GOP Presidential Candidate Herman Cain joins me in studio this week on The Brody File. Our panel this week is Robert Costa of National Review and CNN’s Shannon Travis.
Watch the show below. The in studio segment with Herman Cain is 19:30 or so into the show. A separate taped interview with Herman Cain is at the top of the show.
Transcriptions of key Herman Cain quotes from the show are below:
David Brody: Look, the naysayers have been around since day one with you. And then a couple of polls came out. Talk to me a little bit about the message for the naysayers. This thing's not over quite yet.
Herman Cain: The message for the naysayers is quite simply there is a disconnect between the naysayers and the establishment. And the real people out there. So the voters, the real people, they get it and they’re responding to my message of common sense solutions and they don't care that I’ve never held public office. When I mention this in a town hall meeting, they applaud.
The third thing that people are connecting with is my passion. They want someone who is passionate about this race, and passionate about America. One of the statements I make often is we are in fact an exceptional nation, we're just on an unexceptional track. That's why I’m running to get us back on an exceptional track.
Brody: How do you appeal to the evangelical voters? Because Michele Bachmann, she's probably going to get in, Pawlenty, Santorum, a couple others. But those are the primary ones because you're going to have to kind of compete, if you will, for that evangelical vote in Iowa, Iowa being so important.
Cain: Happen to think that the three of us will probably divide that up. People will decide on which style they like the best. The three of us have a different style. I think strictly from a spiritual standpoint, we are probably very equal in terms of how we feel on conservative issues, but I think it's going to be a matter of which style appeals to people the more.
Brody: Let me ask you, do you believe you have to win Iowa, or is second or third place okay with you?
Cain: I believe you have to finish in the top three because, Iowa, a lot of people have different opinions just like the everywhere else. But I believe that if you don't finish in the top three in Iowa, that doesn't send a good signal to New Hampshire. That doesn't send a good signal to the rest of the states.
So, I think we need to make a good showing, but I think we're going to make a good showing, that's why we're continuing to work hard.
Brody: Evangelicals believe the whole state of Israel and the security of Israel is a very important issue. I know you went on Fox News, and there was that whole thing with the right of return. And do you feel like you need a do-over on that, or was that a situation where it wasn't asked, or it was asked in a certain way and it was a tad bit confusing?
Cain: It was confusing because right in the middle of the interview, I was asked, how do you feel about the right of return? He didn't say Palestinian right of return, so I didn't immediately know what he was talking about, in all honesty.
But then when he said Palestinian right of return, my answer was, that's up to Israel. And I now understand why Israel doesn't just believe they should open up their doors. It could overflow the country. And secondly the people of Israel don't believe that they have a right to return based on what has happened.
Brody: The money situation. Show me the money. Is this a steady stream? Where are you? Is it flowing? Where is the tap on this water so to speak that has to have some dollar signs at the end?
Cain: I had to put in some initial money to get this campaign going. I cannot self-fund, I am not that kind of kagillionaire that can like some of these other people. God bless them, if they are but here's what happened. When I did the debate, and because of the showing in the debate, our online contributions and our contributions in general, they actually moved up. They started to double.
Then after I did my announcement rally on May 21 and we packed the Atlanta Centennial Olympic park with 15,000 people it moved up another notch.
Just a week ago, last week, when these two new polls came out, people are starting to say maybe the dark horse candidate is not so dark after all. It has picked up in a very nice way, but obviously, we hope that it continues.
Brody: Some of your potential biggest weaknesses out there. What is something you have to shore up?
Cain: I'm working real hard on understanding heads of state, on other countries around the world, being able to pronounce their names properly. Being able to have their proper title when I talk about them in that context. Yes, that is an area that I have not focused on because when I was doing my radio show, foreign affairs didn't come up that often in terms of what my listeners wanted.
They wanted me to talk about the economy, creating jobs; we talked a lot about immigration. We talked a lot about how do we how do we reform entitlement spending and Medicare. So I’m very conversant on those because I have had to interact with my listeners for five years when I was on the radio. So when it comes to other nations, friend or foe, I have a lot of homework to do, but I’m in the process of doing that homework to get up to speed.
Brody: If everybody votes for you, free pizza for everyone? Godfather's pizza for them?
Cain: I want to get them a job first so they can buy the pizza.