A defiant Cain takes on critics in New Hampshire
November 17th, 2011
03:58 PM ET
11 years ago

A defiant Cain takes on critics in New Hampshire

Concord, New Hampshire (CNN) - Herman Cain took on his critics with high energy and humor at a campaign rally Thursday, even as more controversy bubbled up around his Republican presidential campaign.

The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza spoke before more than a hundred enthusiastic supporters - though fewer than the campaign expected - in Nashua, New Hampshire, hours after confusion over a meeting with an influential state paper had both sides accusing the other of canceling.

At the rally, Cain was defiant, saying the media had misrepresented his economic policy and paid him more attention than the other candidates.

"They spend more time on when I'm not talking than when the other candidates are talking," he said as the audience laughed. "That's a compliment."

Cain was making reference to media reports about a several-second pause Cain gave while answering a question about foreign policy from a Milwaukee newspaper earlier this week.

Cain said he would rely on experts to help advise him on foreign policy in the White House.

"Who knows every detail of every country of every situation everywhere on the planet? Nobody," he said. "We've got plenty of experts, and a leader knows how to use those experts. We need a leader, not a reader."

Earlier in the day Cain took part in a hallowed New Hampshire campaign tradition, meeting with the secretary of state in the capital of the nation's first primary voting state.

The businessman and presidential candidate did not register in person for his candidacy in late October but said Thursday he did not want to miss out on the tradition.

Cain added his signature to a campaign poster signed by many candidates, and added a message: "We must be the defending fathers."

"The founding fathers already did their job," he said.

Cain pledged his commitment to New Hampshire, a state he has infrequently visited in recent months, and argued his "9-9-9" plan would help residents here despite what he admitted was some push-back on the plan in the state.

Cain's plan calls for a 9% national sales tax. Currently New Hampshire does not impose a sales tax, and the issue of low taxation is a rallying cry in the state.

"Some people have pushed back," Cain told reporters Thursday, but explained his plan would result in lower prices on consumer goods and replace some federal taxes all citizens pay. "If you look at the combination of 9% on personal income and 9% sales tax, you really end up paying less in taxes."

The candidate said he was undeterred by a series of difficult weeks for his campaign. Cain has been dogged recently by accusations he sexually harassed four women in the 1990s and for his meandering response to a foreign policy question at the Milwaukee newspaper meeting.

"When you run for office you know you're going to get attacked," he said. "If what has happened to me, and us, at this point is enough to cause you to step down, you shouldn't have gotten into the race. You've got to be tougher than that."

Next up on his schedule? Cain said he planned to take two or three days off to spend Thanksgiving with his family, and eat his favorite kinds of pie - cherry and sweet potato.

As for what he's thankful for this year, Cain said he was grateful to "live in the greatest country in the world."

"I am the epitome of having achieved the American dream," he said. "And I'm working hard to try to make sure that future generations will get the same opportunities that all of us have had."

A Bloomberg poll out Wednesday indicated Cain at 8% support among people likely to vote in New Hampshire's Jan. 10 GOP presidential primary.

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • New Hampshire
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Watch how fast I don't care.


    Wanna see it again?

    November 17, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. Bill, NY


    November 17, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Kwesoe

    When all this is over, Herman will sit back and say: "It was great getting all that attention, at least for once. I felt like an American." Only in America can a joker like this get so much media coverage. Enjoy it while it lasts, bro.

    November 17, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    from the article:
    Cain said he would rely on experts to help advise him on foreign policy in the White House.
    Does that mean a President Cain would be a puppet on a string? Because he really doesn't seem to have the prerequisite grasp of the issues that a POTUS should have. He seems to be admitting that he needs advice on what to do. That he would be so heavily dependent on that advice that he wouldn't know right from wrong.

    November 17, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. The Greedy Old Pigs are insane!

    His problem is he doesn't speak New Hampshiran.

