Herman Cain – or the Hermanator, as he calls himself in his new book, This Is Herman Cain!: My Journey to the White House – is so confident he will be elected president on November 6, 2012, he’s already sketched out his first 90 days in office. Among the things he says he’ll do in the early days of a Cain administration: “Treat our economic system as I would a corporation on the verge of bankruptcy: Step one, just make a 10 percent across-the-board cut” from all government departments. Step two, he says, would include “vertical deep dives” in which every department would be asked to justify its cost and directly answer the question, “Is it still in the best interests of the country?”
According to a new CBS News poll, Cain, 65, is now tied with Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, atop the field of Republican presidential candidates. Among GOP primary voters, support for Cain now stands at17 percent support, compared with 5 percent two weeks ago. (Rick Perry has fallen 11 percentage points in just two weeks.) Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan has attracted voters: He’d replace the current tax code with a nine-percent flat income tax, a nine-percent corporate tax, and a nine-percent national sales tax.
Cain’s new book was released on Tuesday, October 4, by Threshold Editions, the conservative imprint of Simon & Schuster. And on the topic of conservatism, Cain says his Supreme Court litmus test will be, “conservative, conservative, conservative. All I’ve got to ask them is, ‘Are you going to enforce the Constitution to the best of your ability?’”
Other positions and bits of personal background that emerge from the pages of the former businessman’s book:
- To become energy independent, he believes this country should tap into the oil reserves of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). “The area proposed for ANWR production comprises less than one percent of the refuge’s 19 million acres and could yield billions and billions of barrels of recoverable oil,” he argues. “It’s as if the answer to energy independence is close at hand, but excessive regulation sand environmental extremists who influence timid legislators are holding America hostage to foreign oil.” He adds, “When I become president, we will adopt a Drill Here, Drill Now strategy,” with a “bold goal” of “zero dependence on foreign oil.”
- He would “unbundle education” down to the local level, and reward the teachers “who enrich the lives of their students” and hold accountable those who do not. “It means making those on the ground responsible for the teaching and learning that goes on in their communities. It means expanding school vouchers and charter schools. It means offering parents choices for their children’s education.”
- He would work to cut down “excessive governmental regulation,” lessening the bureaucracy “while helping businesses succeed.”
- He would hit the unions hard. “The desire of unions to make unsustainable demands on local, state, and federal government, irrespective of the devastating impact, is totally illogical, not to mention showing a collective disregard for the taxpayer.” He’s a supporter of Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, for his efforts to curb public employees’ union rights.
- He believes that “if you mess with Israel, you’re messing with the United States of America. Don’t mess with us. Don’t mess with us. Is that real clear?” On the subject of foreign policy, he says, “I know enough about the importance of supporting one’s allies… You don’t throw your faithful friends under the bus,” as he says President Obama has by demanding a return to the pre-1967 Six Day War borders.
- He’s also going to replace Obamacare with “Caincare,” he says, something he describes in rather glorious and non-specific terms: It’s a “compassionate approach to providing the best possible diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care for Americans of all ages.”