Tag: Herman Cain

Herman Cain To Headline Campaign Event For Martha Zoller

His Presidential Campaign may be “suspended”, but Herman Cain has made it clear he will not be leaving political activism. Today, the campaign for Martha Zoller has announced that Cain will headline an event they will be hosting on January 28th at the Gainesville Civic Center.

“We are thrilled to have Herman Cain join us in Gainesville for this important and timely rally,” said Martha Zoller, in a statement issued to the press. “Like Herman, I believe that we need to completely transform the U.S. Tax Code, restore common sense and accountability in government, and end ‘business as usual’ in Washington. It is an honor to have Herman support my campaign for Congress and I look forward to sharing the stage with such a remarkable leader again.”

Zoller is seeking Georgia’s open 9th Congressional seat which leans heavily Republican. Other announced candidates include state Representative Doug Collins of Gainesville, and Jackson County Commissioner Hunter Bicknell.

Reassessing Herman Cain

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

Herman Cain has led an improbable life. An African American born in the segregated south as the son of a chauffeur and cleaning lady, Cain managed to a achieve bachelors degree in mathematics and a graduate degree in computer science, become the CEO of a restaurant chain, host a popular show on the country’s largest talk radio station, and for a brief period of time become the front runner for the Republican nomination for President.

Added to his degree of difficulty is that Cain isn’t even supposed to be alive, as doctors once have him less than a 30% chance to live as he battled Stage IV colon and liver cancer. It doesn’t take a degree in mathematics to understand the numerous ways Cain has defied the laws of probability.

Roughly a year ago as talk of a Cain presidential run was becoming serious, I asked a friend of his what he was really looking for from a Presidential run. Certainly he didn’t think he could win, did he?

She told me that he generally didn’t do things he didn’t think he could accomplish, but with the long odds of the race, he would be happy if he could influence the debate, and inject ideas that could be co-opted by the eventual nominee. She emphasized that was her assessment, and not the words of the candidate. I found, and still find, her reasoning plausible.

Cain managed to become the front runner with his 9-9-9 plan. The idea was to replace the tax code with a flatter, simpler system. It also includes eliminating many current taxes including the current FICA withholding tax in favor of a national sales tax. While none of the other Republican candidates has embraced the 9-9-9 plan, Cain did manage to make comprehensive tax reform a central issue in not only the 2012 campaign, but in the current budget and revenue battles within Congress. Read more

Cain Train coming to a halt?

Over at the National Review, Robert Costa reports that Herman Cain may soon drop out of the race for the Republican nomination:

In a conference call this morning, Herman Cain told his senior staff that he is “reassessing” whether to remain in the race. He told them he will make his final decision “over the next several days.”

All you need to do is look at the polls and see that his chances of winning have declined substantially. And even without the past accusations of sexual harassment surfacing, the fact that Cain was so gaffe prone that Republican voters would have had to stop giving him mulligans. It seemed that Cain and his campaign really thought that the gimmicky 9-9-9 plan, which he has never been able to explain or even respond to valid with a coherent answer, would take him to the White House.

While I disagree with Cain on many things and would never have cast a vote for him for president, he has always come across as a good man. We all should have preferred to see his candidacy fall based on merits of policy and inexperience rather than the accusations that have surfaced.

Newt’s Back, This Time With Forward Momentum

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

Last May, on the eve of Georgia’s State GOP convention, I asked if the Newt Gingrich that would address the local faithful could demonstrate through word and action what he has learned since his exit from elected politics. There is little question that Gingrich is a bright man, and what he knows is not in question. But what he had learned from mistakes made in his public and personal life were a lingering issue. A week later, we had a preliminary answer.

Following his speech to the Georgia GOP, he began a week that included torpedoing Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform proposals on Meet The Press, was “glitter bombed” at a book signing, and asked by an Iowa voter on camera when he was going to get out of the race to quit embarrassing himself. He responded to his stumble by taking a Mediterranean cruise during which virtually his entire staff quit. It was, by any objective measure, a horrible official start to a campaign.

The result was a loss of momentum, endorsements, and fundraising. Former Governor Sonny Perdue switched his support to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty without as much as a phone call to Gingrich. With fundraising drying up, there was not a quick move to replace staff, and the campaign soon announced debt of roughly $1 Million. Gingrich, as John McCain had done 4 years earlier, was reduced to flying commercial for campaign appearances usually without staff in tow.

