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Herman Cain on Principles & Values

Republican Businessman & Talk-Show Host


Exceptional nation: put "united" back into the United States

The people of this country believe that we deserve better than what we have. Why? Because America is an exceptional nation.
Source: Tea Party response to the 2012 State of the Union speech , Jan 24, 2012

Survived cancer by relying on his wife & their faith

I can deal with stuff if I know it. But when its thrown at you as a surprise, it's a SHOCK.

We were getting into our car--the surgeon's office was only 5 minutes from where we live--and [In 2006, my wife] Gloria and I were shocked coming out of the surgeon's office [after being told of liver cancer and colon cancer]. I'll never forget it. That was the first time that I was emotionally shaken. Gloria corrected me.

I drove us home and we prayed and then I said, "We'll figure out what we need to do." Gloria asked me, "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," I said.

"Do you need me to drive?" she asked.

"No, I can drive." Then I said, "This is a true test of my faith."

"Our faith,"

Source: My Journey to the White House, by Herman Cain, p. 93-96 , Oct 4, 2011

Married college sweetheart as soon as she graduated college

I do remember the date.It was magic from that moment on and so I didn't go out with anyone else. Neither did Gloria. And we dated and dated and DATED.

Then we made the biggest personal decisions of our lives: Gloria Etchison was beautiful. Let's face it; I was first attracted by her looks. And then I figured out she was also smart.

On our first date, we went to the movies. I don't remember which one, but After her graduation a year later, we were married. It was June 23, 1968.

Our daughter, Melanie, was born in 1971 and Vincent followed six years later. I asked Gloria to marry me and she said "yes." I was a senior at Morehouse when we formally got engaged and Gloria was a junior at Morris Brown.

Source: My Journey to the White House, by Herman Cain, p. 37-39 , Oct 4, 2011

Raised in segregated Atlanta of the 1950s and 1960s

But above all, he wanted to put my brother Thurman and me through college.

To make ends meet and still have a hope of making a better life for Thurman and me, It wasn't easy to raise a family in the segregated Atlanta of the 1950s and 1960s. Dad wanted a nice house and a nice car and to put away enough savings to provide for Mom in the event of his death. Mom and Dad were able to achieve their dreams because we didn't have government in the way as much as it is in the way today. Mom worked as a maid and Dad worked three jobs: as a barber, as a janitor at the Pillsbury company, and as a chauffeur at the Coca-Cola company. That was a typical experience shared by many Americans.

Source: My Journey to the White House, by Herman Cain, p. 15 , Oct 4, 2011

We've slid down the side of that shining city on the hill

Q: With regards to jobs, how are you going to turn this country around?

CAIN: Obviously starts with economic growth. I've already laid out how I would do that with my 9-9-9 plan. But what Americans are looking for in order to build their confidence is leadership. There is a severe deficiency of leadership in Washington, D.C. And once we fill that void, I believe the American people will begin to develop some confidence again. In terms of believing in this nation, Ronald Reagan was the one who said that we are a shining city on a hill. We've slid down the side of that hill. Americans want somebody who's going to lead them back up to the top of that hill. That's how we turn this country around.

Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL , Sep 22, 2011

Uniquely qualified to be America's CEO

It's great to join you all in this debate of ideas. Tea Partiers and all conservatives deserve to hear what our candidates think. My 40-year record as a job creator & a solutions-oriented leader makes me a unique & qualified candidate to be America's CEO. I appreciate the opportunity to communicate directly with the citizens' movement.
Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on Twitter.com , Jul 21, 2011

Tea Party checks the powers within the Republican Party

Q: What role do you think the Tea Party will play in the 2012 elections?

A: The Tea Party plays a large role in 2012 elections from the presidency to congress. It's a powerful voice in the conversation. It also plays a role in checking the powers within the Republican party and keeping us to our word on issues of the day. The Tea Party is as strong as ever because folks are concerned, if not fearful, about our move from Constitutional Government.

Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on Twitter.com , Jul 21, 2011

Focus on the Three E's: economy, entitlements, and energy

We don't just have one problem; we have a crisis of the three E's. We've got the economy, entitlement spending, and energy. We've got to simultaneously work on all of those so we can put 13 million to 14 million people back to work. That's what we've got to do. So it's not just a single issue. It is the multiplicity and the compounding effect of those three critical problems.
Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

American laws in American courts, not Shariah

Q: You recently said you would not appoint a Muslim to your Cabinet, expressing concern that "a lot of Muslims are not totally dedicated to this country."

