Herman Cain officially announces presidential bid
May 21st, 2011
01:29 PM ET
12 years ago

Herman Cain officially announces presidential bid

Atlanta (CNN) - Using an urban phrase used to convey a sense of excitement, radio host and businessman Herman Cain emerged to throngs of supporters on Saturday and formally announced his presidential bid.

"Awww shucky ducky," the conservative Republican joked with the crowd in Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park as he stepped out to applause and adoring chants.

Moments later, he turned to the more serious announcement.

"Right here, this day, this hour and this moment, I have looked inside of me. I came here to declare my candidacy for the Republican nomination for president of the United States of America," Cain said.

"And just to be clear, in case you accidentally listen to a skeptic, let me say it again, I'm running for president of the United States. And I'm not running for second," he added.

He went on to blast President Barack Obama over the unemployment rate, decry the nation's $14 trillion-plus debt and decry rising energy prices.

Cain is now the fourth Republican - and the first African-American - to officially enter the GOP race for president.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson have also officially declared candidacies. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is expected to do the same on Monday.

Others - including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum - are either expected to officially enter the race or are seriously mulling it over.

In a crowded field of contenders, Cain hopes his solid business credentials and Tea Party ties will help him stand out.

He's the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, and has previously been an executive with various companies including Coca-Cola, Pillsbury and Burger King. And his plainspoken defense of less spending and lower taxes has helped him become a favorite of Tea Party activists.

And yet, many political observers routinely dismiss Cain's candidacy. Some cite his scant political experience - he's never won elective office - and his low name recognition against the better-known contenders. Additionally, Cain has acknowledged some holes in his foreign policy knowledge, though he's said he'd employ and listen to the best experts to make decisions if he were president.

Meanwhile, Cain hews to a position on entitlement spending that's popular with conservatives but could be problematic with others who frown on major changes to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Saying that the United States has become an "entitlement society," Cain said: "Not only do I believe it is possible, but I also know that it's time - with restructuring programs instead of reshuffling programs - we can take this entitlement society to an empowerment society."

That said, Cain surely hopes his candidacy will get a boost both by his official entrance and by serving up red meat to hungry, anti-Obama supporters.

"Hope and change ain't working," he told the crowd, apparently tweaking the president's last campaign message. "Hope and change is not a solution."

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. they call me "tater salad"

    Um, yeah, I'll have a large hamburg and sausage pizza with extra cheese to go please.

    May 21, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Kevin,FL

    Nobody cares Mr. Pizza dude.. nobody cares

    May 21, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. nursetaber

    Yes We Cain !!

    May 21, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. Stan Marsh

    How will the liberal media handle this guy. Their heads must be exploding as they realize they can't use the race card to defeat him. My guess is they will just ignore him so independent voters in their audience will remain in the dark.

    May 21, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. me

    Say, did you hear what Hades said to the snowball? "You don't stand a chance."

    May 21, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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