Gingrich: Cain has a strong shot at nomination
October 16th, 2011
10:36 AM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich: Cain has a strong shot at nomination

Washington (CNN) - GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said Sunday fellow candidate and Georgia businessman Herman Cain could end up winning the Republican nomination.

“If Herman figures out how to do it all right, and if he can explain a 9% sales tax so people decide they want it, he has a good chance to be the nominee,” Gingrich on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

But Gingrich, who’s struggling to boost his poll numbers into the double digits, said the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza has some work to do in convincing voters of his "9-9-9" tax plan.

Cain has surged to top tier status in promoting his tax proposal, which has been at the center of economic talk in the 2012 race in recent weeks. It would replace the current tax system with a 9% rate on income taxes, a 9% rate on corporate taxes and a new 9% national sales tax.

Gingrich argued Cain’s tax pitch wouldn’t go far in states like New Hampshire, a key early voting state that lacks a sales tax and, according to Gingrich, could face a tax increase with the plan

“As people look at ‘9-9-9’ and disaggregate it, it gets to be a lot harder to sell,” Gingrich told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Weighing in on another front-runner, the former House speaker said that despite being likable, hard working and smart, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a “huge problem.”

“There is a natural ceiling,” Gingrich said. “And if you go back and look at the race last time, he ran into a natural ceiling.”

Romney, who’s making his second White House bid, has held steady at the top for most of the 2012 election cycle.

Comparing Romney to former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, who ran for the Republican nomination multiple times but failed to win, Gingrich said Romney will have to persuade voters that this is the time to put him in the Oval Office.

“Mitt’s challenge is going to be that—because he’s now been running for six years—that people look and they say, ‘Well, not yet’,” Gingrich said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    Cain's proposed 9-9-9 tax structure is brilliant compared to the mess of a federal tax code we have today. I do not see anyone offering an alternative that is more fair or effective. Fairness is a powerful feature of this plan. The fact that it will work towards solving many of our economy's most difficult challenges makes it necessary. The more people look at this the more they will realize how necessary it is.

    But this is such a powerful idea, expect the Democrats to spend tens of millions of dollars to beat up on it. Just don't expect an alternative plan from them besides, "Let's tax the billionaires into submission.". The Democrats have no alternative tax plan fix just as they have no long term budget alternative to address America's debt like the Ryan Plan.

    October 16, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    The 9-9-9 plan, I cannot support, at all. It gives too much advantage to the rich, and will reduce disposable income for the middle and lower classes. That might be something the GOP likes, overall.......but the country will hate it, and Cain will absolutely not win the general election, and then we will be stuck with disaster Obama, for 4 more years, at the end of which, America will be in shambles.

    October 16, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    Newt Gingrich still playing old politics it won’t work

    Tea party love Herman Cain 9-9-9 no fine print, its very clear , no politics He will be GOP nominee
    Now Border to border, east coast to west coast voters like 9-9-9

    October 16, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. logic in LA

    If this man can sell 9-9-9 to his fellow Republicans, I am more worried about our country than just Republicans in office.
    There are so many flaws in the math that it is scary to think anyone with an education would not see through it.
    If we were a single country- without states and without state's rights- maybe. But as long as every state taxes at a different rates and relies on the federal government for income, the system cannot work.

    October 16, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Go Tigers

    Why would anyone in the 10% marginal tax bracket vote for a 1% drop in their marginal rate and a 9% increase in they're sales tax. This is incredibly regressive. Though if you're in Cain's tax bracket you must be salivating.

    October 16, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. FM

    Folks, it is not all about 999, it is about being liked. Conservatives like Cain, they can send him to White House with 999 and when he reaches there and find it is very difficult to implement, he will trash it and no one will ask him!

    October 16, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. annie s

    Four and The Door, what exactly is brilliant about a tax code that adds an oppressive sales tax that will harm the poor immediately and eventually harm businesses because people will buy less?

    October 16, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. thomas

    The Gingrich campaign owes $1,192,865 in outstanding debt !
    Did you ask Newt about his spending problem ?

    @CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. Why do you give this aging debutant the time of day !

    October 16, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. Liz the First

    The fact that this man's candidacy is getting anywhere, much less getting to be the frontrunner, speaks volumes about the rationality of the republican supporte..., er, victims. His ideas are nonsensical, especially his '999 plan,' which would actually increase taxes for all the rubes now screaming about how great he is. And i'm sure he's counting on them to be too stuupid to figure it out. Yes, the tax code needs a major overhaul, but not this way. This guy's arrogance alone should disqualify him as a serious candidate, believing he can jump into politics at the top. Let him start with local or state office and work his way up, let him pay some dues, then if he has some public service under his belt, then maybe he'd have the first clue about what it means to be the leader of the Free World.

    October 16, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. there is profit in fear aka payback

    .....Whole lotta koch-Cain, running' round my brain. This man sold his soul to the tea-baggers

    October 16, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |