Roundtable: Can Cain Stay on Top?

George Will, Cokie Roberts, Ron Brownstein, Austan Goolsbee, and Dick Armey.
12:25 | 10/30/11

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Roundtable: Can Cain Stay on Top?
We obviously they're excited about. And I think it just goes to show. That even though the pundits have been criticizing me. But -- dividend outlook. We have done a lot of work. -- -- you -- How to maintain an Alabama last night -- for first place finish in the Des Moines Register poll. And getting to the top and staying there are two very different things the real question ten -- go the distance so let's bring in our roundtable George Will. -- developments Austan Goolsbee the form ahead of president Obama's council of economic advises and Ron Brownstein of the National Journal. So you just heard what Herman Cain said -- vols seem to Des Moines, Iowa poll George. Easy going to stay that can he keep up this momentum. -- of the future like the past which it only doesn't which it always is until it doesn't include the general. Conception shows that -- -- -- you have to do intricate organizing county by county get the buses get him -- caucus night in January all of that. Maybe you don't anymore. But -- my feeling is that Iowa Caucuses are light years from you know the old axiom that -- a long time and -- for ever in American politics and no -- voted. And -- indeed aren't paying attention yet and Herman Cain is. Just this week's or this two weeks not Romney. Mean we we have had an entire season of not Romney's. Whether it was -- whether it was Rick Perry. This is this weeks and until the Republicans -- they decide that somebody really is the not Romney or Romney is going to be the nominee. We're gonna keep having these people -- Out an effective -- register poll if you look at it is internally very consistent we saw in the four other polls cannot this week -- times in polls in Iowa New Hampshire South Carolina. And -- all the early states and the pattern is -- everywhere. There is a half of the party that does not identify with the Tea Party that are not evangelical Christians and they are steadily consolidating around -- still got problems with them and that includes endorsers and drivers and fund -- from and it -- numbers and all -- these states double digit advantage with that side of the party but the other side -- -- part of the Tea Party supporters evangelical Christians are very -- I was 60% of the vote 2008. They don't want Romney but they haven't been able to settle on one candidate who says it's K now it was -- before Bachmann Palin trump. Not clear that this is where the movie finger stops right -- I would say I do think it's not just anti -- I think there is a bit of a clamor that Herman cain's got something that they perceived as a new idea. And so he's -- -- 999 plan and most of the others are just kind of staying back and trying to say as little as possible. Must maintain a mile long shot and -- -- as -- -- is really -- -- -- bitumen that is -- let me just bring in former congressman Dick Armey who is overseeing leading voice in the Tea Party. I'm coast and are you embracing Herman Cain and if not why not. Well -- -- Speak for myself a lot of folks cross country -- through my associate. We -- -- McCain's authenticity. But one thing you can say clearly it is not a politician. He -- criticized -- apologizes for being too amateurish. Make -- all the wrong moves. Yet he's got a personal record on our accomplishment. That none of them can match in terms of his personal life and what. What how often he got the job done. He straight forward -- in the way he talks in eight years ago campaigned very directly and in a matter that doesn't seem to be. Beleaguered by an excess of advice from political professional atheist at a -- -- -- he is not one of them so there. For he would make him very attractive to us. Of the new standard bearer B -- Michelle Bachmann had that. Title that position that Celtics sensitive position during during the some -- -- is he now it for you. Anything he has staying power. -- the fact is this little long term process we we enjoy having people in the race make their point of -- And right and we we you'd like Herman Cain a great deal we don't think he's got the best economic plan in the final analysis. We're concerned with what policies will in fact be implemented by a new administration working with a new majority in the house and -- senate. That will in fact move this economy forward. And give our kids majestic. -- to have a better job a job in the first place I know it's all about our grandchildren. An army as -- -- it's Governor Perry is really thin and you're waiting for right to see how he does and you like his economic plan designed stand. Well Governor Perry has -- has the scene. The first best public policy option to move employment forward growth economic growth forward and America is a flat tax. That's spread -- -- former bush got created it 1984. But he's also probably aware that for the for the first time. -- Americas meeting in Washington. Office holders. Are more responsive to people at large rather than special interest so we have a chance to actually -- -- -- and mineral policy -- what you're hearing. Here though is this hope on the part of a lot of Republicans that Rick -- can pull it out that he is he's just not done so far because that I -- really underscores I think the risk for conservatives which is there may never be a majority in the Republican Party that affirmatively wants to nominate Romney but it majority does not coalesce behind a single candidate. He could be in effect a plurality. A plurality nominee and that right now -- the poll like this. That's the directions hitting somebody and and Dick -- -- told me this week they might feel compelled to endorse one of the conservative candidate because they need to have some unity if they are going to stop -- that he clearly a question about Saddam construct Romney -- run tickets that are doing math -- and -- -- certainly -- is just -- serial changes of mind and assisted on pay for 12 because you know -- -- -- putting them out of Albany but. We've seen that -- a collapse in Atlanta the debate -- This is what he told Fox News this week about these today. These