Cain convenes meeting to plot strategy
April 15th, 2013
10:45 AM ET
9 years ago

Cain convenes meeting to plot strategy

(CNN) – Herman Cain, the former pizza executive who briefly led the pack of GOP 2012 presidential hopefuls, convened a gathering of conservatives Monday with the goal of devising a strategy to convince fellow African-Americans to join their movement.

Dr. Ben Carson, the Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon enjoying new popularity in the conservative movement, also met with Cain Sunday night, but was unable to attend Monday's meeting, held at the Willard Hotel in downtown Washington. A spokeswoman for Cain originally said Carson was attending Monday's gathering.

"Individually, we are fighting the establishment media, establishment politics, and the narrow-minded perceptions and deceptions that are making us weaker as a nation," Cain said in a statement. "Collectively we can amplify our efforts to help shape a stronger course for the nation and 'main street' America."

The meeting will provide the group conservative African-Americans a chance to get acquainted, but will also focus on "how to collectively expose the damaging effects of the current administration on the black community," according to a Cain spokesman.

Exit polls from November's presidential election showed 93% of African-Americans cast ballots for President Barack Obama.

Other attendees at Monday's meeting include: Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state; Alveda King, the anti-abortion activist and niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.; Harry Alford, president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce; Armstrong Williams, a radio and TV commentator; Niger Innis, a spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality; A.R. Bernard, the founder of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn; Star Parker, a writer and conservative activist; and Walter Williams, a professor of economics at George Mason University.

Herman Cain, a former executive at Godfathers Pizza, was at one point the frontrunner for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. His campaign was derailed, however, after women alleged he sexually harassed them during his tenure as president of the National Restaurant Association. Cain adamantly denied those claims.

Carson, a much-lauded neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins, burst into the conservative spotlight earlier this year after criticizing President Barack Obama during a prayer breakfast. In the weeks since, he's stated that he'll retire from medical practice later this year, and hasn't ruled out a political career.

But his rise hit some turbulence when, in an interview on Fox News, he equated homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality. He withdrew as a speaker at Hopkins' medical school commencement after outcry from students.

Filed under: Ben Carson • Herman Cain
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- TAKE BACK THE HOUSE

    It has nothing to do with race and everything to do with republican policies. Whether it be 9-9-9 or 47% of Americans being moochers, clearly the republican party doesn't propose policies that help the middle class. Just because Cain and Carson are African American does't mean squat! If President Obama voted for the Iraq war, I probably wouldn't have voted for him.

    April 15, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    They can't be conservative: Cain used the word " collectively": RINO!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 15, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. PJ

    That list includes a lot of successful people. Why don't they just realize that speaking from the heart is all that they
    need to do. Their "strategizing" tactics are so false, and most can see through them.
    If they are honest about how they truly feel, most people will pick up on it.
    Unfortunately, they and all of the Republicans are not sincere, and we pick up on that, too.

    April 15, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. Zerubbabel

    Crabs in a barrel

    April 15, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. Wake up People!


    EXACTLY!! Herman do everyone a favor and crawl back into that hole you crawled out of. Please go away.

    April 15, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Outside Looking In

    Herman Cain is in charge of this? Really? I thought the Republican Party wanted to change their image. They are going to listen to the 9-9-9- guy about getting more AA votes. Please.

    April 15, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. ST

    Do republicans think people have short memories? Wasn't Herman Cain who said: "If you are poor blame yourself?" Now he is turning to people he did insult!!! What a joke!

    April 15, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. ghostriter

    Anonymous, I'm sure it would surprise you and yours to note that there are plenty of successful blacks that aren't conservatives. Myself and others enjoy a rather successful life. All without having to degrade ourselves to listening to crackpots who believe the tripe conservatives have to spit out.

    I hear Clarence Thomas got his start thru Affirmative Action.

    April 15, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. Bill

    999. Enough said.

    April 15, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    That's going to be a hard sell, for a group of people who want the government to support them.

    April 15, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. Evergreen

    The AA community did not survive for centuries in the country by being stupid. Both parties are just opposite sides of the same coin. We try to vote for the lesser of two evils (meaning who will do the least amount of harm to us). More often than not, this has been the Democratic party. A vibrant economy, a world-class education system and a little fairness is what we want.

    April 15, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. MesaMax

    FINALLY. I see something on CNN about the trial of the Philadelphia abortion doctor who killed many, many more people than the Newtown incident. FINALLY, CNN is being pressured into covering a story that is counter to their Leftist Liberal agenda. Shamed into it CNN. Shame on you. Shame on you.

    April 15, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. rs

    Rick McDaniel

    That's going to be a hard sell, for a group of people who want the government to support them.
    Ahhhhh. The less-than-subtle racism burbles to the top, again.

    Don't worry, Rick- The GOP will never again be home to minorities- and that , thankfully, will be their undoing as a political party.

    April 15, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. California Gary

    You had your fifteen minutes Herman........go back to selling pizza.

    April 15, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. ghostriter

    RS, Rick and his cohorts only know what they have been programmed to know. It's easier to sell smaller government when you put the "right" face on social issues. Plus, it helps change the narrative from what's really important to blaming "others" for the plight of this country.

    April 15, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Guest

    The damage done in just 5 years by the BO admin at eroding race relations is discouraging. I dont recall in my 47 years such negative and polarizing attitudes. BO has divided Americans and it is sad that so many still believe the nonsense.

    April 15, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. Bill


    Agreed. The GOP has alienated itself from just about everyone except a dwindling percentage of aging, white voters in the south (and some parts of rural America), who have issues with anyone who does not look like like the family in Leave it to Beaver. It will be a long time before we see a republican president. We can all be thankful for that.

    April 15, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. Duke

    Let's see, 93% of AA voted for Obama – and Cain is convinced a little "straight-talk" from the few AA conservatives is going to reverse that number?

    There will pork in the skies by morning, too.

    April 15, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. chilly g

    herman cain going to convince me to vote for the gop, please us black american is not as stupid as some gop think,
    herman cain is the worst person to try an convience someone to join the party that trying to supperss the vote never.

    April 15, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. Master Johns

    Remember people the Party of Lincoln free the slaves. African Americans should vote Republican in every election.


    April 15, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rick McDaniel

    That's going to be a hard sell, for a group of people who want the government to support them.
    Cain is going to talk to the rich again?

    April 15, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. herrer

    My suggestion to him is that if he wants the African American community to listen then don't call people lazy.

    April 15, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. Wake up People!

    Rick I keep telling you man. Most of us DON'T WANT HANDOUTS. WE WANT A FAIR CHANCE AND EQUAL PAY. If you think just women are being discriminated against when it comes to pay, think again. Blacks make way less than whites when it comes to pay.

    April 15, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. Obama Mama

    What does he have to compete with all my Obama freebies?

    April 15, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. Old white conservative gun owning male

    The truth hurts doesn't it.

    April 15, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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