(CNN) - Herman Cain assured supporters he was "in it to win it" Friday morning on a campaign stop in Alabama, a state that doesn't hold its primary until March 13.
"I wouldn't be running if I didn't believe we could take back our government," Cain said, answering critics who've asked if his campaign was serious enough to hold onto his sudden front-runner status. "I wouldn't be running if I didn't believe we wouldn't get the Republican nomination."
Political pundits and commentators have questioned Cain's campaign strategy, which has largely kept the GOP presidential candidate outside of early contest states, like Iowa and New Hampshire.
Meanwhile, the former Godfather's Pizza CEO has been on a book tour blitz in the South, so much so that the campaign said Friday morning it plans on dialing back its pace, citing a lack of sleep for some of Cain's recent gaffes.
While speaking to the crowd Friday, Cain couldn't seem to remember where he was Thursday night, as he began telling a story about a supporter he met on the campaign trail.
"I ran into a gentleman at the airport last night when we were leaving–" Cain paused. "Wherever we were leaving. I don't even know where we left last night."
Cain, putting his hands on his hips, turned to his campaign staff. "Where were we?"
"Arkansas," an aide answered.
"Arkansas," Cain repeated. "Right next door."
Sleep or no sleep, the White House hopeful still managed to excite his audience. Sporting a black cowboy hat, Cain touted his maverick style and repeated his personal catch phrase: "Let Herman be Herman."
He also sparked big laughs while blasting the federal government, arguing that "stupid people are running America."
Cain faced criticism earlier in the year for making a similar comment, but unapologetically repeated it Friday.
"(They said) 'You shouldn't call people stupid.' Why? They're stupid," Cain said.
His comments follow a week of high-profile attention on his unusual campaign tactics, including a web ad that featured his chief-of-staff, Mark Block, smoking a cigarette.
Both Cain and Block stood by the ad, saying in multiple media appearances that America needs a sense of humor, a line Cain has used often throughout the campaign.
- CNN's Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report.
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