Herman Cain Makes Republican Presidential Run Official

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 21, 2011   |   2:06PM   |   Atlanta, GA

Businessman Herman Cain made his bid for the Republican nomination for president official today with an announcement and campaign rally at Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, his home state.

“In case you accidentally listen to a skeptic or doubting Thomas out Herman Cain, 2012 Presidential Election there, just be to clear … I’m running for president of the United States and I’m not running for second,” he told the crowd of about 15,000. “We can turn this country around. We will make this country great again.”

“Let me tell you some of the reasons why I’m running for president of the United States.We have become a nation of crises,” he said. “And we’ve got a deficiency of leadership crisis in the White House.”

“When we wake up, and they declare the presidential results, and Herman Cain is in the White House, we’ll all be able to say: ‘Free at last! Free at last!,” Cain added, sounding at times more like a preacher than a candidate for president.

Cain has said he’s running “a bottoms-up, outside-the-box campaign,” as he said and plans to continue his operation outside the political mainstream by emphasizing that he is not an elected official.

But that has its advantages and disadvantages — as Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner points out.

“Cain is largely seen as somebody who is more likely running for a Fox News gig than for the presidency, and while I agree that he’s unlikely to win the nomination, there’s always the possibility that in the current environment an engaging anti-establishment voice could make some waves,” the conservative writer said in response. “His speech tapped into the sentiment shared by many Americans right now that the nation is in decline, and that President Obama’s policies are making things far worse. Conservatives may find his blunt talk refreshing.”

“Judging by his first debate performance, if Cain does gain any traction, he’s going to have to elaborate on many of his views, especially on foreign policy. During the debate, he criticized Obama for not having a clear foreign policy vision, but when asked for his own views, Cain largely punted, saying when he was president he’d look at the intelligence and talk to experts and craft a policy. If he really means it when he says he isn’t running for second, then he’ll have to do better,” Klein added.

Cain, a former Atlanta conservative talk radio show host and former candidate for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, is also the former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and is running on the Republican side along with former Georgia congressman and House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Cain’s announcement will be followed Monday by another one as

aides to pro-life former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he would make his own presidential announcement on Monday in Des Moines, Iowa, site of the very first votes for the Republican nomination to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama. Pawlenty has racked up a pro-life record on abortion and bioethics issues that has impressed many pro-life and conservative activists.

Cain and Pawlenty’s announcements would have them officially entering a Republican field that is ultimately expected to be less crowded than previously though thanks to decisions by Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump and Haley Barbour to not seek the GOP nomination. The Republican field is expected to have former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico and former Gov. Buddy Roemer of Louisiana. The question remains whether other potential candidates like Sarah Palin, Rep. Michelle Bachmann or Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will join the campaign.

Earlier this year, Cain delighted pro-life advocates when he announced his support for de-funding Planned Parenthood.

Cain said he supports revoking the federal taxpayer funding for the abortion business: “I support de-funding Planned Parenthood. “Tactically how [Congress] does it…I can’t tell you.”

The African-American then went further and talked about the racial overtones behind the founding of the abortion business by Margaret Sanger.

“You probably don’t hear a lot of people talking about this,” Cain said.  “When Margaret Sanger – check my history – started Planned Parenthood, the objective was to put these centers in primarily black communities so they could help kill black babies before they came into the world.”

“It’s planned genocide. It’s carrying out its original mission,” he said. “I’ve talked to young girls who go in there, and they don’t talk about how you plan parenthood.  They don’t talk about adoption as an option.  They don’t say, ‘Well, bring your parents in so we can sit down and talk with you, and counsel with you before you make this decision.’”

In January, Cain also went after Planned Parenthood.

He told American Family Radio’s “Focal Point” program that he is pro-life and opposes the agenda of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion business.

“I absolutely would defund Planned Parenthood — not because I don’t believe in planning parenthood, [but because] Planned Parenthood as an organization is an absolute farce on the American people,” he said.

Cain accused the abortion business of engaging in a racist agenda.

“People who know the history of Margaret Sanger, who started Planned Parenthood, they know that the intention was not to help young women who get pregnant to plan their parenthood. No — it was a sham to be able to kill black babies,” he added.

Cain also talked about his pro-life views in general and alluded to judicial appointments.

“I believe that life begins at conception, period. And that means that I will have to see enough evidence that someone I would appoint shares that same view. I believe that the current Supreme Court is leaning too much to the liberal side,” he said. “I’m a Christian, I’ve been a Christian all my life. I’ve been a believer in the Bible since I was 10 years old. I’m very active in my church, and there is no way I would compromise my religious beliefs about the sanctity of life. And so it starts with, will they have demonstrated in their career, in some of their other rulings, if they come from the federal judge bench, whether or not they also share that.”

“Because I believe that the principles that our Founding Fathers cherished, when they founded this country, and wrote the Declaration of Independence which inspired the Constitution, they were based upon biblical principles. I want to get back to those principles as president, if I run and get elected — not rewrite those documents,” he added.