WHNT Exclusive: Herman Cain Previews Alabama Primary, Hammers Obama
Former presidential candidate Herman Cain called the upcoming Alabama primary a “critical” contest while also blasting President Obama on gas prices in an exclusive sit-down interview with WHNT News 19 on Friday.
The Georgia businessman and one-time GOP frontrunner talked politics with WHNT News 19's Nick Banaszak during a stop in Huntsville, and addressed the allegations that sunk his own presidential bid just months ago.
Cain has been on the campaign trail stumping for fellow Georgian Newt Gingrich, who may have to win Alabama to continue beyond next week. On Thursday, Gingrich's conservative rival Rick Santorum hinted to WHNT News 19 that Gingrich should drop out of the race if he fails to take Alabama, saying "the writing would be on the wall". Cain said it was too early for such a decision.
"I'm not denying the fact that right now the numbers are not on Newt Gingrich's side," said Cain, who endorsed the former Speaker of the House earlier this year. "But, I would rather wait till the voters vote on Tuesday, then see what the numbers suggest. With Speaker Gingrich being in the position he's in, that means his performance in Alabama and Mississippi are going to be critical."
Cain's meteoric rise in the polls peaked when he visited Huntsville in late October 2011. He recalled the decision to end his candidacy just days later, after a barrage of sexual harassment allegations from multiple women. None of those claims have ever been verified or proven.
"It was harder to decide to stop running than it was to decide to run," said Cain. "The only thing I regret was not being able to go all the way until I was beaten fairly and squarely. I wasn't beaten fair and square."
When asked if any of the allegations actually happened, Cain gave a firm response.
"No, they did not, and we are not done with the process yet, "said Cain. "Unfortunately in the court of public opinion, you're guilty until proven innocent...It was painful to my wife and my family to hear the lies spun over and over and over. That's why I got out of the campaign."
The former candidate has also been busy pushing his new "Cain Solutions" tour, a program he says is designed to solve America's most pressing challenges. Cain said gas prices were at the top of the list, and took President Obama to task for the latest price spikes at the pump. He called current domestic oil production policies woefully inadequate.
"President Obama made the statement he can't do anything about this immediately," said Cain. "That may be true, but he could have done something three years ago. They [Obama administration] want gas prices to go up, because they think it's going to force conservation. High gas prices are not going to force conservation. High gas prices are stupid. I said it, you quote me on it...I'm just passionate about this because of the way this president has played the American people for fools."
Cain said a future presidential run was unlikely, but did not close the door on it.
"I'd never say never, but right now, not likely," said Cain. "But never say never, because there is your plan, and then there's God's plan."
Cain later addressed a rally at Stanlieo's Sub Villa on Jordan Lane, where he announced his support for Alabama Public Service Commission candidate Kathy Peterson. Peterson is running against two other Republican candidates in next week's primary.