Herman Cain: Transcript of ABC/Yahoo News Exclusive Interview


JONATHAN KARL: But if I (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I mean, you could get this message in your first day on the job, I mean, you know--


JONATHAN KARL: --publications are that Iran-- so--


JONATHAN KARL: --the-- the-- this could happen as soon as you walk into the Oval Office.

HERMAN CAIN: Exactly. But see, I'm not gonna wait until my first day on the job to already begin to get these things in place.


HERMAN CAIN: And so, the reason that it's critical to have an energy independence plan ready to go is because as soon as we announce it and I become president, it's gonna impact the price of oil on the world market. Because speculation drive the price by about a third of it. So as the price of oil goes down, that puts economic pressure on Iran. Secondly, as we drill for more of the resources that we have here, oil, coal, and shale oil, guess what, the more we move toward energy independent-- hold on, hold on.

The more we move toward energy independence, the more economic pressure we put on Iran. Now, there's a second piece. The second piece is the deployment of our Ballistic Missile Defense capable Aegis warships in that part of the world, so if that is they do attack one of our friends like Israel, or if they do try to attack us, we will have the capability to be able to defend ourselves.

JONATHAN KARL: But your intelligence chiefs are telling you they're a month away from getting a nuclear bomb. Do you authorize action to take it out? To take out their nuclear facility?


HERMAN CAIN: Well it would de-- Jonathan, here's one thing about the way I make decisions. I will need all of the information. That is a hypothetical. That's an isolated hypothetical, so I'm not gonna say, "I would order a strike to take out that nuclear weapon," until I knew what evidence would-- that we had that that is the case.

I want to see the evidence. I don't wanna make the mistake of makin' the decision and we not bein' absolutely sure. Secondly, what do we know from an intelligence standpoint their intentions within a month or two of actually havin' that nuclear weapon.

JONATHAN KARL: Okay, we're just about out of time, but we've got a lightning round. These are questions that are asked of all the candidates, and I want a very, very short answer from you on all of them. These are-- these are a little more fun. You know--


JONATHAN KARL: --we like to have a little bit of fun, right? So--


JONATHAN KARL: Okay. So first thing, worst job you've ever had?

HERMAN CAIN: A jackhammer in the basement of an apartment building tearin' up a concrete floor.

JONATHAN KARL: Okay, that sounds rough. (LAUGHTER) First thing you would do when you walk into the Oval Office, the very first day?

HERMAN CAIN: Ask to see my National Security Advisor, the first day on the job. That afternoon, get together my economic advisory team. Day one, day two, and day three will be all about national security, the economy, talkin' to the leaders of Congress, and let's figure out how quickly we can pass the "9-9-9" economic growth and jobs plan.

JONATHAN KARL: Okay, the happiest you have ever been, and you cannot say your wedding day, and you can't say birth of children or grandchildren.

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