Herman Cain surges in the polls; can he keep his momentum? – The Washington Post





Herman Cain continues to make his mark on the 2012 GOP presidential race. On Monday, Cain met with real-estate mogul Donald Trump, something many other prominent Republican contenders have done during their campaigns. The Fix’s Rachel Weiner talks about why kissing The Donald’s ring is a must-do stop on the GOP primary tour:

Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain is visiting Donald Trump in New York City on Monday. He is just the latest 2012 Republican presidential contender to meet with the mogul.

Trump famously took former Alaska governor Sarah Palin to Famiglia’s in Times Square this summer. But what seemed at the time a publicity stunt for two reality TV stars was actually the start of a trend. Texas Gov. Rick Perry , Rep. Michele Bachmann , and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney have all met with Trump.

Why are all these real candidates kissing Trump’s ring?

Trump polls badly. He’s not known as a good fundraiser. But he is on television constantly, and consultants argue that anyone that ubiquitous should be courted a little. Like most things, Trump’s power is the media’s fault.

“However anyone thinks about him, he’s an influential person,” said Bob Honold of Revolution, a Republican consulting firm. “Anyone covered that much is worthwhile to have a discussion with.”

Meanwhile, Cain, the lone African-American candidate in the GOP primary field, slammed GOP contender Rick Perry for a story in the Washi ngton Post that detailed a racially-charged term painted on a rock outside of Perry’s West Texas hunting camp..

On “Fox News Sunday” and ABC’s “This Week, Cain slammed Perry as “insensitive:”

“There isn’t a more vile, negative word than the N-word,” Cain said on “Fox News Sunday.” “And for him to leave it there as long as he did before he painted over it, it’s just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country.”

On “This Week,” Cain didn’t hesitate to point to the slur when the show’s host, Christiane Amanpour, was more cautious.

“The name of the place was called niggerhead. That is very insenstive. I think that it shows a lot of insensitivity for a very long time.”

Cain is surging in the polls, landing at 17 percent in a Fox News poll released last week. But he is also a controversial candidate, as the Post’s Nia-Malika Henderson reported last week. Cain was the talk of cable news when he said that African-Americans were “brainwashed” into supporting Democrats and President Obama:

Almost lost amid the buzz this week over the possibility that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may seek the Republican nomination for president was the potential rise of a candidate already in the race: Herman Cain.

After a series of impressive debate performances and a new poll showing him in third place, he is the latest GOP candidate to ride the boom and bust, we-love-you-we-love-you-not cycle of this year’s volatile race.

The former Godfather’s Pizza executive, in his double-breasted suits and gold-colored ties, has wowed debate audiences with his preacherly cadence, his humor and his pizza slogan-worthy 9-9-9 approach to tax policy. (That would be a 9 percent income tax, 9 percent corporate tax and a new 9 percent national sales tax.)

Heard of Cain’s 9-9-9 tax reform plan, but confused about what it really means and if it would help jumpstart the struggling U.S. economy? Post reporter Sandyha Someshekhar asked experts and gave us the wonky details:

If you know one thing about Herman Cain, it’s probably that he used to be the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza.

If you know two things, then you have likely heard of something called “9-9-9.”

That is the Republican businessman’s catchy shorthand for his tax reform plan. It has become the centerpiece of his upstart campaign for president, which got a boost recently when he surprised the political establishment by winning a closely-watched Republican straw poll in Florida.


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