Santorum's 0-0-0 for Cain's 9-9-9
October 11th, 2011
11:17 AM ET
10 years ago

Santorum's 0-0-0 for Cain's 9-9-9

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - Appearing poised for another feisty debate performance, former Sen. Rick Santorum is focusing his conservative barbs on newly-ascendant candidate Herman Cain.

Santorum's criticism at a campaign stop of the former Godfather's Pizza CEO is one sign that Cain will experience the traditional role of a front-runner in the debate Tuesday night: that of punching bag.

Cain has surged in popularity in recent weeks, in part due to his signature plan to do away with almost all current taxes and replace them with a flat 9% tax on income, a 9% corporate tax and a 9% national sales tax. The policy has become a catch phrase on the trail and is an example of Cain's straight-talking style that has resonated with conservatives.

Speaking to reporters outside a diner in Manchester Tuesday morning, Santorum immediately launched into a critique of Cain's 9-9-9 policy.

Calling himself the true conservative in the race, Santorum positioned himself to the right of Cain on taxes.

"Zero-zero-zero is better than 9-9-9," he said Tuesday, a reference to his plan to eliminate the corporate tax rate for manufacturers and dismantle Obama-era regulations. The mantra echoes criticism Santorum made about Cain's plan at the Values Voter Summit on Friday.

Santorum pointed out Tuesday the state of New Hampshire does not impose a sales tax and likened Cain's plan to a tax increase.

"Herman Cain now wants to impose a 9% sales tax, not just on New Hampshire but on every state in the country," Santorum said. "I don't think giving the federal government a new tax is tax reform. I think it's going to be punitive to a lot of people."

The two-term Pennsylvania senator barely registers in national polls but has stood out in recent GOP debates by landing blows against his competitors from the right.

Cain's second-place standing in several national polls earned him a central spot at the Tuesday night at Dartmouth College. Cain will be seated next to front-runner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the next seat over from Cain. In recent debates Perry had shared center stage with Romney.

Also see:

Debate the first showdown since dramatic changes in GOP field

Romney camp labels Perry a 'desperate candidate'

New website, old attacks on Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • New Hampshire • Rick Santorum
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Nothing new here

    Look, I don't like having to pay all these taxes either. But Santorum's plan is a NO-PLAN at best! It is nothing more than yakety-yak from another "big government-corporate lobbyist-neocon theocrat" player, and that "player" is none other than Rick Santorum. BTW, Santorum should be more concerned about changing his name, instead of the current tax system.

    October 11, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. Victoria

    ha ha ha what a joke. These candidates have no real sane plans.

    October 11, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Grover has to be proud of inner Sanctorum.

    October 11, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    That ridiculous 9-9-9 plan will bring less revenue into the Treasury at a time when the country needs revenue. Mr. Motisa's(More Tea Sir?) plan is a recipe for disaster.

    October 11, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rick, how do we pay for your unfunded wars? How about national bingo, or just maybe a bake sale.

    October 11, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. Russ from Md

    I like Cain and a lot of his ideas including the flat tax and lower corporate tax. Now the national sales tax on the other hand scares me. I see it in almost every state, when they need to buy something like a new stadium or expensive rail system or whatever they raise the sales taxes by half a percent but then they never bring it back down. Then they raise it again for the next project. I think a national sales tax is opening a big can of worms.

    October 11, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. Mitt Who ?

    At least Cain has a proposal to do away with the existing tax code. The existing code is so large, so full of looophole, and easily abused by those in power. We need a simplified code that treats everyone equally.

    October 11, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. Mitt Who ?

    Russ, cities and states should be out of the Stadium building business alltogether. Take it from a Pittsburgher.
    Seen three new venues built recently. Only one did not abuse the taxpayers. NFL, NBA, and NBL teams should have to pay to play.

    October 11, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. Woman In California

    I'm no fan of Herman Cain's but he CAN take the heat and he's also capable of drawing attention – something that neither Santorum or Romney can do.

    October 11, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Bill from GA

    It's about time one of these 'debaters' takes on Cain's idiot ideas. Let Cain explain why those who get their millions in income from capital gains should not pay income taxes, while those making less than the poverty level are to pay 9%.

