Conservative businessman Herman Cain, who is mulling a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama’s “leadership weaknesses” are becoming apparent. And Cain insists that he can defeat Obama at the polls.
Cain, a newspaper columnist and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, also says the United States can achieve energy independence if Obama allows the country to exploit its abundant natural resources fully.
Cain won a straw poll at a meeting of tea party activists in Arizona earlier this month. And a Gallup poll released Tuesday showed Cain with one of the highest "positive intensity scores" of all the potential GOP presidential candidates.
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In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV on Wednesday, Cain, who calls himself an “ABC” for American black conservative, discussed his possible presidential run.
“In January we officially announced the presidential exploratory committee,” he says.
“That’s when you put your toe in the water. Well, the water’s now up to my neck. We’re working toward making a definitive statement, go or no go, within the next couple of months.”
Asked whether he believes he can defeat Obama in 2012, Cain responds: “Yes I do. Here’s why: I’m not a politician. I’ve never held public office. One of the questions I’m asked is, since you’ve never held public office, do you think voters are going to vote for someone who is a businessman problem solver? My response is, you’re right. Most of the people in Washington have held public office. How’s that working out for you?”
“I happen to believe that because of my business experience as a problem solver, a lot of voters are going to recognize that.”
As for Obama, “I think his leadership weaknesses are becoming more and more apparent to more and more people.
“He didn’t surround himself with the right people.”
The price of gasoline keeps rising, pushing food prices up, yet Obama resists a significant expansion of oil drilling and “voters going to make him to pay for that next year,” Cain asserts.
“Voters are not stupid. When you go to Brazil and loan them $2 billion so they can enhance their drilling capabilities and then tell the Brazilians, we’re going to be your best customers,” voters will respond.
Obama said in Brazil last month that the United States looks forward to buying oil that nation drills offshore.
“Cain adds: “We’ve got oil in the outer Continental shelf, we’ve got oil in Alaska, we are the OPEC of coal, we are the OPEC of natural gas — in other words, we have all the resources that are necessary to become energy independent — yet this president puts moratoriums on our ability to drill for oil and he goes and helps other countries to drill for oil.
“The voters understand that. They’re getting that message.”
Cain is critical of Obama’s decision to intervene in Libya without congressional approval. Asked whether he considers that an impeachable offense, Cain says: “I think it is. I also think it’s an impeachable offense to order your Justice Department not to enforce a law here in the United States, the Defense of Marriage Act. That is a breach of oath.”
As for Libya, “The members of Congress are going to have to deal with whether they buy his explanation as to why he didn’t go to Congress first. You don’t take this country into war without getting the approval of the United States Congress.
“The three questions I had hoped Obama would have answered [about Libya] are, number one, what is the mission? It’s not real clear. Number two, are we going to have to commit men and women in uniform directly in what is going on in Libya? If our men and women are going to be put at risk, the American people want to know that.
“Number three, the American people want to know, do you have a plan for exit, for victory, and how do you define that?
“Obama criticized President Bush for not answering those questions relative to Iraq, now he has not answered those questions relative to Libya.”
Cain created controversy when he declared that, as president, he would not appoint a Muslim to his cabinet or to a judgeship because they could favor the imposition of shariah, strict Muslim law. The Council on American Islamic Relations accused him of bigoted speech.
“They can accuse me of bigoted speech all they want,” Cain counters.
“I want people committed to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States in my administration. I don’t have the time or the desire to worry about somebody or some faction that wants to impose shariah law on this nation. I believe in American laws in American courts.
“The First Amendment says everybody can practice whatever religion they choose. [Muslims] are free to practice their religion in the United States, just like all other legitimate religions. But they are not free to infuse their religious beliefs into our laws. We don’t do that in the United States, and if I’m president I’m going to work to keep it that way.”
Cain also says the Obama administration has shifted U.S. foreign policy away from Israel and closer to the Muslim world, and has been “noticeably silent” regarding our support of Israel.
“We should make a real strong statement about how we stand with Israel,” Cain declares.
“Israel is not only our strongest ally in that part of the world, I believe we should make it stronger. If I were president there would be no uncertainty about what the United States would do if in fact someone attacked Israel and they tried to defend themselves. I think we should let the rest of the world know how we would back them up if they were to be attacked.”