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. FM

    How come this man wants the White House to be his first elected office?? Is it possible??? Really!

    May 21, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    No way. Not the right international image. Not the right termperment.

    May 21, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. J

    Who????? and NO!!!!

    Obama/Biden 2012

    May 21, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. ket

    the Repubs will reject him faster than they rejected Michale steel

    May 21, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. rich

    Apocalypse: Not Yet.
    The absense of any signs today should take the wind out of Camping's doomsday sails.
    hopefully, he will get off the air and retire now.

    May 21, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Jacob

    Oh how exciting......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    May 21, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. DENNA

    No, really? Bwahahaaa. Good luck with the Tea Party/GOP endorsing YOU! No this just keeps getting better and better. Well, this just seems right since the world is supposed to end tonight at 6 p.m. "snort*

    May 21, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. carrotroot

    At least he beat Pawlenty in announcing his bid for President.

    May 21, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. BB

    Got sick off of Godfather's pizza once – Never went back.

    May 21, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |

    Preacher Cain is great entertainment........Alas he will not be President.

    May 21, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Chris

    I wondered what would happen if he did run, and 95% of blacks still voted for the Democrat. Because ever since Obama won the presidency, the Right has been ranting that 95% of blacks voted for Obama just because he was black.

    Except that, for the past several decades, 95% of blacks have routinely voted for Democratic candidates – who, up until Obama, were all white. Ever since the 60's, when Republicans began their "Southern Strategy" to win over the Dixiecrats, they in turn alienated all the blacks. So they lost the black vote.

    95% of blacks didn't vote for Obama because he was black. They voted for him because he was a Democrat and not a Republican.

    May 21, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. FactCheck

    Couldn't be any worse than the clowns, hucksters and celebutards that the GOP has been fronting as their candidates. Put him on the payroll of an oil company and you have the perfect GOP candidate.

    May 21, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. David

    He will get all of the Tea Party vote.

    May 21, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. caborican

    Where's the rest of the story? Who is he? What does he do? What solutions does he have for America and the American people? Really? Seriously? This is the WHOLE story? Ok, "Twitty Bird officially jumped into the 2012 presidential race Saturday, announcing at a rally in his hometown of Birdy-Land that he is running for president." Give me a break CNN. Either write a FULL story or don't write anything at all.

    May 21, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Republican Robber Baron

    Free Pizza for everybody! What a joke GOP. The Republicans constantly bash public workers and candidates with a career in public service. Instead the GOP offers candidates that are narcissist Robber Baron Billionaires, CEO's of Pizza or Oil Companies. Or like Condi Rice on the Board of Directors for Chevron.

    The righties are all excited about Cain? You have to be kidding me. He know nothing except how to make PIzza and talk about the old broken Republican policies from 50 years ago.

    May 21, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Not my slice of Pizza.

    May 21, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. marylandvoter

    sir, do you really believe that you can win?

    May 21, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. one voice

    Is this guy living in reality? He has as much of a chance as Sarah Palin: ZIP,ZILTCH,NADA.

    May 21, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. Chris

    Outsider with a good message! As of now, he has my vote.

    May 21, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. NVa Native

    Mr Cain, have you ever heard of a guy named Michael Steele?

    May 21, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. RJ Bakken

    I will support Cain over Obama.

    May 21, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. Mikey

    I'd rather vote for Herman Munster. Throw Palin and Bachmann into the mix with Cain, and you have a complete bowl of fruitloops.

    May 21, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. Herman Cain fan

    Finally, a republican I can support. But I'm waiting for libertards to start with the "uncle Tom" stuff because they can't stand a conservative black person.

    May 21, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. ruth

    why should we pay for airforce one when the president is raising money for his election. a billion $ is too much and the campain is too long

    May 21, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. John

    Who's this guy?

    May 21, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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