    October 11, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    Running for the Office of President of the United States of America has come down to "catch phrases." Look at where the Tea Party has driven its darlings!

    October 11, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. John

    I am a dem, and I don't support 999 whatsoever, but at least I under stand how it would work, which I guess rick santorumn does not. What a dumbo

    October 11, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Opus46

    9% of $100,000 a year may not make a big difference, but 9% of $10,000 a year? That could be the difference between having a roof over ones head and living on the street.

    October 11, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Tad Pole

    Is this seriously the best we can do?

    October 11, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If the president's jobs bill would not work, Mitch would let the democrats pass it, and then campaign against it. That sly Mitch knows it will create 2 million jobs, help the 99%, is paid for, and that makes it a no win for republicans.

    October 11, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. marcia

    why else would ricky santorum sling barbs if he wasn't worried. buck up, ricky!

    October 11, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Cain_is_an_idiot

    You should read his full proposal, in his 3rd phase of his proposal, he wants to get rid of the tax on US company profits outside the US, what a joke, how many more jobs does he want us to loose to India and China. By his plan company getting profits from outside the US would not pay taxes on it (that is 50% of companies profits), I say right now that if this happen I am moving 90% of my company to india to increase my profits, catch my drift, and that guy wants to be president of our country, woooooooooooooooooo, scary

    October 11, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Cedar Rapids

    "but 9% of $10,000 a year? That could be the difference between having a roof over ones head and living on the street"

    Yeah but dont forget Cain thinks it your own fault if you are poor so why would he care.

    October 11, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Does anyone know how Santorum's plan generates revenue, or where it even comes from?

    October 11, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Robert - Atlanta

    Cain’s is FAILED businessman and his phony 9-9-9 is just another big tax cut for billionaires! Imagine cutting the tax rate for the Idle Rich and Trust Fund Babies to just 9 percent and adding 9 percent to everything WE (working Americans) buy!!! All the republican candidates are liars and hypocrites. Not surprisingly Herman Cain has a real problem with facts. Cain’s popularity is easy to explain – republicans just like someone stupider and crazier than they are!

    October 11, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Larry L

    Is there any comment too stupid for the Republican faithful to accept? The reason folks are marching on Wall Street is to send a message to the ultra-rich that they've had enough of the games from greedy and dishonest power-brokers. The wealthy have had the lowest tax rates in thirty years and created no jobs! They shipped the jobs offshore and moved to to a mansion in Maui. Job creators? Really?

    October 11, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. SCOTO

    9% of WHAT? The problem is not so much tax rates its the deductions to arrive at taxable income. Is Cain saying that nobody gets to deduct ANYTHING. This guy should stick to pizzas.

    October 11, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. gumby

    so what if N.H. has not income tax.. the rate of property taxes is so high to make up the difference that if you are older and on fixed income you're pretty much gauranteed to be out of your home long before you'd like to be.. 9-9-9 is another example of short sighted nice guy righteousness. the wealthy will always be squirming to try to hold on and the poor will get what scraps they can from a system set up to exclude them from most of it's self aggrandizing methods of ascendence..nothing is as simple as it seems.. the divisiveness we are experinceing has mostly to do with a lack of creativity in our approach to each other and i mean everyone.. our simple brained holier than the rest of the world attitude will undo us sooner or later ..

    October 11, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. Alex

    What a national sales tax does is it forces EVERYONE to contribute to the services we all use and need. Right now, nearly half of the country doesn't pay federal income tax, then the complain that small amount of people paying the vast majority of taxes aren't paying their fair share. I agree, everyone should pay their fair share. So that means all of you finally get to start paying taxes. Even with this don't worry, those evil rich people will still be paying more as they purchase more things and more expensive things, meaning in terms of real dollars, they will still be putting more in. I like this plan. I don't know if 9 is the absolutely correct number but we will see, i'd like to see where he came up with 9. No question though that the corporate tax needs to come down to around 9% or 10% just so we can compete with nations even like Canada (15%) and Ireland (12.5%). With the taxes so relatively high, you really can't blame companies for leaving right now.

    October 11, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Herman Cain? Seriously? The GOP is actually considering Herman Cain as a legitimate candidate? If that's not a sign of desperation I don't know what is. Who's next? Santorum? Bwahahaha!

    October 11, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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