A: First, the statement was would I be COMFORTABLE with a Muslim in my administration, not that I wouldn't appoint one. I would not be comfortable because you have peaceful Muslims and then you have militant Muslims, those that are trying to kill us. And so, when I said I wouldn't be comfortable, I was thinking about the ones that are trying to kil us. Second, yes, I do not believe in Sharia law in American courts. I believe in American laws in American courts, period.

Q: So, a purity test or a loyalty test? Ask a Muslim a few questions that you wouldn't ask of a Christian or Jew?

CAIN: Sorry. No, you are restating something I did not say, When you interview a person for a job, you are able to get a feeling for how committed that person is to the Constitution, in order for them to work effectively in the administration.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

Ran for president to make better world for grandkids

It's not about us. I was asked, "What ever gave you the crazy idea to run for President?" It was not something I aspired to do all my life. If you're familiar with my background, in many instances, I was propelled into a position of leadership.

This whole journey for me--and I didn't know it at the time--started for me on Jan. 22, 1999, when my granddaughter Celina was born. I didn't think I was going to make it back to the hospital from an out-of-town trip in time. But as God's will prevailed, I did get there in time. My wife came out and told me we had a granddaughter. We were both thrilled.

I went inside the delivery room, and my 39-year-old daughter said, "Dad, would you like to hold her?" I took this little 15-minute-old baby in my arms and I looked at that little face. The first thought that went through my mind wasn't about "How do I ensure her future?" but "What do I do to help make this a better nation and a better world?" And that's when my journey started in order to be here.

Source: 2011 Faith and Freedom Conference , Jun 4, 2011

Pledge's "under God" is a collective reaffirmation

Our Founding Fathers recognized a higher power in the formation of this nation when they said in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and that they are "endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights."

It was no accident that in some of our earlier years as a free and independent nation that our leaders added "In God We Trust" to all of our currency.

And to send a message to the rest of the world when Communism was on the rise in the 1950s, Congress added the words "under God" to our pledge of allegiance. They were not just words. It was a collective reaffirmation that we know the ultimate source of our greatness as a nation.

America's moral foundation does not need to be rewritten. It needs to be respected and taught to our children and grandchildren. It is the basis for our concept of freedom.

Source: Campaign website, www.hermancain.com/ "Issues" , May 21, 2011

OpEd: Apologist right out of black conservative playbook

Herman Cain gave a speech right out of the black conservative playbook in New Hampshire. Popular black conservatives perform their designated roles as mascots and apologists for white racism. They are "the good ones": black folks who do not complain or protest, who trust in white benevolence, and never rock the boat. Thus black conservatives fulfill a fantasy role for white conservatives who seek to minimize the role that centuries of discrimination, violent oppression and racism continue to play in contemporary American life.

Cain grabbed headlines in New Hampshire when he made a case for his presidential candidacy in racial terms. "There are some people who will say, `I'm not going to vote for another black guy because this one didn't work out,'" Cain told his audience. "And my response is, well, what about those 43 white guys you put in there? How did they work out? Don't condemn me because the first black one was bad.

Source: Chauncey De Vega, Salon.com, "Apologist for White Racism" , Mar 21, 2011

Liberals SIN: Shift the subject; Ignore facts; Name-call

Liberals employ the SIN-tactics. They don't have a strategy; they have an objective. The objective of the liberals is to destroy this country. The objective of the liberals is to make America mediocre like everybody else who aspire to be like America. But let me tell you something about mediocrity: it's not in America's DNA.

They are trying to destroy this country at all costs. They have only three tactics: S-I-N. They shift the subject; they ignore facts; and they name-call.

Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 11, 2011

2004: Won second place in US Senate Republican primary

When I ran as a conservative Black Republican in the 2004 election for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, the party faithful considered me as an outsider because I had not asked permission from the Republican Party leaders in Georgia, nor had I ever sought any elective office before. I won an impressive second place in the Republican Primary. It is this experience that has made me aware of the rising tide of the politically homeless. Democratic Party insiders are nearing political bankruptcy. I have seen how many Democratic candidates distort, ignore, and even change the facts to try to get elected. Although Republicans are not innocent in this regard, their political capital is on the rise. In fact, my own party has a unique opportunity to dominate the political landscape for decades if they do a better job of reaching out to the party outsiders with results, rather than waiting for outsiders to reach in.
Source: They Think You're Stupid, by Herman Cain, p. xv-xvi , Jun 14, 2005