    November 17, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Spock500

    Let's all enjoy these jokesters (including Mr. Perry, Ms. Bachmann, Mr. Gingrich, and Mr. Paul) for what they are and while they last. After January, we're no longer going to be able to kick them around. 🙁

    November 17, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. scmom

    Things that are happening around the world that you as president might have to handle. Hermain Cain thinks he shouldn't have to know and he shouldn't have to read. One thing, you do have a gift for is being able to make excuses for your foolishness. What ever the situation just make sure you disagree with President Obama and can't even do that right. At least read up enough so you can know what you are disagreeing with.

    November 17, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Roger

    He would have been a great match with Dick Cheney.

    November 17, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Ringer

    Wait, this isn't another hit piece on Cain? Next thing you know Rachel here will get an offer from Fox News! She doesn't report through the left wing bias filter CNN is known for. What a shame. Or sham. Whichever.

    November 17, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. SPLAT!~

    Jeepers, he whines when the media talks to him and he whines when they don't, what a wienie!~

    November 17, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. Drew

    Yeah, I want a President who can't make or remember his appointments, policies, names of foriegn leaders and wears a pimp hat.

    November 17, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Drew

    He should run with Bachmann...for the cliff!!

    November 17, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. LacrosseMom(real one)

    Cain blames the media for everything! What a wuss! Listen, Herman, you are a nut. Your 9-9-9 plan is identical to SIM City's, you are crazy if you think anyone will take you seriously. And what's up with Libya?? YOU DO need to have some Foreign Policy knowledge to be president!

    Once again I say........ Republicans is this the best you have to offer America?????????

    November 17, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. LacrosseMom(real one)

    PS............. What not one comment from a Conservative supporting Cain?

    November 17, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. eciam

    Embarrassment to his wife, Family and the GOP. Stop The Pain Cain!

    November 17, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. Coflyboy

    Mr. Cain– you just don't "get" it, don't you? You, as President, would have to LISTEN to the wants and needs of the American people. It is clear you have your own agenda; much like the rest of the GOP and my girlfriend's cat does.
    Out of all the blundering idiots in the GOP, You Sir are the biggest idiot of them all. At least the others "get" it (somewhat).

    My Girlfriend's cat is likely to have more qualifications to run for as President than you do, Sir. Stop wasting time and money and get out of this race.

    November 17, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. NVa Native

    Can anyone guess what the GOPTee-baggers would be saying if President Obama wore Cain's pimp hat?

    November 17, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Coflyboy

    This is a sad excuse for a running candidate.

    November 17, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. al in memphis

    Which experts will you rely on, certainly not the ones that are keeping you informed now. I work a job and run two businesses, but still know what Obama accomplished in Libya. This " I got to find something wrong with Obama" campaigning is a reflection of what they think the voters want to hear. Same story with health care, deficit reduction, taxes, and on and on.
    Next CNN poll - Which campaign is using stupidity to attract voters?

    November 17, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. FIELD1stSGT

    Cain like Obama is very immaterial.

    November 17, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. george of the jungle

    caine is toast. the repos have run out of people to run so they are recycling mitt and newt. Each day i find one more reason not to vote for either of them.

    November 17, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Justaminit

    How many ways can this guy come up with to prove he is a loser?

    November 17, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. Patrick

    Herman Cain unwittingly quoted President Schwartznegger from the Simpsons movie "We need a leader, not a reader." What a moron

    November 17, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. kenny

    "I think before I speak," he said. "I know that's a novel idea." Maybe it is a novel idea but an even better idea would be to say something after thinking. Since he does not have to have a grasp of things related to foreign policy, one can only assume he will have his advisors in bed with him when that 3AM phone call comes in. The Republican party never ceases to amaze me. Just when I thought they couldn't go any lower than Sarah Palin, they accomplish that feat with ease.

    November 17, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. wgf

    "We need a leader, not a reader."

    There's a certain group of Republicans that just loves to flaunt their ignorance. They practically wallow in it.

    November 17, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |