By Bryan Fischer
As I have written before (here and here), two names rise to the top when I survey the potential GOP field for 2012: Mike Pence and Herman Cain. Mr. Cain, the self-described “dark horse” candidate, has formed an exploratory committee, a move no individual makes unless he’s going to throw his hat into the proverbial ring.
Both Pence and Cain are wildly popular with the conservative base, with Tea Partiers, and with evangelicals. And Herman can electrify a room full of conservatives in a way that perhaps no one other than Sarah Palin can. Once he starts campaigning, he’s going to leave a vapor trail everywhere he goes.
My guess is that Cain will formally announce his candidacy at CPAC in less than a month.
Mr. Cain appeared on my program, “Focal Point,” yesterday, and went on record on a number of social issues, perhaps for the first time since forming his exploratory committee, and enunciated positions that will be reassuring to social conservatives looking for a horse to back next year.
But first, a word about fiscal matters. Cain, with a career as a business executive behind him - he did stints with Pillsbury, Burger King, and Godfather’s Pizza - has largely been known for his fiscal conservatism.
In his interview with me yesterday, he suggested five planks of an economic revival platform, including permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts, lowering the corporate tax rate to 25% (from its current 35%) to stop driving businesses out of the country, reducing capital gains taxes to zero to eliminate the penalty on risk-taking, and eliminating the tax on repatriated income that prompts corporations to keep their money overseas to avoid paying double taxes should they bring that money home.
Then Herman got pretty radical. His fifth proposal - which I heard for the first time yesterday - is a complete holiday on the Social Security tax, both for employers and for employees. A two-percent cut has gone into effect for workers (although not for employers), but for Herman, that’s not enough.
Here’s how he put it (emphasis added):
“Instead of a two-percent payroll tax holiday for employees, I would make it a full 6.25% payroll tax holiday for employees and employers.” That of course, would represent a significant boost to everybody’s take-home pay and give businesses more working capital to expand, raise wages, and create jobs.
He suggests that conservatives will need to accept raising the debt ceiling. “I think that they’re going to have to raise it. But they ought to get something for it, because the debt is going to blow through the ceiling anyway and I don’t want to damage the credit rating of the United States, which is what would happen.” (I disagree with Herman here; there is more than enough tax revenue to satisfy our debt obligations, which have the primary claim on tax receipts anyway. We don’t need to raise the debt ceiling if we’re willing to make necessary cuts in the federal budget. We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.)
Yesterday, perhaps for the first time since forming his exploratory committee, he declared his firm pro-life convictions and his opposition to the radical homosexual agenda.
I asked Herman how important the sanctity of life issue would be in his choice of a nominee to the Supreme Court. Here was his answer:
“I believe that life begins at conception, period. And that means that I will have to see enough evidence that someone I would appoint shares that same view. I believe that the current Supreme Court is leaning too much to the liberal side.
“I’m a Christian, I’ve been a Christian all my life. I’ve been a believer in the Bible since I was 10 years old. I’m very active in my church, and there is no way I would compromise my religious beliefs about the sanctity of life. And so it starts with, will they have demonstrated in their career, in some of their other rulings, if they come from the federal judge bench, whether or not they also share that.
“Because I believe that the principles that our Founding Fathers cherished, when they founded this country, and wrote the Declaration of Independence which inspired the Constitution, they were based upon biblical principles. I want to get back to those principles as president, if I run and get elected - not rewrite those documents.”
He pointed out that, by design, "seventy-five percent of all Planned Parenthood facilities are located in black neighborhoods,” and indicated strong support for defunding the nation’s largest abortion provider, in part because of its genocidal attack on the black community.
"I absolutely would defund Planned Parenthood -- not because I don't believe in planning parenthood, [but because] Planned Parenthood as an organization is an absolute farce on the American people. People who know the history of Margaret Sanger, who started Planned Parenthood, they know that the intention was not to help young women who get pregnant to plan their parenthood. No -- it was a sham to be able to kill black babies."
Cain expressed staunch and long-lasting support for the military’s ban on homosexuals and said he would never have signed the repeal bill were he president. “I supported ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and never would have repealed it.”
Another goal of the homosexual lobby is passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would give special workplace rights to individuals based solely on their participation in sexually deviant behavior. It further would expose any values-driven employer to a business-destroying lawsuit should he ever take abnormal sexual conduct into account in personnel decisions.
I asked Cain about whether, as president, he would veto ENDA if it made it to his desk, and he assured me that he would. Said Cain, “I would veto that relative to special rights to homosexuals.”
Bottom line: in Herman Cain, social conservatives as well as fiscal conservatives have a lot to like.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)