ABC News’ Huma Khan reports: Former pizza chain head turned presidential contender Herman Cain today expressed confidence that he’ll have enough money and support to challenge Republican establishment favorites in a presidential primary, even though he’s never run a campaign before and doesn’t have much money in his PAC.
“If you can build an organization to raise money, it’s called a business. You can build a campaign organization. We do have an organization,” Cain said on “Top Line” today.
The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza said his PAC “went dormant” in December, but that his campaign is moving along just fine.
“I can assure you we are doing just fine in terms of raising money,” Cain said on “Top Line” today. “No, we’re not going to raise a billion dollars. No, I’m not capable of raising the amount of money that Mitt Romney is raising, or is going to raise, or has the potential to raise, but we don’t believe it’s going to be just about money. It’s going to be more about message. And that’s why you see me moving up in the polls.”
Cain said Romney, who announced his bid Thursday, has a good business background but his own success might be more appealing because it was based on building his business from the ground up.
“I respect him and his background but mine’s more bottoms up,” Cain said.
The Georgia native said he’s been traveling to all the key states like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Georgia, holding town hall events and talking to people.
“The more that they get to know me and hear my message of common sense solutions is resonating,” he said.
The Tea Party favorite is running neck and neck in polls with Romney and other candidates. The most recent Gallup Poll shows him with 8 percent support, behind Romney with 17 percent support and Sarah Palin with 15 percent.
Though Cain said the thought of another position in a Republican administration is not on his mind at the moment, he would consider the post of vice president — if offered — depending on the nominee.
The 65-year-old businessman, who opposes raising the debt ceiling, also blasted President Obama for not tackling the issue of deficit and the debt limit earlier, saying he would never have let the situation come to what it is, and that the administration may have “waited too late.”
“There’s an old saying: If you’re in a hole stop digging. They keep digging. That’s the problem,” he said. “Responsible leadership anticipates things. We have known we were going to have this situation for months.”
The African American radio talk show host said that his own campaign takes the race card off the table.
“It takes it off the table,” he said. “The Obama administration… they selectively played the race card and they selectively played the class warfare card. Whenever someone disagrees with the president, oh it must be race and I have some seen people do this – which is just ridiculous.”
“If you have bad policies and they’re not working, all you have to do is look at the latest [jobs] numbers that you talked about – unemployment going up another tenth of a point. They can claim all they want to that we’re in a recovery. Go ask the additional 5 million people that are unemployed since President Obama took office. We are not in a recovery like that,” he added.
Cain was also presented with a pizza challenge by hosts Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein – to rate pizza from Capitol Hill establishment We, The Pizza, the brainchild of Top Chef’s Spike Mendelsohn.
Cain – who said the pizza was “tasty” but could’ve used more meat – took a dig at Donald Trump in the process.
“If you’re born with a silver spoon in your mouth, maybe you believe you’re supposed to eat pizza with a knife and a fork,” he said of Trump’s faux pas. “I was born with no spoon in my mouth so I learned to eat with my hands before I had a spoon and a fork.”
He also partially attributed his ascent in the polls to the “Top Line bounce.” Cain first appeared on “Top Line” in January, when he announced his exploratory committee.
Cain announced his presidential bid two weeks ago at the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta.
“Let me tell you what the Cain Doctrine would be: We ain’t raising the debt ceiling,” he said in his announcement. “We are going to cut the spending.”