACTLY how raising taxes on people and REMOVING them for businesses (since ALL companies pass those costs on to consumers in the purchase price) will create ONE SINGLE JOB. Do that, clearly and concisely, and I WILL vote for you.

    November 18, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    The 9-9-9 tax plan is brilliant even if it does bring about a national sales tax. The economy needs help from Washington, not political games. Obama has played games for 3 years so far. America lost. He has no new ideas. No hope.

    November 18, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. imho44

    The low and middle class is being asked to pay more taxes so the high class can pay less taxes. They will thank us by creating more jobs for us so we can work for them and make them more money. That is what the GOP calls a win a win.

    November 18, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  11. Letterman sold out to Democrats

    Letterman is such a liberal left-wing it's not even funny. Imagine if he had Obama on his show, making fun of him like that. Every joke he makes is ridicule against the GOP and "fun humor" towards the Dems. Now I'm not suggesting the GOP candidates are any good, but if I were one of them I would never agree to go on his show.

    November 18, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  12. Buster Bloodvessel

    I feel sorry for Cain. He's being set up by the GOP. He could never win, and they seem to see him as a sort of dancing monkey.

    November 18, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. Phil in KC

    9-9-9 will hurt those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. Whereas those whose tax rate is above 20% will benefit. Typical Republican plan.

    November 18, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  14. Jude

    Cain's only future is as a comic diversion on Rupert Murodch's Lying Circus. He certainly has provided late night comedians with a bonanza, however. That the GOP would even seriously put him forth as a candidate is a joke.

    November 18, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. Cybersport

    Cain's plan would shift a higher percentage of the tax burden onto those who make less. A nine percent national sales tax on top of state local taxes mean a $100 item will cost me roughly $116 dollars.
    Meanwhile, those the upper brackets will pay less.

    No thank you

    November 18, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  16. Brent

    9-9-9. Sorry but not funny David.

    November 18, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  17. I can see Russia from my house

    Is that guy standing behind Cain holding a Pizza?

    November 18, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. Ambrose Smith

    Doesn't Cain know that he was interviewed with cameras on? Isn't he avoiding cameras now?

    November 18, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. John

    Leave it to Dave to hit the nail right on the head!

    November 18, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  20. Carolyn in SD

    They all say they are about "job creation" but the only jobs being created are for little short, slant-eyed guys in Bejing.

    November 18, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. SoulTrain1946

    Must have been funnier on TV

    November 18, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    The Republican field has generated quite a few cynical remarks stemming from the candidates' lack of a prerequisite skill set, and outright gaffes. The cynical barb flavor of the week seems to be calling the field a "clown show." I am not going to dispute the merit of that evaluation. I will point out that perhaps the real clowns are the conservative voters who take all of the candidates as being viable candidates for POTUS. Seriously.

    "Who's the bigger fool, he or the one who follows him?" Obi-Wan Kenobi, "A New Hope"

    November 18, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. USMaverick

    Next week Cain will say he doesn't remember 9-9-9

    November 18, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. Norm

    Whoever is shelling out the millions to back this guy's campaign, isn't backing his economic plan.
    They're using the fact that he's a black Republican to win.
    Once he's in office, these money backers get to run the country.
    It's so obvious to everyone, it shows how arrogant the 1% can be...
    The word "vote" no longer has any meaning in this country.

    November 18, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    That is the problem. People with the money to make jobs happen aren't going to move. Even if they get this crazy nonsensical tax plan through Congress, I don't think that people will start hiring people. Taxes aren't that big a factor.

    November 18, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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