Herman Cain: Transcript of ABC/Yahoo News Exclusive Interview


HERMAN CAIN: I have talked about we have to do both. We have to raise revenue and we have to cut spending. And my approach to cutting spending as president, is to do a ten percent across the board cut of all federal agencies, and then ask each of my new agency heads to find another ten percent by drilling down. That's what you do in business to come up with approximately 20 percent cuts for the first fiscal year budget that I will have the authority over as president to sign off on.

JONATHAN KARL: But you'd raise revenue?

HERMAN CAIN: Yes, I would raise revenues. I would raise revenues with a new structure. Throw out the current tax code, and put in my "9-9-9" plan. Here's how we raise revenues without raisin' taxes. We expand the base. That's how we're able to end up with that 9-9-9 percent rate. So we do raise revenues significantly.

In fact, our static analysis, as well as our dynamic analysis, has shown that revenues will go up significantly, unemployment would be cut significantly, and this economy would take off. The main reason is that the "9-9-9" plan would provide certainty to the business community. That's what will get this economy growing.

JONATHAN KARL: Okay, another question from our-- readers, viewers online-- about immigration.


JONATHAN KARL: Would you consider supporting an amendment that would prohibit a child born in the U.S. to an illegal from automatically becoming a U.S. citizen?

HERMAN CAIN: Yes, I would. I--

JONATHAN KARL: You would? So you-- this is dealing with the 14th amendment?

HERMAN CAIN: No, no. You said "an amendment."

JONATHAN KARL: Right, yes-- yes--

HERMAN CAIN: You didn't--

JONATHAN KARL: No, I'm sorry.

HERMAN CAIN: So, but I do not support tampering with the 14th amendment. If we wanna deal with the issue of babies bein' born to illegals, do something additionally. Pass a new law. But don't tamper with the 14th amendment and get hung up in that.

JONATHAN KARL: But you would pass-- you-- you would favor a constitutional amendment that would say, "No more d-- you have automatic citizenship if you're born on U.S. soil"?

HERMAN CAIN: Yes, I would. And-- and here's one of the other reasons why. We cannot condone illegal activity comin' to this country illegally, and then you automatically become a citizen. (BEEPING) It encourages people to come here illegally. Now, the-- the other thing is we are a nation of wide open doors. We need to fix the real problem.

The real problem is clean up the bureaucracy that people have to deal with to become a citizen the right way. And we must truly secure the border. We can't leave it porous. So yes, I would support somethin' like that, because America should be built based upon laws and not people doin' things illegally just because they're able to sneak into the country.

JONATHAN KARL: Okay, now let me ask about the Cain doctrine--


JONATHAN KARL: --for foreign policy. You're president, you're sittin' in the Oval Office, and your intelligence chiefs come in and they say, "Iran is a month or two away from getting-- a workable, usable, nuclear bomb."


JONATHAN KARL: What does President Cain do?

HERMAN CAIN: Well, before I get that message, there are some things that I would already have in place. Number one, a serious energy independence strategy, which we are developin', and we will be releasin' it within the next couple of weeks.

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