As Gingrich faded to the background, Tim Pawlenty was unable to capitalize on his newfound supporters. He withdrew from the race after a dust up with Michelle Bachmann prior to the Ames Iowa straw poll which left her in the spotlight and his campaign hemorrhaging cash. On the day of the straw poll, national numbers placed Bachmann on par with Mitt Romney as the front runners in the GOP race. Less than a week later, Rick Perry was a candidate and the presumed front runner, also having poll numbers comparable to Romney. Thirty days later, Herman Cain had the same supporters, with Bachmann’s campaign on life support and Perry fighting for 4th place with Gingrich.

Anit-“Establishment” Republicans have been searching for a “Not Mitt Romney” candidate since this race began. Romney, for his part, has been dutifully bouncing between 25 and 30% in national polls. That’s enough to call him a front runner, but leaving 70% of GOP voters available for anyone else. Romney has yet to demonstrate he can attract the supporters when other candidates stumble. Read more

Cain’s Lucky Numbers Still 9-9-9

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

Tuesday night brought us another GOP Presidential debate, this time sponsored by Bloomberg News. The focus of the debate was the economy, which by most prognostications will be the defining issue of the 2012 campaign. Yet despite almost 2 hours of focus on economic views from the candidates, the limited reach of Bloomberg TV most likely limited the viewership to the truly dedicated followers of political theater.

Herman Cain, still enjoying his recent rise in the polls was literally and figuratively at center stage. Journalists and fellow candidates were able to ask him so many questions about his 9-9-9 tax reform plan that at times it seemed almost like Cain was hosting his own infomercial.

Cain’s proposal makes good bumper sticker material because it is simple yet specific. He proposes to eliminate the current tax code and replace it with a 9 percent sales tax, a 9 percent personal income tax, and a nine percent corporate income tax rate. All current exemptions and deductions would be eliminated, as well as existing tax loopholes. Cain claims the current plan is revenue neutral, though Bloomberg’s scoring shows it a bit short of current U.S. tax receipts.

Cain envisions his 9-9-9 plan as a transition step toward the FairTax, a national sales tax plan that is most likely familiar to anyone who ever listened to his former employer’s radio station, WSB in Atlanta. As a concept, the FairTax has a lot to offer. As legislation, the actual bill representing the FairTax has languished in committee, featuring multiple structural problems that fail to match the concept of the FairTax book to which the supporters of the plan usually refer. Read more

Florida Straw Poll Makes Room For A Georgian’s Path To Republican Nomination?

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

Last Saturday, the Florida Republican Party held their Presidency 5 Convention and corresponding straw poll for President. Georgia’s Herman Cain won a strong 37.1 percent of the vote, dusting the “top tier” candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney who managed support from 15.4 percent and 14 percent of the delegates, respectively.

Straw polls generally provide more fodder for pundits and campaigns than for serious analysis of campaign trends, but there are occasional exceptions. Presidency 5 claims to have predicted the Republican nominee since its inception in 1979. Delegates are selected at the county party level and must pay a $175 registration fee to attend.

The selection process is unlike the Ames Iowa straw poll where anyone who shows up with $30 – their money or from a candidate buying votes – can cast a ballot. Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll handily, and was briefly considered by some to be a front runner. She finished 8th at the Florida gathering, with only 1.5% of votes cast. Read more

Southern Baptist hits back at Herman Cain

We’ve covered Herman Cain’s bigoted comments regarding Muslims a lot over the last several days. Hopefully we’ll be able to move on to better topics, but I do want to point out some comments from Richard Land from Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission via Politico:

Southern Baptist leader Richard Land chided presidential candidate Herman Cain for disregarding the constitutional rights of U.S. Muslims during a Monday C-SPAN interview. He reminded Cain that as a Christian and an African American, he should have a special interest in the enforcement of the constitution in all communities, not just approving ones.

Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, addressed the businessman turned presidential candidate in a Monday broadcast saying, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bath, Mr. Cain.”

Last week, Cain told reporters that the plan to build the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in Rutherford County, Tenn., is “an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion.” He sided with community members who have protested the center saying the center is “another way to gradually sneak Sharia law into our laws” …

Land said he agrees that allowing Sharia law in the courts is unconstitutional, as it also violates the rights of women. He agreed that it should not be enforced in America’s legal system or government, but reminded the public that that the First Amendment allows for religious freedom.

No doubt these rants of his appeal to a segment in his party’s base, but I never really thought Cain had a shot at the GOP nomination. He may still have a functioning campaign, but if there was any doubt whether Cain was suited to run a serious campaign; those questions have been answered.

Several Georgia Republicans have told me since the beginning of the year that they couldn’t understand why he would run for an office had no shot of winning when he could have run for Governor and likely have done well given his name recognition in the state and appeal to tea partyers that will mindlessly run to whoever they perceive as the “next big thing” in the conservative movement. Cain is done; and frankly, I’m glad.

