(CNN) – Herman Cain, the one-time frontrunner for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, offered reporters in Florida Thursday some speculation on what could have been if he had remained in the race.
According to the Gainesville Sun, Cain said he would have a "substantial lead" over President Barack Obama if he were the Republican nominee instead of Mitt Romney.
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"The reason is quite simple: I have some depth to my ideas," he said.
Cain, who suspended his own bid for the GOP presidential nomination in December amid a flurry of allegations of past sexual impropriety, backed Mitt Romney in May – his third endorsement after dropping out of the race.
In January, after teasing an "unconventional endorsement" in the GOP presidential race, Cain came out in support of "the people," saying it was the beginning of a political revolution.
Later in January, Cain announced he was endorsing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich ahead of Florida's closely watched GOP primary. At the time, Cain praised Gingrich's "bold ideas" as the basis for his choice, saying Gingrich wasn't afraid to propose big ideas that would benefit the nation, even if they invited the ridicule of his rivals.
In May (as Romney secured the number of delegates required to clinch the GOP nomination), Cain held an endorsement event in Washington, D.C. for Romney.
Cain attracted attention and followers for aggressively promoting his "9-9-9" tax plan, as well as for his charismatic personality and appeal among tea party activists. He enjoyed a spike in Republican primary polls last fall, but when he dropped out of the race in December polls showed him toward the back of the pack of candidates.