debates are set up for nothing more than that -- -- a candidate. All there -- arrested -- is stirring it up between the candidates instead -- really talking about the issues that are important. He says he's going to do the November debate that we don't know about any future debates is that. Is that important should be mean does he need to stay in those debates the disease do something else. He needs to do better in the debate he's going to be of them didn't -- what -- does count and we. Just assert that these debates are preposterous -- traction from the nation's understanding. They're not debates -- serial press conferences -- on the stage you can't have a debate does anyone remember what Lincoln and Douglas did the first. -- candidate talked for hours. The second candidate for an hour and half but -- the better -- If you want them to talk for hours -- Look ready to live this in this well on both sides but especially on you know extended democratic primary. In 2008. And it is true that. All but one thing that happens is if prone to little snippets coming out that -- that -- -- but. I will say he also saw a certain discipline. Preparing you for what will be ready to open all the -- the general campaign if -- stopped -- to the debates I think. I think what I want to flat tax plan well that's what he's trying to everybody's suddenly in love with these. On the debate the that chances that even though they don't -- what they do do is. Constantly. -- and the present. Mean that is what you have -- -- settlements -- that you and I do think it in that case when you have a long primary. On you know on one party and not the other. That the message of the party that is anti the incumbent in this case. Really does happen. -- in his second annual -- -- on the debate that answers Georgia's correct point from before the way you run for president may be changing. The debates really have become a form a public finance. They are allowing candidates to stay in the race have been unable to build the kind of fund raising -- organizational structure or even brought support in the polls that would have been required the weeding out process is being changed you can go on these debates. Get 56 million people watching and only about 20/20 five million people traditionally vote -- the -- primaries. You're reaching a big part of the audience all these candidates -- able to -- 8910%. Probably helps Romney in the end because it continues to divide up that vote that is resistant to him. But is part of this way that running for president is changing is becoming a national audition. In which voters everywhere -- being exposed to the same national media. And this on the ground organizing in -- natural I'm not a relevant is less. Important was once and then it just us but the issue now the flat tax means that it gaining so -- steam with the Republicans. Rick Perry's fan basically in the conceded that a person can choose whether to keep fighting -- the -- -- it will pay 20% flat tax. It also promote preserves a number of popular deductions the household. Bringing in -- on the 500000. Is that an -- of something for everybody. No it's a little something that would. There's a lot of the white guys like that tax version of we're gonna try to bring back the leisure suit I think we went on the stroke. Forty years ago we thought we went through -- -- when we get down of the flat text you're going to find it's a huge tax -- for high income people to raise the same revenue it has to raise taxes on the middle class. The only way to avoid doing that is to make it a huge revenue loser so I think that the thing that's interesting to come out of the Republican candidates. Is that if you look at -- if you look at Perry if you look at Romney. They each put forward is not just. Refusing to have taxes go up that we raise any revenue was part of the super committee -- a balanced way. What they're actively arguing for multi trillion dollar tax cuts centered on the high in -- and I think I don't see how the super committee survives cancer. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- In all ordinary poppycock bridges are and -- you know part of the party liners the fact that matters all across Eastern Europe. And throughout the history of its implementation. -- -- world economies. The flat tax has proven to be the best growth engine for the economy now let's put it within the context of the growth in incomes go up for everybody. And you treat everybody the same. Why I don't understand why. All these romantic egalitarian is out there hanging around the left wing of American politics. -- except. That fare is treating everybody exactly the same as everybody Allah put on the -- right now we ever grotesquely. Unfair and brutal facts is that. That repressed as the economy and is destructive to our spirit. Let's replace it with -- that's decent honest and fair and has no mission except to raise enough revenue for the guy. And I think -- -- aren't really you'd find them off a lot of businesses businesspeople disagree with you there are mainly -- deduction for health insurance has been something they have used to -- Deductions on mortgages of course and -- -- charitable giving supporting universities and and then -- -- one of those romantic egalitarian was a private citizen named Mitt Romney. Who in 1996 took out full page newspaper ads in Boston and New Hampshire and Iowa saying that the flat tax was -- that was a tax cut. What backpacks because it is not it because even though it intact -- all wages at the same level it completely exempt. Interest dividends and capital gains from taxation. And -- because as those concentrate in the top do in -- provide substantial benefits for those -- top of the latter. We're out of time thank you that it. You know Kenya and outlets are icons and lining for the last year. That really really obvious -- -- -- -- -- all these tax -- This takes them away.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"12:25","description":"George Will, Cokie Roberts, Ron Brownstein, Austan Goolsbee, and Dick Armey.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/ThisWeek","id":"14844744","title":"Roundtable: Can Cain Stay on Top? ","url":"/ThisWeek/video/roundtable-cain-stay-top-14844744"}