Huntsville, Ala. – After 12 events in 2 days, Herman Cain wrapped up a whirlwind bus tour through Alabama this weekend, telling residents that their state matters.
“I continue to get reporters asking me why are you in Alabama? And the answer is why not?!” Cain told the sold out crowd at the Alabama Federation of Republican Women dinner.
“Alabama matters in this process. The political, so-called experts, haven’t quite connected all of the dots yet. Because of all of the jockeying that’s been going on relative to the primary process, Alabama matters because when you hold your primary in March,” explained Cain. “This thing may not be over and I didn’t want to wait till march to come to Alabama and let you know what I stand for!”
What is propelling Cain forward with a seemingly weak infrastructure in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire, remains a mystery.
But Cain made it clear that he is running on a unique strategy that is proving successful, based on his high poll numbers.
In the Des Moines Register’s most recent poll, Cain led the GOP pack at 23 percent. Oddly enough, he has spent far less time in Iowa than many of his competitors.
Cain was coy about his strategy as he made his way from Birmingham to Montgomery and then Huntsville.
“I don’t want my competitors to know my total strategy and quite frankly, the pundits who say we have the wrong strategy, I want them to continue to think we have the wrong strategy,” said Cain. “But we have been to the early primary states. Here’s what the pundits are missing. We developed a base of support last year and it didn’t go away. So we don’t have to try to build support at the last minute. Are we going back to the early primary states soon? Yes.”
Despite his high poll numbers, Cain has suffered serious public missteps in the last two weeks.
Most notably he called for an electrified fence at the southern border of the United States to keep out illegal immigrants, something he later called a joke. He also had to explain his pro-life stance in light of some seemingly pro-choice statements made in an interview with Piers Morgan.
Campaign staffers blamed the faux pas on a grueling campaign schedule. His misstatements, they said, were the result of him being overtaxed and tired, even saying that the Cain would “dial down” his travel and appearances.
Cain explained, “I wouldn’t say we’re going to dial it down. We’re going to be more deliberate on the type of things we do when I have a very full schedule. For example, in retrospect doing a taped interview following a debate, following some interviews, probably wasn’t a good idea because. You know I’m only a human being. And you reach a point where if you’re too tired, you’re not on your a game. When we say dial it down, we simply mean we’re going to balance it out such that I can be on my a game every time I have to do an interview.”
Most of the venues that Cain went to in Alabama attracted a swell of supporters.
Three of his five events on Friday were standing room only, with many well-wishers missing the chance to take a picture or get an autograph from the former Godfather Pizza CEO.
Many were just happy that he had decided to visit their state.
Cain even shared a few predictions for the upcoming primaries and caucuses.
“I predict that we will win South Carolina. I will predict that we’ll finish first or second in Iowa, first or second in New Hampshire,” said Cain.
Why South Carolina?
“We have also been building a base of support in South Carolina for quite some time. That’s what a lot of people don’t see, a lot of you don’t understand. We didn’t just start campaigning,” Cain said. “I started testing my message with people in these various states over a year ago, so we feel very good about South Carolina.”
Cain reiterated the same message during his tour. As a businessman and a problem solver, he will make a better president than the other career politicians he is running against. More importantly, he drilled that he could beat Barack Obama in 2012, and save the nation which he said has been “hijacked”.
At all of his stops, Cain discussed his 999 plan, insisting that any and all attacks against his plan stemmed from those who couldn’t come up with a better one.
Cain said his competitors and those in Washington, D.C. were scared because the American people “got it.”
“Nothing makes a politician more angry than if the people get it. Because then you will hold their feet to the fire. It’s been attacked on a lot of false grounds.”
Cain repeatedly referred to the bulls-eye and bullet holes on his back.
“Pain never felt so good.” he told a crowd in Montgomery.
Cain rejected all notions that he has made tweaks to his 999 plan to counteract criticism that his plan is regressive on the poor.
“Some are saying that I’ve already started to tweak it. No I didn’t. They just didn’t read the whole plan in the first place. 909 isn’t a tweak. It is the poverty exemption that was already there. I said at the debate, go read it.”
Cain also spoke about his lack of foreign policy experience, comparing himself to Ronald Reagan, saying that more important than having experience, he had a foreign policy philosophy.
His philosophy is built off of Reagan’s policy.
It’s something Cain calls “peace through strength and clarity.”
Without providing any specifics, Cain maintains that his plan is focused on clarifying who America’s enemies are. He even alluded to using ballistics weaponry in dealing with Iran and any threats to the state of Israel.
Since winning the Florida Straw Poll last month, Cain fundraising totals have skyrocketed, reportedly $3 million in the last month.
“We are staffing up rapidly contrary to popular TV belief. We’re also raising money to be competitive. We got people stepping forward that want to help us and so this campaign is taking off,” he said. “And even though some of the pundits still think that the Cain campaign, three weeks ago, was going to be the flavor of the week, like some of the others. Four weeks later, the Cain campaign still tastes good.”