ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Talk show host and businessman Herman Cain yesterday announced that he’s forming a presidential exploratory committee, with an eye on challenging for the Republican nomination in 2012.
On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Cain – the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza – said he’s planning to use the coming months to determine his support among voters and donors.
He said he’s “confident” that he could defeat President Obama.
“Yes. If I didn't think I could -- if I didn't think I could win the Republican nomination, No. 1, and if I didn’t think that I could beat, in a political competition, President Obama, I wouldn't be doing this,” Cain told us.
“I had a new acquaintance ask me: Was I arrogant enough to be president. And my response was, I am confident enough to be president. So I am confident that -- after we go through this exploratory phase where we are going to test the amount of voter support, we're going to test the amount of financial support that I would be able to garner -- after I go through this phase and the decision is yes, trust me, I'm running to win. Not for a consolation prize.”
Cain had praise for the president’s speech last night in Tucson:
“He said the right things, and I think he set the tone,” he said. “That's exactly what you expect a leader to do. It should be a time for all of us to reflect upon the things that are really important, as well as reflect on toning down some of the incendiary rhetoric. So I thought that he did a good job in that respect.”
He also outlined some of his ideas for stimulating the economy, including making tax rates permanent, lowering corporate taxes and capital gains, and extending a payroll tax holiday for employees and employers.
“We can re-strengthen our national security, we can really get a handle on the immigration problems and we can really do something about cutting federal spending. That's where I'm going to focus on as I go forward in evaluating whether or not I am going to make a final decision to run for president,” Cain said.
Watch the full interview with Herman Cain HERE.
We also checked in with Susan Davis of National Journal about the president’s speech and the prospects for more cooperation in Congress in the wake of Tucson.
Watch that segment of “Top Line” HERE.