Exclusive interview with Herman Cain

posted at 8:48 am on April 12, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The SRLC is not the first time I’ve come into contact with Herman Cain, the activist and talk radio show host from Georgia.  Cain spoke at a couple of events where I also spoke, and as I told people in the media filing center, I had the misfortune of following him on one of those occasions.  Actually, Hugh Hewitt and I followed Herman at the Defending the American Dream summit staged by Americans for Prosperity, and while Herman was bringing down the house, Hugh and I exchanged looks that verified we were both thinking the same thing — Ah, nuts!

At the earlier events, I only met Herman briefly, but at this event, I had the opportunity to visit Herman in his hotel suite for a 12-minute interview.  Sometimes interviews can be dry affairs, when subjects attempt to stick to talking points and stay away from conversation.  Herman didn’t shy away from it, though, and you’ll see the results here.  I’ve always been impressed with his speeches, but I was even more impressed with Herman Cain after getting a chance to see how he thinks and how philosophically grounded he is in conservatism.  The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza knows how to run an organization, how to turn around a failing business, and more importantly, understands the proper relationship between government and private enterprise, a bit of which he shares with me in this interview.

Herman also addresses the big hint he gave about a possible presidential run at the end of his speech at the SRLC, in a remarkably open and honest way.  He’s not playing games here and not issuing non-denial denials, but genuinely attempting to ascertain if he can take conservative principles to a higher level and broader audience.  I’m hoping Hot Air readers will see Herman Cain as intriguing and as likable as I did.

Note: I apologize for the light level issue in this video; I should have asked Herman to switch positions with me to get rid of that backlight, but didn’t realize it was a problem until after I got back to my computer.


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Aw come on Ed, admit it: you were just trying to disguise the fact that he’s a black guy, just like MSNBC did with the “racist gun toting tea partier”! :-)

fivefeetoffury on April 12, 2010 at 8:51 AM

PS: one quibble about Cain’s SRLC big speech — that story about bees not being aerodynamically able to fly isn’t true:

http://www.paghat.com/beeflight.html

fivefeetoffury on April 12, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Mr. Cain, THE Godfather!

TugboatPhil on April 12, 2010 at 8:54 AM

and a new face emerges…… I’ve heard Mr. Cain on the radio a few times. I’d like to learn more about him. I didn’t know that he was the CEO of Godfathers. I ate a ton of that pizza back in the day.

ted c on April 12, 2010 at 8:57 AM

No problem, Captain. It’s about time you got your own halo./joke

ProudPalinFan on April 12, 2010 at 8:58 AM

I take that back. Post-tea party hangover. :-S

ProudPalinFan on April 12, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Yeah they have got accurate computer models that accurately reconstruct how a bumblebee flies these days.

I still think Herman Cain is the bomb.

Just think of the epic thrashing he would give Obama in a fair debate.

JABB on April 12, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Thanks for the interview, Ed. Cain is a good man with a excellent message. I’m looking forward to hearing more from him.

CTSherman on April 12, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Please don’t interview the CEO of Little Caesars Pizza, that stuff is so bad.

Bishop on April 12, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Sure; We know the lighting was done on purpose so he wouldn’t be assassinated like Palin.
He does need to be protected from the state run media.

Cybergeezer on April 12, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Black guy on camera in front of light. Classic Fail. Still a good interview, Ed.

mmoran0226 on April 12, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Herman Cain is FREAK’N AWESOME. If you people don’t listen to him then please start…AM750 in the evenings.

poppieseeds on April 12, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Does the left know about this guy yet? Shouldn’t someone tell them so they can call him a traitor to his race and generally try to destroy him?

EnglishMike on April 12, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Could “Cain’s Mutiny” be coming?

Mojave Mark on April 12, 2010 at 9:20 AM

I *loved* Godfather’s pizza! The stores were dumps, but the deep-dish pizza was to die for!

KS Rex on April 12, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Wow. What a cool guy. I don’t know about Pres, but he should run for something. There’s a desperate need for people like him in Congress.

Dongemaharu on April 12, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Nice follow-up interview after the speech, Ed. You do a great job in informing us, one of Cain’s reminders to affect positive change.

onlineanalyst on April 12, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Ed, Very nice interview. Much appreciated.

chaswv on April 12, 2010 at 9:29 AM

2 of my favorite people in the movement together for the first time. Cain/Morrissey ’12.