US polarized: party divide; racial divide; economic divide

The polarizing labels and phrases used by our political leaders and elected officials have created three profound divisions throughout our country. I call these the party divide, racial divide, and the economic divide. The party divide is represented by the extreme partisanship that exists between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country. The second great divide in our country is the racial divide. Race is often abused by candidates and so-called Black leaders to keep voters neatly on their respective plantations. The third great divide in our country is the economic divide. Economics starts with education. The long struggle to achieve equal opportunities for success in nearly all facets of our society has resulted in great progress for all citizens.
Source: They Think You're Stupid, by Herman Cain, p. 53 , Jun 14, 2005

Religious faith & political views inextricably intertwined

We live in a nation where most people have conservative social and economic values and where most people try to live their lives according to the morals and values taught to them in church and by their parents. The majority of the public does not support removing the words "one nation under God" from our Pledge of Allegiance. They do not support removing the words "in God we trust" from our currency. They do not support presidents who carry on extra-marital affairs with interns in the Oval Office of the White House. Democrats simply cannot understand why most people involve their faith in making the big decisions in their lives. They cannot understand why people do not and cannot switch their faith on and off because of a notion of "separation between church and state"--a phrase that does not even appear in our Constitution! For most people, their religious faith, their personal and business lives, and their political views are inextricably intertwined.
Source: They Think You're Stupid, by Herman Cain, p. 75 , Jun 14, 2005

1986: As CEO, refocused Godfather's Pizza on brand identity

When I became CEO of Godfather's Pizza in 1986, it was a failing company. Our sales were declining & company moral was declining. Employees no longer knew the Godfather's mission. My #1 task was to get everyone to realize that we had a brand identity crisis. Our management team had forgotten, and our customer base had forgotten, that Godfather's made the best-tasting pizza. Why? Because we gradually stopped making the best-tasting pizza. As a result, we lost customers, we lost profitability, and we were losing our company. Strong messages are not enough, though, to create a strong positive brand identity. The messages must be credible. There must be substance underlying the message. At Godfather's we decided to have one goal-make the best-tasting pizza. To achieve this goal we had to eliminate a lot of barriers that prevented us from achieving this goal. It's called focus. The Republicans have started to drift in that direction by losing their focus on fiscal responsibility.
Source: They Think You're Stupid, by Herman Cain, p.105-106 , Jun 14, 2005

2004 decision to run for US Senate was divinely inspired

If you do not believe in God, you will not believe this chapter. I believe that my decision to run for the US Senate was divinely inspired. Indeed, this has been the case for every major career decision I have made in my life.

In May 2003, a fellow conservative suggested that I run for retiring Sen. Zell Miller's seat, so I prayed a lot about the idea. As I picked up my Bible, it slipped & fell open on the floor. I picked it up and noticed it was open to the book of Mark's 8th chapter. I stopped in my spiritual tracks: "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? This was not the first time I had read this verse, but it was the first time it seemed to jump off the page at me. It made me think about givin back more since I had been so blessed. At church the following Sunday, our pastor, preached a sermon titled "A Calling." He described a calling as "the intersection of your talents and human needs." I knew it was God trying to tell me something.

Source: They Think You're Stupid, by Herman Cain, p.185&198-199 , Jun 14, 2005

Think of yourself as the CEO of SELF, Inc.

Think of yourself as the chief executive officer (CEO) of a company called SELF, Incorporated. As the CEO, you are responsible for SELF's vision (dreams), as well as its operating strategy (how it will achieve its goals and vision). As SELF's CEO, your job is to obtain and allocate the resources to help you get there. That's what CEOs do. The other key part of the CEO's job description is to enhance shareholder value. SELF, Inc.'s shareholders are you, your immediate family, and your employer.
Source: CEO of SELF, by Herman Cain, p. 1-2 , Aug 1, 2001

Happiness equation: something to do + someone to love

Your dream as CEO of SELF is one-third of the happiness equation: Something to do, Someone to love, and Something to hope for. Most people have something to do, even if it is not what they prefer to do. Most people also have someone to love, even if it is only their pet. With most unhappy people, the missing component is the dream, the absence of something to hope for. But, if any component of the happiness equation is missing in your life, then you are, most likely, not happy.
Source: CEO of SELF, by Herman Cain, p. 88 , Aug 1, 2001

