(CNN) - With a little more than two months until the early voting season kicks off in Iowa, Herman Cain is spending precious campaign time in states that vote later in the primary calendar.
Making multiple stops in Alabama on Friday, Cain sought to justify his unorthodox campaign schedule by arguing that "Alabama matters!"
Nearly two dozen states are currently scheduled to hold their contests before the Yellowhammer State's primary, set for March 13, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Since Cain has surged in the polls in the last month, he's traveled to 14 states and Washington, D.C., in part to promote his new book on a book tour and campaign.
Meanwhile his competitors have largely focused on the first four early states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
"Even though a lot of people think you are supposed to give all of the attention to the early states–yes the early states matter–but Alabama matters because of the compression of the primary schedule," Cain said at a press conference at the state's GOP headquarters.
Adding that he was a native of Georgia, Cain said: "Y'all are my neighbors. You gotta see your neighbors. But I'm in Alabama because the people of Alabama matters. Your issues matter."
Alabama is locked in a battle with the Justice Department over a controversial illegal immigration law that would enforce the harshest immigration laws yet, requiring police to determine the immigration status of anyone they suspect to be in the country illegally.
Cain's unusual campaign strategy, however, has raised questions as to whether the former Godfather's Pizza CEO is in it for the long run or just for a publicity stunt.
But Cain sought to put those rumors to rest on Friday.
"I'm not doing it to get a TV show," Cain said. "I don't want a TV show. I don't want another book deal. I want to help save this nation."
Their strategy may soon pivot, though. On Friday, his campaign confirmed it was in the planning stages of a town hall series in early primary and caucuses states.
Others, however, have repeatedly argued that Cain's 15 minutes will soon be up, including former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who Friday labeled Cain a "flavor of the week" in an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room."
Cain is no stranger to that term. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin first made headlines hitting Cain with the phrase at the end of September, when Cain's boom in the national polls began.
But the Georgia businessman on Friday countered the "flavor of the week" zings by pointing to his still-rising front-runner status.
"For weeks later, the Cain campaign still tastes good," he said.
- CNN's Steve Brusk and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.