Tea Party favourite Herman Cain will run for President
Sunday 22 May 2011
Former pizza chain manager Herman Cain, a favourite of the ultraconservative tea party movement, has joined the race to be US president despite never having held elective office.
"I'm running for president of the United States, and I'm not running for second," he told a crowd at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park.
Chants of "Herman" erupted from the crowd of thousands.
The announcement by the black businessman, author and talk radio show host that he was joining the expanding Republican field came after months of travelling around the country to introduce himself to voters.
Now the 65-year-old will see if he can use that grass-roots enthusiasm to turn a long-shot campaign into a credible bid.
Mr Cain supports a strong national defence, opposes abortion, backs replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax and favours a return to the gold standard.
He said President Barack Obama "threw Israel under the bus" because he sought to base Mideast border talks partly on the pre-1967 war lines, and criticised the Justice Department for challenging Arizona's tough crackdown on illegal immigration.
"We shouldn't be suing Arizona," he said to cheers. "We ought to send them a prize."
Mr Cain lost a three-way Republican US Senate primary bid in Georgia in 2004 with one-quarter of the vote.
His "Hermanator" political action committee has taken in just over 16,000 US dollars this year. Supporters say he taps into the tea party-fuelled desire for plain-speaking citizen candidates.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in Atlanta, Mr Cain is the son of a chauffeur and a maid. He attended historically black Morehouse College, earned a master's degree from Purdue University and worked as a mathematician for the Navy before beginning to scale the corporate ladder.
He worked at Coca-Cola, Pillsbury and Burger King before taking the helm of the failing Godfather's Pizza franchise, which he rescued by shutting hundreds of restaurants.
He burst onto the political stage when he argued with President Bill Clinton over the Democrat's health care plan at a 1994 town hall meeting.
"On behalf of all of those business owners that are in a situation similar to mine," asked Mr Cain, "my question is, quite simply, if I'm forced to do this, what will I tell those people whose jobs I will have to eliminate?"
In his speech, Mr Cain said the American dream is under attack from runaway debt, a stagnant economy, a muddled foreign policy and an influx of illegal immigrants.
"It's time to get real, folks. Hope and change ain't working," he said. "Hope and change is not a solution. Hope and change is not a job."
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...