Unlikely candidates succeed under more uncertainty

If I wanted a chance at becoming a vice president at The Coca-Cola Company, I could remain with the company for a long time, get a position in fountain sales or marketing, and THEN work my way up, or I could go to another company. I chose to go to another company. The other reason I chose to leave Coca-Cola was its very successful, well-structured and conservative culture. There was no evidence that such a culture would lend itself to eventually promoting an unlikely candidate like me to vice-president. In fact, I would realize later in my career that the more uncertainty there is in a situation, the more often an unlikely candidate will be considered to handle it.
Source: CEO of SELF, by Herman Cain, p. 49-50 , Aug 1, 2001

To make decisions, a leader must be comfortable with risk

There is a lot of truth to the old saying that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. That means everything else in life is risky. Leadership is especially risky because every time you make a decision, you run the risk of being wrong --but you also run the risk of being right! Different people are comfortable with different levels of risk. Some people will bet all they own on an idea or hunch, while others would not bet one dime of someone else's money on a seemingly sure thing. A leader must be comfortable with risk in order to be able to make decisions. A leader must also be prepared to be wrong, but good leaders tend to make more correct decisions than incorrect ones. In fact, there really is no such thing as a right or wrong decision, just different consequences for taking different actions. If the consequences are desired, then it was a "right" decision.
Source: CEO of SELF, by Herman Cain, p. 66-67 , Aug 1, 2001

If right questions not asked, biggest problems go unsolved

In deciding whether to leave my comfortable VP job at Pillsbury to start over at Burger King, the right question was, "Will this put me in a better position to become president of a business?" I did not ask myself how hard the new job would be, what my friends would think if they saw me making hamburgers in a quick service restaurant, or what I would do if this new position did not work out as planned. These last three questions were not the right questions for a CEO of SELF, I was focused on my dream. If the right questions are not asked, then the real problems--the biggest problems--will go unsolved.
Source: CEO of SELF, by Herman Cain, p. 78 , Aug 1, 2001

Hope is key to happiness; happiness is key to success

Are you happy? That's the million-dollar question. If your answer is an unqualified yes!, then congratulations! You are doing the things want to do, you have plenty of love in your life, and you have something to hope for. If your answer to the question is a qualified yes, the process starts with a dream search. The most obvious place to start the search is in your heart. Throughout this book and my life, a central theme has been, "Hope is the key to happiness, and happiness is the key to success." What do you hope for in your heart. It may be something you used to dream about as a child or teenager, but circumstances caused you to put it aside.
Source: CEO of SELF, by Herman Cain, p.123 , Aug 1, 2001

Principles of happiness and success: you're the CEO of SELF

The CEO of SELF principles of happiness and success will affect the choices you make for the rest of your life. Let's summarize these principles before you take charge. Happiness is something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for. Hope is the key to happiness, which is the key to success. Success is a journey, not a destination. The road to happiness and success is not straight. Being in position to succeed is being on the right road. That road will always have speed bumps, potholes, and detours. CEOs remove barriers, obtain results, and inspire themselves. You are CEO of SELF. Choose to take charge. Life is about choices.
Source: CEO of SELF, by Herman Cain, p.137 , Aug 1, 2001

Make a strategic plan as CEO of SELF

A strategic plan is not a perfect set of steps. It is a guide in the learning process. As you execute the plan, you learn more and more about what works and what does not, which allows you to continuously refine tactics to make them work better. Taking charge of a company, a region, a restaurant, a department or a project involves the process of: [C] communication, [E] evaluation, [O] identifying opportunities forming the acronym C.E.O., and [S] strategic planning, [E] execution [L] learning [F] the fun of making it happen--or S.E.L.F. Taking charge of your success and happiness as CEO of SELF requires the same steps, but you must choose to take them.
Source: CEO of SELF, by Herman Cain, p.143-144 , Aug 1, 2001

Leaders must be self-motivated, focused risk-takers

A leader must be self-motivated, willing to take some risks and then willing to make the tough decisions. And he must have the ability to block out the unnecessary "stuff" to be able to concentrate on the necessary. There are the three critical qualities a leader must possess. I call these the D, E, and F factors.There are three critical things a leader must do. I call these the R, O, and I factors.
Source: CEO of SELF, by Herman Cain, p. 63-64 , Aug 1, 2001

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Page last updated: Feb 23, 2012