Herman Cain speaks against property rights, religious freedom

Not only has Herman Cain said that he will force any Muslim in his administration to take a “loyalty oath” (nevermind that it would be unconstitutional and that all appointees already take an oath to the Constitution), he now come out against a proposed mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee:

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain opposes a planned Tennessee mosque that has been the subject of protests and legal challenges.

Cain didn’t bring up the controversial facility in a campaign rally on Thursday, but told reporters afterward that he’s concerned about the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

“It is an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion,” he said. “And I don’t agree with what’s happening, because this isn’t an innocent mosque.”
[…]
A county judge ruled in May that the mosque construction does not harm the residents who sued to try to stop it, but he allowed them to move forward on claims the county violated an open meetings law in approving it.

Opponents have used the hearings to argue that the mosque is part of a plot to expand Islamic extremism in the U.S. Cain appeared to agree.

“It is another example of why I believe in American laws and American courts,” Cain said. “This is just another way to try to gradually sneak Shariah law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that.”

Um, this is not about Sharia law. There is one instance of a misguided judge using Sharia law in the United States. That was in New Jersey, and his decision was overturned on appeal. This is not an epidemic and there is no conspiracy to “sneak” Sharia law into the United States. What this is about is appealing to conservatives, especially now that Cain seen his thunder stolen by other candidates.

What’s interesting is Cain is actually advocating to restrict property rights (I thought conservatives were supposed to care about that) and religious freedom, and we aren’t even talking about the so-called Ground Zero Mosque in Lower Manhattan.

And that isn’t the only profoundly stupid thing Cain has said recently. At a stop in Iowa last month, Cain said that the United States should build a “Great Wall” at the Southern border with a moat around it filled with alligators. It’s worth noting that the “wall” at the US/Mexico border had become a taxpayer boondoggle and that illegal immigration is at the lowest level in 60 years (that’s due to the quality of life improving in Mexico as much as restrictionist immigration laws); so at this point, it’s clear Cain is just pandering.

Given the addition of gaffe-prone Michele Bachmann in the GOP presidential race, Herman Cain is increasingly looking like the least sane candidate in the field.

Cain claims “top-tier” status, loses more staff

In front of a group of 80 people this week in Metro Atlanta (his home turf), Herman Cain declared that he is a top-tier candidate for the Republican presidential nomination:

Cain was speaking during a “Social Media Day” webcast from inside a Dunwoody hotel that attracted questions for Cain from people across the country who were watching him on his website and his Facebook page.

The major news networks, Cain said, are trying to get President Obama re-elected.

“I’m in the top tier, now” despite the mainstream media. “If it were not for social media, the Internet, and if I were not for the Tea Party citizen movement, I wouldn’t have a chance…. In a few months I’ll be able to say to ABC, CBS and NBC, ‘Can you hear me now?’.” The crowd of about 80 people in the hotel ballroom applauded and cheered.

Cain was the “flavor of the week” in the conservative movement, despite exhibiting that he doesn’t have a grasp on foreign policy and the First Amendment, until gaffe-prone Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann entered the race. Since then, the air has been sucked out of his campaign and his poll numbers have dropped off.

Via Jay Bookman we learn that Cain has lost his top two staffers in Iowa, including his Ames Straw Poll coordinator. This comes just days after his sole New Hampshire staffer left the campaign because they weren’t investing in the state.

Is Newt’s “Staffer Abandonment Syndrome” Contagious?

I’m sure 2012 Republican aspirant Herman Cain hopes that it’s not despite the departing of his lone staffer in New Hampshire.  From the Union Leader via the Politico:

Herman Cain’s state director and lone New Hampshire staffer has resigned, leaving the campaign without a New Hampshire presence at least for the time being, the Granite Status has learned.

Veteran GOP organizer Matt Murphy confirmed today that he stepped down last Friday as director of Cain’s campaign in the first-in-the-nation primary state. He said the campaign refused to invest in a serious effort here.

“There is no ill will toward Herman Cain,” Murphy said. “There was a strategic difference and I left the campaign because of those differences. The differences involved the New Hampshire strategy and how much investment the campaign should put into New Hampshire.”

The Cain campaign also lost its regional field director. Jim Zeiler confirmed this afternoon that he “resigned last week to return to my home in Wisconsin” …

Murphy pushed to have the candidate spend more time in the Granite State. As the lone New Hampshire staffer, he asked the national campaign for funding for staff hires and office space. But, Murphy said, his request was denied.

