Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has enjoyed a recent surge of support thanks to a slew of recent straw polls and a rise in voter surveys. But there are those who think the former pizza magnate is more interested in selling his book than capturing the White House.
Cain admits he’s not a “traditional” candidate, but told Kudlow Thursday he is very serious about his run for president. He also just happens to be on a tour to promote his new memoir.
“I can walk and chew gum at the same time,” he said.
Cain is doing the book tour in addition to “some campaigning” because he believes his name recognition trails that of the other major competitors.
“This book tour is helping to elevate my name ID as I continue to build my support,” he said.
A New York Times report on Thursday questioned whether the candidate’s nearly month-long book tour has taken precedence over campaigning in key early states.
As for those who don’t think he’s “electable,” the GOP candidate thinks they’re out of touch.
“I understand that I don’t fit the traditional model,” he said. But those critics “haven’t been to the tea parties. They haven’t been to the states where I’m winning straw polls.”
Most notably, Cain pulled off an upset in a recent straw poll in the battleground state of Florida. His poll numbers are also up. A CBS News pollreleased earlier this week shows Cain in a statistical tie for the lead with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. He’s in second place in Quinnipiac University’s survey, also released this week.
Cain also promoted his 9-9-9 tax plan, which would dramatically change tax laws to create a 9 percent business tax, 9 percent individual income tax and 9 percent sales tax. At the same time, he slammed both President Obama’s and fellow Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s tax plans.
Obama is playing the “class warfare card” with his millionaire’s tax, Cain said, adding that it was meant to distract people from looking at the 84 taxes he “snuck” into his jobs plan.
Mitt Romney’s 59 point tax plan is simply taking one set of loopholes and replacing it with another set of loopholes, Cain said.
The former Godfather Pizza CEO defended his 9-9-9 plan against those who think it’s too “European” and will build up to a massive tax problem.
Cain said he added the national sales tax to “expand the base” since he will be taxing income at the lowest possible level. He also insisted it is nothing like the European value added tax, which occurs each time a business in the supply chain purchase a product, because it is a single rate being rung at the register.
Cain said he wants his 9-9-9 legislation to require a 2/3 vote in the Senate before the law can be changed.
And he believes the American people will stand behind him.
“9-9-9 is simple, fair and understandable,” he said.
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