One-time presidential front-runner Herman Cain tells Newsmax.TV exclusively that Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum are the only candidates left in the race who still have a chance of winning the GOP presidential nomination and beating President Obama.
“Those are the ones that I happen to believe that still at this point have the best of chance of getting the nomination, but I don’t believe that this presidential nomination process is going to be over with early,” Cain declared in an interview on Thursday.
Cain predicts that voters could be in for a long wait to see the eventual GOP nominee emerge from the pack. “I believe it is going to go all the way through Super Tuesday and possibly to the convention,” he explained.
After ruling out a future bid for the White House earlier this week, the 66-year-old Atlanta businessman and talk show host said that he believes it is too late for an unannounced candidate to join the race, saying it would be difficult to convince voters to take the candidacy seriously and require tremendous personal resources.
“I know from experience what it is to run for president and how demanding it is – not only on you personally as well as physically – but also how demanding it is on your resources. And at this point, unless someone were willing to totally self-fund the campaign, it would be very difficult for them to garner some momentum,” said Cain.
Earlier this week Cain declined to endorse any of his former rivals, but said that he most likely will provide an “unconventional endorsement” in the future.
Asked in today’s interview if he is satisfied with the remaining GOP contenders, Cain joked that the only way to improve the field “is if I were still in it. But since I’m not in it, there are no others on the sideline that I am wishfully hoping that they jump in.”
Cain said he has chosen not to endorse a candidate at this time because he wants to keep his supporters informed, involved and inspired.
“If I were to endorse a candidate it could divide my supporters. And if it divides my supporters, they might lose interest and my objective with my supporters and all of those people that consider themselves politically homeless is to make sure that people stay informed because there’s a lot of stuff out there,” he said. “I don’t want people to stay home. When John McCain was running as the Republican candidate in 2008, too many people stayed home because they weren’t excited about him.”
Cain unveiled a new website (Cainconnections.com) this week and a new organization – Cain’s Solutions Revolution – to win support for his much publicized 9-9-9 plan, which helped propel his candidacy to frontrunner status at one point. “One of the biggest comments that I received when I ended my presidential bid was please keep 9-9-9 alive.
It captivated the public so much that we decided we’re going to do just that and more.”
While “a couple” of presidential candidates have told Cain that they are open to his plan, he said that none have incorporated into their campaigns at this time.
“We believe that the biggest problem – the biggest crisis that we have in this country – is a lack of economic growth,” he said. “So 9-9-9, the revolution, is going to be the lead solution that we’re going to promote across this country.”
He intends to undertake a strong media blitz to promote the 9-9-9 plan, which includes a 9 percent personal income tax, a 9 percent corporate income tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax.
“I alone with a couple of surrogate voices will be talking about 9-9-9 , the revolution, on mass media,” he explained. “We will be conducting rallies. We will be doing speeches, op-eds – all of the various media resources and all of the various media outlets that I have been in for the last two years – we’re going to promote it that way.”
He also said that he will turn up the heat on Congressional candidates to embrace 9-9-9 and that he plans to launch a national series of bus tours as part of the effort.
“So coming soon to a place near you is going to be a bus tour of Cain’s Solutions Revolution because just like I did when I was a candidate, we’re going to take this solution to the people,” he said.
He sees no less of a need for such a “bold” plan now that he is no longer running for the White House. “Inflation is killing this country,” he said.
Insisting that this is the most critical election in the history of the United States, Cain described former House Speaker Gingrich as “one of the most knowledgeable candidates in the hunt for the presidency.
“He is an idea person. He is a solution person,” said Cain. “One of his advantages was that he was in Congress for a long time and then he left.
When he left Congress, it gave him an opportunity for his brain to thaw out. Because a lot of people go to Washington and then they develop brain freeze so he was out of government long enough that he could see the trees and the forest about what was going on.”
While he likes former Massachusetts Gov. Romney’s business background, he’s concerned about his record. “I’m concerned about the change in some of his positions because I happen to believe that the Democrats are going to basically pounce on his changes in position if he gets the nomination.”
Cain described former Pennsylvania Sen. Santorum as “an experienced politician – and I underscore he is an experienced politician.”
He attributes Santorum’s surge in Iowa to a deep concern for social issues by voters there.
Cain believes that neither Texas Rep. Ron Paul or Texas Gov. Rick Perry can win the nomination and beat Obama.
“Whether or not he continues or not that’s a decision he has to make, but I happen to believe that the initial excitement of Gov. Perry has diminished tremendously and at this point he’s having a very difficult time of ‘catching fire on the campaign trail,” said Cain, noting that he has concerns over some of Paul’s positions.
“He doesn’t believe that we really should concern ourselves about Iran developing a nuclear weapon – yes, we should.,” insisted Cain. “If you just look at the latest news reports, they not only are threatening our friend Israel in that part of the world, they are rattling their swords claiming that they will soon be able to deliver a warhead to the United States. So I don’t agree that we should not take Iran seriously as an example.”