Potential presidential candidate Herman Cain reportedly spoke out on the issue of race during a recent stop in the early primary state of New Hampshire.
According to the Union Leader, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza said he believes that the country electing Barack Obama as its first African-American president could help his chances if he runs for the White House. The Granite State-based outlet relays what Cain had to say on the matter in an interview:
"Now people are over this first black President thing," he said. "But there are some people who will say, 'I'm not going to vote for another black guy because this one didn't work out.'
"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," Cain said with a smile.
Politico reported last Friday on additional comments Cain made during his trip to a group of New Hampshire Republicans about some within the African-American community taking issue with the nature of his views:
Cain said a man who self-identified as an African American called into his radio show and said, "I can't believe you are sitting there praising our founding fathers. They had slaves. How can you talk so admirably of them?"
Cain's answer paid tribute to America's founders.
"They set the bar high when they said all men were created equal," Cain said. "They could have set it where they were that day. They set it high so this national could work up to that ideal."
Cain has already launched a presidential exploratory committee and appears to be making headway in his endeavor to connect with conservative voters. While perhaps not as well known as some other possible GOP contenders, it seems his star may be on the rise on the right side of the aisle. He fired up the crowd at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference and shortly after came out on top in a Tea Party straw poll taken at a national summit in Arizona.
The AP recently reported on Cain's background and presidential ambitions:
Apart from a failed 2004 run for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, Cain hasn't sought election to public office. Instead, he held a series of high-profile business positions that culminated with part ownership of the Godfather's Pizza restaurants. He left the company in 1996 and among other positions has worked as host of a radio program in Atlanta, where he espoused his views against abortion and in support of a strong national defense, a smaller government and a return to the gold standard.
Cain said his business success has left him wealthy, but not at a level where he could self-finance a campaign. Cain said he's eager to travel through Iowa and other early-nominating states, meeting one-on-one with voters.
The Leader reports that in addressing the financial aspect of running a competitive presidential campaign, Cain quipped, "My middle name is not Meg Whitman or Mitt Romney."
He told the local outlet that if he does follow through in mounting a campaign, he'll rely on his business credentials and radio talk show host experience to advance his operation.
"If you have the right messenger and the right message, you don't have to have a whole lot of money, he said.