NMX: Herman Cain: Romney Speech Will Win Undecided Voters

Wednesday, 29 Aug 2012 11:37 AM

By Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter

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Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain tells Newsmax he has two pieces of advice for Mitt Romney when he addresses the GOP convention on Thursday night: “Sharpen your message” — and “be yourself, governor.”

The businessman and talk show host also says President Barack Obama’s views on the economy are “fundamentally flawed,” asserts that Paul Ryan is the perfect running mate for Romney, and predicts that African-American voters won’t turn out for Obama this year as they did in 2008.

Watch the exclusive interview here.


Cain, former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, entered the presidential race in May 2011 and was the front-runner for a time during the fall. He suspended his campaign on Dec. 3 and has endorsed Romney.

Urgent: Does Paul Ryan Really Help Defeat Obama? Vote in Exclusive Poll

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV in Tampa on Tuesday, Cain was asked to assess the strengths and weakness of his former rival Romney and offer his advice to the White House hopeful.

“First of all, Gov. Romney gets a bad rap about not being likable. He was one of the most likable opponents when I was still in the race of all of the contenders for the Republican nomination,” Cain says.

“What has happened is that it’s difficult to get your true personality across in a sound bite and the mainstream media outlets like ABC, CBS and NBC have tried to paint him with sound bites as not being as likeable as President Obama.

“And so my recommendation to him when he gives his speech on Thursday night: Be yourself, governor. That’s going to come through when he has a chance to do so. The second thing that I have suggested to him that he needs to do — and he has listened, we have talked several times — sharpen your message more in terms of specifically what you’re going to do to boost the economy and create jobs as well as what you’re going to do to lead us to energy independence.

“So I expect a sharper, more focused message on Thursday to define his leadership and to define who he is.”

Cain says Romney is capable of delivering an impassioned speech at the convention that will win over many of the undecided voters: “Absolutely he is capable of doing that. Here again, that doesn’t come through in news sound bites. I’ve seen him speak in front of audiences and I’ve seen times when it has come through perfectly. So by him having this dedicated opportunity to tell his whole story rather than it being put out there on sound bites, I am absolutely confident that a lot of people are going to see a side of him that they have not seen before.”

Cain tells Newsmax it is so important for Romney to defeat Obama in November because “philosophically President Obama’s ideas of how we boost this economy and turn it around are fundamentally flawed. President Obama believes that we could spend our way to prosperity and that we can gut programs and it’s not working, but he will not consider an alternative philosophy.

Urgent: Does Paul Ryan Really Help Defeat Obama? Vote in Exclusive Poll

“The philosophy of Gov. Romney is a free market-driven philosophy: less taxes equals more revenue. President Obama has demonstrated he does not believe lower taxes generate more revenue. Also, Gov. Romney believes that businesses will expand and grow when you remove all of the uncertainty, and under the Obama administration it has been three and a half years of uncertainty about everything.”

Cain charges that Obama has set a negative tone for the campaign because he “cannot run on any positive results. Unemployment went up and stayed up. The number of people on welfare has gotten significantly bigger. The number of people on food stamps has gotten significantly bigger. The price of a gallon of gasoline on average has doubled since he has been in office, and instead of the national debt being stopped or decreased as he promised, it has increased 50 percent.

“So when you look at what metrics President Obama could run on, he has no positive metrics at all to run on.”

As for the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate, Cain says: “I don’t think we could have found a more ideal combination, and here’s why: Rep. Ryan’s experience in Washington and his background of understanding economics and being a budget hawk perfectly complements Gov. Romney’s leadership experiences.

“When I first saw the two of them standing there in Virginia in front of that naval vessel together, my corporate DNA kicked in. I didn’t just see presidential candidate and vice-presidential candidate, I saw a corporate CEO and a CFO, and that’s what we need in order to lead this country.”

Polls show that President Obama’s job approval rating among African-American voters remains strong. Cain was asked if this bloc of voters will turn out for Obama in 2012 as they did in 2008.

“No, they will not,” he responds. “The enthusiasm for Barack Obama from black voters will be nowhere near what it was in 2008.

“Number one, everybody was excited about the first African-American running for president. President Obama presented a good narrative but they now see, many of them, not all, that he has not been able to deliver on the promises. So they will not turn out in the same numbers that they did in 2008.”

Cain says the 9-9-9 tax plan he championed during his presidential campaign has had an influence on the GOP platform and Romney’s tax plan.

“The first thing that Gov. Romney did was he went from a 59-point plan to a plan with fewer parts, so it has caused him to cut down his plan into some understandable terms.

“I have been encouraging Gov. Romney and I understand he’s got to do what he’s comfortable with to change the narrative from reform the tax code to replace the tax code. If we achieve that, then my running would not have been in vain.”

Urgent: Does Paul Ryan Really Help Defeat Obama? Vote in Exclusive Poll

Cain adds that he is at the GOP convention “because there’s a lot of enthusiasm in this forum and, quite frankly, it exceeds what a lot of people expected. What I wanted to do is to be a conduit, to share this enthusiasm by way of media with your readers and others, with the rest of the people who couldn’t make it to Tampa, because it’s going to be a level of enthusiasm that’s going to impact how the vote turnout is — and if we win the war in turning out the vote, we win in November.”

And despite the other issues candidates are wrangling over in the campaign, the deciding factor in the election, Cain confidently predicts, will be “the economy, the economy, the economy, jobs, jobs, jobs. That will be the deciding issue.”


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