TedInATL on April 12, 2010 at 9:31 AM

The thing about Herman is he has worked hard and knows the truth that is why the left hates him.He is also inspirational for any one with a dream.

tim c on April 12, 2010 at 9:39 AM

This Mr. Cain is so refreshing. I hope he and more people like him with strong conservative principles start stepping up & speaking out( and throwing their hats in the election process) You can can almost feel the contrast between these NEW voices compared to some of the worn out(reach across the aisle) so-called Republicans’ unconvincing rhetoric that just happens to lean conservative right befor time for them to be re-elected. One thing for sure, if Mr. Cain would go up against Obama in an election, it would be interesting to see how Dems who are now constantly yelling “racists” would handle a true black conservative against a “historic half black sitting President” (not a derogatory statement) just a known fact that his mother is white. Now a race between these two would certainly be “historic” Mr. Cain would probably give courage to the blacks who really are conservatives who are now condemned & ostracised for speaking against Obama’s policies. Don’t give up, and continue to pray for God to expose the evil and defeat it with good.

kitkat-n.c. on April 12, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Wow! I have followed Cain for the past few years, but have never thought of him in terms of running for office. I think he would be a great candidate! He knows how to think on his feet, he is a true conservative, he is winsome and appealing– very important if he is to go over the heads of the media and congress to speak directly to the American public. Most importantly, he would serve with a sense of calling, not entitlement or because he is driven to gain power for power’s sake. As a side benefit, he would totally take the race issue off the table. I say, GO HERMAN!

gajaw999 on April 12, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Loved the speech AND this interview, but the second video stopped mid-thought. Is there more?

parteagirl on April 12, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Cain’s book “They Think You’re Stupid” should be a Must Read for all Hot Heads! :-)

Tony737 on April 12, 2010 at 9:50 AM

There’s a man in Dallas who is VERY similar to Herman Cain- he’s black, he’s unapologetically conservative, and he’s a pastor who feels God is calling him into public service. AND he’s a Republican running for congress in Texas US District 30. If he wins his run-off tomorrow, he’ll try to unseat Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson in November. His name is STEPHEN BRODEN and, like Herman, he’s the kind of guy we need in Washington! Check him out:

http://www.brodenforcongress.com

parteagirl on April 12, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Just think of the epic thrashing he would give Obama in a fair debate. – JABB

Remember when he took Bill Klintoon to school?

Cain: “If you increae the minimum wage, I’ll have to raise the price of my pizza or fire some people.”

Klintoon: “I like your pizza, i’d pay an extra couple of bucks.”

Cain: “Well sir, you make 200,000 dollars a year, you can afford it.”

Saaaa-LLLAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMM!!!

Tony737 on April 12, 2010 at 9:55 AM

I’m a cracker who wants Mr. Cain as my next-door neighbor. In fact, I want an entire neighborhood of people with this guy’s character…whatever color.

BuckeyeSam on April 12, 2010 at 10:06 AM

I just ordered a couple “Run Herman, Run!” bumper stickers from a site that prints and ships.

TedInATL on April 12, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Oh great. Just what we need. Another Republican with a calling from God.

Yeah, that’ll play real well.

By the way, I’d give my eye teeth if I could play golf three times a weeks and take cruises whenever I wanted. Way to go insulting half the retired population of Florida.

Jaynie59 on April 12, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Mr Cain would be a fantastic choice to replace the dissapointing Michael Steele as RNC chairman. Steele has turned out to be all hat and no cattle. Herman Cain has the hat, the cattle, and a big ol ranch to go along with it.

RobertE on April 12, 2010 at 10:40 AM

If there is another Presidential election, the winner will definitely be a dark horse. This will be a very, very different country in 2012 than it is now. NO ONE who is currently involved in national politics is saying anything like what needs to be said.

This guy sounds fine, sure. But there are hundreds more like him out there. But generalizations won’t be nearly enough. Anybody who wants a real chance at getting elected in 2012 is going to have to be talking, in detail, about massive cuts to federal spending. No one will be listening to anything else. And it’s getting a little bit late for anyone to start from scratch on that.

logis on April 12, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Yeah Ed, the 2nd video seems to stop mid-way through.. is there more? I’m really digging Cain, and his speech on the floor was fantastic. :)

Zippy_Slug on April 12, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Loved the speech AND this interview, but the second video stopped mid-thought. Is there more?
parteagirl on April 12, 2010 at 9:47 AM

More like mid-summation: “My point is, I believe we should abolish the tax code; I believe we should…”

DUDE!

This is the only part I care about. We all knew Cain a rabble-rouser and a great speaker; that was clear in his speech. We want the meat and potatoes, and that got cut off. All we got was the “chapter title,” that you both said wasn’t worth anything. Where is the rest of it?

Seriously, if you have notes, post them — now.

logis on April 12, 2010 at 11:13 AM

He’s a very good man. I voted for Herman against Saxby. I’m still disappointed that he didn’t win.

moonsbreath on April 12, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Armature video camera operators… Sheesh.. :))

Good interview though, I listened and didn’t watch is all.

tx2654 on April 12, 2010 at 11:30 AM

..DUDE!

