Herman Cain: Transcript of ABC/Yahoo News Exclusive Interview


JONATHAN KARL: You know, when Bill Clinton faced accusations in his campaign, with Gennifer Flowers-- the way they dealt with it is-- is, did a big 60 Minutes interview with-- with Hillary Clinton, came out and, you know, stuck up for him. Did you think we'll-- we'll be seeing your wife come out publicly and-- and defend you? Or you gonna keep her out of all this?

HERMAN CAIN: I'm gonna keep her out of all of this. She is gonna do some public interviews when it's the right time, and when she's ready. See, this is another difference between the Cain campaign and what we're doin' and how I'm doin' it than the typical expectations. My-- my candidacy is unconventional.

JONATHAN KARL: That's for sure. (LAUGHTER)

HERMAN CAIN: Never held public office-- do not have a cajillion (PH) dollars, didn't have high name ID until recently, and I'm talkin' prior to these accusations that have been goin' on for the past couple of weeks--

JONATHAN KARL: You've got high name ID now.

HERMAN CAIN: Now my name ID might be 99.9, like (LAUGH) Ivory soap, okay? But no, I don't expect her to be doin' a lotta interviews, speakin' up for me. Because you know what, she knows that I can speak up for myself. But what I'm going to do is I am going to speak up for my family and defend my family. That's important to me. And one of my messages today is going to be, look, I know that-- journalists and the media, they have-- they have a job to do.

And they are professionals at it. They have to get the story. But I will get very indignant if they continue to stalk my family, make unsolicited calls. That has no place in politics. It has no place in America. And so that's the part that I wanna make a point about, is that no, take all of the attacks at me as you want. I'm runnin' for president. My family is not runnin'. Leave my family out of these-- things that have been goin' on over the last couple of weeks, tryin' to get them to do an interview or say something that, you know, they might regret.

JONATHAN KARL: So I have one more question on this. We heard a little while ago from Mitt Romney, ABC News, Yahoo interview, about this latest accusation. And he was pretty direct on this. He said that "This woman's charges are particularly disturbing, and they are serious." What do you say to Mitt Romney?

HERMAN CAIN: Well, he-- he's right. They're disturbing to me, they are serious, I have taken them serious, and my response is, there's absolutely no basis to them. It's a distraction to this whole primary process. But I'm not initiating this. If there was some basis to it, yes, pass judgment on me. But what I'm saying is, they are serious. But-- but there's absolutely no basis to them.

JONATHAN KARL: Okay, I wanna get now to some questions that we've had come in from our ABCNews.com and-- and Yahoo users.


JONATHAN KARL: Would you-- would you guess what the most common topic was?

HERMAN CAIN: "9-9-9"?

JONATHAN KARL: It was taxes. (LAUGHTER) (UNINTEL) 9-9, it was taxes. So-- one-- one question is why should increasing revenues through higher taxes on the wealthy be off the table when it is clear that spending cuts alone are not going to end the budget deficit?

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