Atlanta radio host and former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain is officially in the race to become the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee. He made the announcement on Saturday before an enthusiastic crowd of approximately 15,000 in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. This is his second foray into elective politics. Cain lost a three-way bid to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate in 2004, but is undeterred by his lack of experience.
“In case you accidentally listen to a skeptic or Doubting Thomas out there, just to be clear, I'm running for president of the United States, and I’m not running for second,” Cain said.
It won’t be easy. A recent Gallup poll found that Cain is low on the totem poll in terms of name recognition at 29 percent, followed by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and Jon Huntsman, who recently resigned as the Obama administration’s ambassador to China.
Fundraising may also pose a challenge. In the most recent reporting period, the "Hermanator" political action committee had in cash on hand a mere $13.31. Cain told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that the PAC is inactive and that his campaign has created a new one called Friends of Herman Cain. He did, however, decline to say how much money the new PAC has raised.
Cain, the son of a chauffeur and domestic worker, is a staunch opponent of abortion and supports a strong national defense and a return to the gold standard. He believes that President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan “didn’t stimulate diddly,” and in another pointed dig at the president, he said, “It’s time to get real, folks. Hope and change ain’t working. Hope and change is not a solution. Hope and change is not a job.”
Cain joins Rep. Ron Paul (D-Texas), former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as the only official candidates in the race. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is expected to announce his candidacy on Monday.
(Photo: AP Photo/David Goldman)