(Lori Piotrowski) – “The voice of the people is more powerful than the voice of the media.”
So began a teleconference with Herman Cain on Wednesday afternoon.
“The media has said, and they’re trying to make, this is a two-person race. It’s not. It’s a three-person race.”
Cain won the Florida straw poll, besting both Perry and Romney by nearly double.
“Perry and Romney spent a considerable amount of money to influence the outcome of that poll. I rented a bus and went around the state telling people about my 9-9-9 plan.”
One of the first questions was about other poll results showing Cain a strong leader. When questioned about a Steve Sebelius article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal in which the journalist scoffed at the idea of straw polls carrying weight in the presidential race, Cain responded, “He doesn’t have a clue. He is stuck in the paradigm of how things are normally determined. He’s out of touch as are others in the media.”
“Those who attended Conservative Leadership Conference [in June] and those who participated in other straw polls are the real folk. Steve’s ignoring the reality of what’s going on. The citizen’s tea party movement is not just the Tea Party organization. People are organizing. Stay tuned.”
asked about his 999 plan, Cain said, “This is a bold plan to boost economic growth and jobs in this economy: 9% business flat tax, 9% personal flat tax, and 9% national sales tax.”
“This will collect the same amount of review but it eliminates all the loopholes. It puts all businesses, big and small, on the same footing. It’s fair. It won’t matter whether you’re an S corporation or a C corporation.”
He explained, “People like the plan because it’s straightforward and easy to understand. They will be able to prevent Congress from raising the 9% to 10 or 11. And the legislation will be written to require a supermajority win in the Senate to change the plan.”
“If we get my 999 plan passed, we will have gotten a hold of the spending in Washington.”
Cain talked about the difference between personal attacks on candidates versus attacks on their policies. “You’ll see me distancing myself from Romney and Perry based on economic growth and jobs plans. Perry doesn’t have a jobs plan. Romney has one, but it’s 160 pages long and is based on the current tax code. My plan throws out the current tax code, and it’s simple. You could use one page, front and pack.”
A reporter asked Cain about how he might reach out to Ron Paul supporters.
“By the time we get to Nevada, they’ll see that I’m ranked so much higher in the national polls than Congressman Paul. I have a realistic economic and jobs growth plan. When they look at my solutions and not just my rhetoric, they’ll see that I have specific proposals. I’d ask them to consider that the movement to elect a nonpolitician is real. They can continue to try to elect Paul, but he’s still a politician. Romney’s a politician. His economic plan is a political proposal. I am not a politician, which many people are beginning to appreciate.”
Discussion began to center on new polling data. A Zogby poll shows Cain with 28% of the vote while Perry has only 18%.
Cain said, “In last month, Perry has gone from 41% to 18% because of missteps in politics, positions, and in the debate. My figures, on the other hand, have gone from 8& to 28%.
Another recent poll from Gallup ranked Cain at 26% in positive intensity although not so well in name recognition.
“When you consider I’ve been moving up, I may not be first all the time, but I’m not going to be last. Who will be able to beat Barack Obama? The evidence I’m putting on the table is pretty convincing,” he said.
Moving to the topic of Nevada and the lack of other presidential candidates campaigning, Cain couldn’t offer a reason for their absence. “Nevada matters because the delegates you pick up here may determine whether your campaign continues. I happen to believe that the determination of the nominee will not be done as it has in the past where a few states make that decision. Every delegate vote counts.”
Like many other candidates, Cain has written a book, This Is Herman Cain!. My book comes out next week and it’s filled with success stories and humor so I don’t think Perry and Romney will have anything to critique. It’s my story about my path to the white house, no policies.”
Cain concluded the call advocating for listeners to participate in the process.
“The voice of people will be the ultimate determinant of who wins the nomination and the presidency. The 2012 election is the most important ever.”
“If you believe in democracy and liberty,” he continued, “like chef Emeril Lagasse says, ‘We’ve got to kick it up a notch.’ I kicked it up a notch, and now I’m running for president. What will you do to kick it up a notch?”