Barbour: I'd vote for Cain if the primary was today

Chris Christie’s endorsement not surprisingly went to Mitt Romney, but another governor who was originally urged to join the 2012 presidential race says he’d vote for Herman Cain if the primary was today:

“He is likable. He does not give you the impression that he is full of himself, but rather that he is a straight-talkin’ person who, will tell you, he calls it like he sees them. He’s not trying to sugarcoat anything and at the same time he is not trying to be shrill and a chest-beater. He is a straight-talker, and I think that makes him very, very attractive to people,” Barbour said on the Laura Ingraham Show.

Barbour also said that Cain would not have trouble in a general election against President Obama, a critique of some conservatives who don’t believe the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO would be viable in a nationwide race.

“If this election is where it ought to be, and that is a referendum on how President Obama is doing, Republicans are going to win,” Barbour said. “If Herman Cain is our nominee against Barack Obama, I think he’ll sweep the south.”

Barbour is right on the money: If the GOP can’t beat President Obama in 2012, what does that say about Republicans? It’s one thing if he wins reelection because the recovery really does take off. It’s another if Democrats message their way to a win, if they succeed in placing the blame on “Tea Party Republicans.” With the politics this president plays, a true and robust recovery is improbable but his reelection unfortunately isn’t unless the GOP fields a candidate who can keep the focus squarely on the economy and not on his own vulnerabilities as a candidate. Cain just might be the guy to do it. He definitely has the confidence for it. He told Neal Boortz just the other day he thinks he could easily mop the floor with Obama in a debate.

“Neal, it would almost be no contest,” Cain said. “I can talk about every issue two levels deep. Whether you’re talking about the economy, job creation … I can even talk about foreign policy deeper than he can. Immigration. Every issue, Neal. … He’s never been a part of the black experience in America. I can talk about that.”

Clearly, he’s not afraid to throw down the gauntlet. Straight-talker, indeed.

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