The campaign later said that the position in New Hampshire has been filled and that the campaign is “very excited” about the replacement.  A presser will be released in the coming days announcing the new staffer.

 

Was The Name Of Gingrich’s Cruise Ship The Titanic?

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

Newt Gingrich returned from his summer vacation cruise to find that almost his entire campaign staff had resigned, including his Georgia headquarters team and his frontline personnel in Iowa. It was yet another blow, perhaps a terminal one, to a campaign that has not caught a positive break since it began at the Georgia Republican convention less than one month ago.

Gingrich managed to stop the public hemorrhaging by lowering his profile and getting out of the country for more than half his official time as a candidate. His decision to seek sun and solitude instead of doubling down on lackluster fundraising efforts is being frequently cited as a key source of frustration that motivated the staff exodus.

For his part, Gingrich says his campaign will begin anew this weekend in Los Angeles and that he will appear in a debate in New Hampshire on Monday. Georgia and national pundits, however, have already written an obituary for Gingrich 2012. Gingrich and his remaining supporters may find solace in the 2008 campaign of John McCain, also written off as viable when he had to slash most staff and traveled to and from events solo, flying coach.

For now, however, Gingrich’s severe troubles are presenting opportunities for other candidates. Read more

Cain should read the Constitution

During his official announcement for the Republican nomination for president, Herman Cain said that we don’t need to re-write the Constitution, rather re-read it. I tend to agree, but he made an embarrassing gaffe on the Constitution, citing language that was actually from the Declaration of Independence. And recent comments he has made leave one with the impression that Cain may need to do some reading of his own.

While appearing on Glen Beck’s show yesterday, Cain again expressed caution in appointing a Muslim to a position of power if he were president, noting that he would do so if they took a loyalty oath:

BECK: So wait a minute, are you saying that Muslims have to prove, there has to be a loyalty proof?

CAIN: Yes, to the Constitution of the United States of America.

BECK: Well, would you do that to a Catholic or a Mormon?

CAIN: No, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t because there is a greater dangerous part of the Muslim faith than there is in these other religions. I know there are some Muslims who talk about but we’re a peaceful religion. I’m sure that there are some peace-loving.

Cain once again demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the Constitution, which explicitly states in Article VI, Clause 3 that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

Another aspect of the Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights, that he gets wrong is in regards to the Second Amendment. According to a recent interview with Wolf Blitzer, Cain said that states have a right to regulate guns; if they see fit:

BLITZER: How about gun control?

CAIN: I support the 2nd amendment.

BLITZER: So what’s the answer on gun control?

CAIN: The answer is I support, strongly support, the 2nd amendment. I don’t support onerous legislation that’s going to restrict people’s rights in order to be able to protect themselves as guaranteed by the 2nd amendment.

BLITZER: Should states or local government be allowed to control guns, the gun situation, or should…

CAIN: Yes

BLITZER: Yes?

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: So the answer is yes?

CAIN: The answer is yes, that should be a state’s decision.

Cain’s belief runs afoul of recent Supreme Court decisions that have found gun regulations in the District of Columbia and Chicago to be unconstitutional and that the language found in the Bill of Rights protected a fundamental individual liberty. While states may pass reasonable regulations, they cannot, as some cities have done or tried to do, legislate away the Constitution. If that was Cain intended to say, he should have been more clear.

Lastly, I would like to know where in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution is Congress given the power to bailout and/or partly nationalize financial institutions with taxpayer money. Cain has taken some criticism for his backing of TARP, and justifiably so. He responds with this:

“If they want to nail me with my support for TARP — you know what? I’m not going to be able to counter that,” Cain told TPM in a wide-ranging interview last weekend. “Here’s what we will do — we will have a spot on our website that says, ‘if you really want to know the truth about my position on TARP, go look at this two-minute video.’ If they choose not to, I can’t change that.”
[…]
he said that anyone who thinks of him as a TARP advocate has the wrong idea. While he supported the idea of government pumping cash into banks during the darkest days of the financial crisis, Cain says he takes great issue with how the money was doled out.

“I thought TARP was going to be an opportunity for the government to allow any bank that needed to to restructure its balance sheet,” Cain said. “But it didn’t. It only picked its friends. That’s when I turned against TARP.”

Cain says that the way TARP worked — he said it was used to “reward winners and losers” — was not what he expected. And that turned him from a friend of the program to a foe.

But Cain still speaks highly of the idea of TARP in a way that would probably give some of his supporters pause.

“We needed to do something drastic because we were facing a very drastic situation,” Cain explained. “The concept was fine.”

