Herman Cain to Issue Endorsement Before South Carolina Vote

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 6, 2012   |   2:25PM   |   Washington, DC

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said during an MSNBC interview today that he expects to issue an endorsement in the GOP race before voters head to the polls in South Carolina.

Cain said he will endorse a GOP candidate two days before the South Carolina primary and, if a new interview with NewsMax is any indication, he will support Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum. He said those three candidates are the only ones left in the race who have a chance of both winning the Republican nomination and beating pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

“Those are the ones that I happen to believe that still at this point have the best of chance of getting the nomination, but I don’t believe that this presidential nomination process is going to be over with early,” Cain said in an interview with NewsMax Tuesday.  He said he would issue an “unconventional endorsement,” saying the only way to improve the field “is if I were still in it. But since I’m not in it, there are no others on the sideline that I am wishfully hoping that they jump in.”

Cain said he believes the GOP contest may last for months before a winner is ultimately decided because candidates can gain support quickly, saying, “I believe it is going to go all the way through Super Tuesday and possibly to the convention.”

“I know from experience what it is to run for president and how demanding it is — not only on you personally as well as physically — but also how demanding it is on your resources. And at this point, unless someone were willing to totally self-fund the campaign, it would be very difficult for them to garner some momentum,” said Cain.

Although Cain said today he plans to endorse, he worried in the NewsMax interview about the effect an endorsement would have:

“If I were to endorse a candidate it could divide my supporters. And if it divides my supporters, they might lose interest and my objective with my supporters and all of those people that consider themselves politically homeless is to make sure that people stay informed because there’s a lot of stuff out there,” he said. “I don’t want people to stay home. When John McCain was running as the Republican candidate in 2008, too many people stayed home because they weren’t excited about him.”

Looking at the three candidates he named, Cain said Gingrich as “one of the most knowledgeable candidates in the hunt for the presidency.”

“He is an idea person. He is a solution person,” said Cain. “One of his advantages was that he was in Congress for a long time and then he left.

About Romney, Cain said he likes his business background but added, “I’m concerned about the change in some of his positions because I happen to believe that the Democrats are going to basically pounce on his changes in position if he gets the nomination.”

Cain said Santorum is “an experienced politician — and I underscore he is an experienced politician.”

He doesn’t think Ron Paul or Rick Perry will be able to win the nomination.