This is the only part I care about. We all knew Cain a rabble-rouser and a great speaker; that was clear in his speech. We want the meat and potatoes, and that got cut off. All we got was the “chapter title,” that you both said wasn’t worth anything. Where is the rest of it?

Seriously, if you have notes, post them — now.

logis on April 12, 2010 at 11:13 AM

..Ed! What he said!

VoyskaPVO on April 12, 2010 at 11:32 AM

PS: one quibble about Cain’s SRLC big speech — that story about bees not being aerodynamically able to fly isn’t true:

http://www.paghat.com/beeflight.html

fivefeetoffury on April 12, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Cool. I had always wondered about that, since seeing a “bees can’t fly” science project in some old movie. I hadn’t realized it was as simple case of misapplying the wrong theory.

Count to 10 on April 12, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Like the part where he says God did not bring him thru the cancer bout just to vacation and play golf.It’s people like this who have been thru tough times and have been sucessful in business that this country needs to turn Washington on it’s ear.

ohiobabe on April 12, 2010 at 11:40 AM

I just ordered a couple “Run Herman, Run!” bumper stickers from a site that prints and ships.

TedInATL on April 12, 2010 at 10:13 AM
//
Where is that site?I’ve got good ideas for stickers but didn’t know of a place.

ohiobabe on April 12, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Cool. I had always wondered about that, since seeing a “bees can’t fly” science project in some old movie. I hadn’t realized it was as simple case of misapplying the wrong theory.

Count to 10 on April 12, 2010 at 11:39 AM

..bumblebees, guys, bumblebees.

VoyskaPVO on April 12, 2010 at 11:51 AM

As a Language Martinet, should I be surprised I’m the only one to notice the irony that, should he run and win the nomination, the GOP would follow McCain with Cain?

The Monster on April 12, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Cancer sometimes leads one to a spiritual awakening or a fast track to death. Usually, those who survive through a spiritual awakening has a good head on his shoulder. May he never falter in his endeavours.

-

TwilightStruggler on April 12, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Where is that site?I’ve got good ideas for stickers but didn’t know of a place.

ohiobabe on April 12, 2010 at 11:44 AM

I used makestickers.com, though there are others.

TedInATL on April 12, 2010 at 11:59 AM

I’ll finish Cain’s sentence for him: I believe we have to abolish the tax code… and replace it with the Fair Tax.

BTW, Cain has something called the Intelligent Thinkers Movement where you can sign up & get emails and action alerts.

Buy Danish on April 12, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Run, Herman.

The nation needs the type of debate that you can deliver.

Saltysam on April 12, 2010 at 12:16 PM

I like Herman Cain too. I’ve heard him several times. Peeps at hotair will know this is not racist b/c we all realize that the majority of the black race are high on the kool-aid but if you like Herman, check out Thomas Sowell. He has several posts at townhall.com and is linked on drudge. I’m surprised he is not discussed more often. Same character and background and he has never owned a race card.

It’s all about the character of the man. I’d support a ticket of Cain/Sowell 2012.

skeedro on April 12, 2010 at 1:09 PM

I used makestickers.com, though there are others.

TedInATL on April 12, 2010 at 11:59 AM
//
Thanks!:)

ohiobabe on April 12, 2010 at 1:16 PM

I used makestickers.com, though there are others.

TedInATL on April 12, 2010 at 11:59 AM
//
Thanks much!:)

ohiobabe on April 12, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Herman Cain spoke at the very first Fair Tax event here in Atlanta, GA, and he gave a real barnburner! I can understand how you felt, Ed. He is one charismatic man, and it was almost like an old-time revival preacher. The guy next to me said “I swear, if he keeps this up, I’m gonna start speaking in tongues!”

He is a BRILLIANT man, and he subs for Neal Boortz sometimes when Boortz is out. Plus he has his own show at 7PM on WSB Radio AM 750 every night. Join his “Intelligent Thinkers Movement” at his website.

MsUnderestimated on April 12, 2010 at 1:38 PM

He’s a very good man. I voted for Herman against Saxby. I’m still disappointed that he didn’t win.

moonsbreath on April 12, 2010 at 11:15 AM

I don’t remember this, when was it?

DanaSmiles on April 12, 2010 at 4:28 PM

The OP was a bit confused. It wasn’t Saxby Chambless, it was the other Georgia senator, Johnny Isakson, he ran against. It was the Republican primary in 2004. He did surprisingly well for being unknown at the time.

TedInATL on April 12, 2010 at 8:45 PM

Herman Cain is awesome.

You can live stream his radio show here:

http://streaming.wsbradio.com/_players/coxradio/index.php?callsign=WSBAM

It’s on from 7-10pm ET, M-F.

He fills in for Neal a lot, too.

Dave R. on April 13, 2010 at 7:52 AM