This explanation is poor. Can assumes that government is an honest player, which it isn’t. It routinely picks winners and losers in various ways; through the Federal Reserve, the tax code, pork projects and government contracts. The bailouts represented the worst of cronyism and corporatism. Moreover, TARP likely made bailouts a permanent policy of the federal government. Either Cain is naive or he thinks you’re stupid enough to believe him.

Man Who Rails Against Sunday Alcohol Sales Somehow Decides Herman Cain Should Be Running Against Nathan Deal

Try to forget for a moment that the Presidential election is in 2012, and the next scheduled election for Governor of Georgia is in 2014. After all, we’re dealing with the logic of someone who believes is it more dangerous for you and your soul to buy alcohol at a store on Sundays then take it home to drink, rather than to drive to a restaurant, drink there, then drive home.

Such is the logic of Christian Coalition President Jerry Luquire, who has decided that since Herman Cain has flubbed a few questions on foreign policy, he should be running against antichrist Governor Nathan Deal rather than Barack Obama.

His reasoning, as reported by Walter Jones of the Morris News Service:

At the heart of the issue is the notion that Deal isn’t conservative enough. As a Democrat early in his congressional career, he voted for some programs that rankle social conservatives. And during his gubernatorial campaign last year he expressed some openness to legalizing casino gambling, a position he later retracted.

What about Cain’s views on those issues?

“I have no idea where he stands,” Luquire said. “I know where Mr. Deal stands.”

Please discuss the brilliance of replacing someone you don’t agree with on your issues with someone you don’t know how they stand on your issues in the space below.

Pollster: Obama competitive in Georgia

Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning polling firm based out of North Carolina, has put out numbers showing that President Barack Obama’s re-election bid may have life in Georgia, as recent analysis suggests:

Obama looks like a pretty viable contender in the state next year regardless of who his Republican opponent is. 47% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 48% that disapprove. Those numbers suggest Georgia is probably the state Obama lost in 2008 that he has the best chance of flipping for 2012 because in the two states that he came closer to winning last time around- Missouri and Montana- his approval numbers are far worse at 43/52 and 41/54 respectively.

The individual match-ups can be viewed below. Favorability numbers for all potential candidates in the poll are available in the crosstabs. Take it for what it’s worth. I do think Obama will do better in Georgia in 2012, but I don’t think he will win the state.

Barack Obama v. Herman Cain

  • Obama: 44%
  • Cain: 39%
  • Undecided: 16%

Barack Obama v. Newt Gingrich

  • Obama: 46%
  • Gingrich: 45%
  • Undecided: 9%

Barack Obama v. Mike Huckabee

  • Obama: 45%
  • Huckabee: 48%
  • Undecided: 7%

Barack Obama v. Sarah Palin

  • Obama: 48%
  • Palin: 43%
  • Undecided: 9%

Barack Obama v. Mitt Romney

  • Obama: 43%
  • Romney: 46%
  • Undecided: 11%

AlterNet blogger launches rabid attack on Herman Cain

Herman Cain has been receiving a lot of attention since announcing his exploratory committee for the Republican nomination for president. The reception has been positive, although he underperformed at CPAC. So naturally he must the subject of vicious attacks from the left:

In the immortal words of Megatron in Transformers: The Movie, Herman Cain’s speech at CPAC really is bad comedy. As you know, I find black garbage pail kids black conservatives fascinating not because of what they believe, but rather because of how they entertain and perform for their White Conservative masters.
[…]
Let’s consider the routine. First, Cain enters the stage to Motown music. Then Cain feigns swimming after rolling up his sleeves to show them his black skin and how he is a hardworking negro (not like those other ones). Cain bellows in a preacher affected voice and channels the folksy negro down home accent of his late grandpappy. In the money shot, Cain gives the obligatory “black folks who are not Republicans are on the plantation” speech to the joyous applause of his White benefactors. And he doubles down by legitimating any opposition to President Barack Obama as virtuous and patriotic regardless of the bigoted well-springs from which it may flow.

In total, CPAC is a carnival and a roadshow for reactionary Conservatives. It is only fitting that in the great tradition of the freak show, the human zoo, the boardwalk, and the great midway world’s fairs of the 19th and 20th centuries, that there is a Borneo man, a Venus Hottentot or a tribe of cannibals from deepest darkest Africa or Papua New Guinea on display. For CPAC and the White Conservative imagination, Herman Cain and his black and brown kin are that featured attraction.

We always need a monkey in the window, for he/she reminds us of our humanity while simultaneously reinforcing a sense of our own superiority. Sadly, there are always folks who are willing to play that role because it pays so well.

Uh. New tone?