Five Republican presidential candidates appeared at a forum in Columbia Monday. The event was hosted by the conservative American Principles Project.
Each of the candidates had 20 minutes to answer questions from Senator Jim DeMint, Iowa Congressman Steve King, and Princeton law professor Robert George.
Here is Georgia businessman Herman Cain, who is the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, as well as a former chairman of the National Restaurant Association. He also led the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in the mid-1990s.
Cain’s highlights mostly dealt with fiscal issues. He said he supported a constitutional amendment that would require a balanced budget. “The idea in Washington, DC for some is that if you reduce the growth, that’s a cut,” Cain said, “That’s not a cut. That’s deceiving the American people.”
He pushed what he calls a “9-9-9 plan.” That’s a nine percent personal and corporate income tax rate, as well as a nine percent national sales tax. He said that would spur economic growth. Cain said he would approach the deficit the same way he did as a businessman, with initial across-the-board cuts followed by “a deep dive in every agency to eliminate programs that are duplicative (and) outdated based upon performance metrics, and eliminate a lot of those programs.”
He stumbled during immigration questions from Rep. King, however. At first, Cain said he wants to see the United States increase the number of legal immigrants into the country, without a limit. However, when King told him that more than 50 million people are waiting to enter the country legally, Cain was caught off-guard and admitted “I don’t have an answer for that.” He did say he would support a policy that rewards merit for immigrants.