Herman Cain photo

Remarks Announcing Candidacy for President in Atlanta, Georgia

May 21, 2011

Love ya. Love ya. Love ya. Love y'all. Love y'all. My, my my. Love ya. Aww, shucky ducky as the man would say. I got to tell ya. Let me--. Thank you. I see some Antioch people out there, a few of them back there yelling. I understand that my Aunt Bessie is here. Oh, there she is. Now do you know why it is so momentous that my Aunt Bessie is here? She hasn't decided if she can vote for me yet. [cheers] But I'm going to change her mind. Just like we're going to change the mind of a lot of folk in America. [applause]

But I want to thank all of you again from the absolute bottom of my heart for you being here, because there was some skeptics as you know who didn't think anybody would show up for an announcement from me. And the last time I heard there are 15,000 of you'all right here. Centennial Olympic Park.

Thank you. Thank you. You know it has been this kind of encouragement that has gotten me to this point. And it is this kind of encouragement that I believe, that I know is going to take us to where we are trying to get to. [applause]

You know, many of you know that I grew up right here in Atlanta, Georgia. Right here in Atlanta, Georgia. I stand in the shadows of my upbringing. I stand here today as the son of a chauffeur and a domestic worker, who taught me and my brother three of the most important values we could have ever learned. Belief in God. [applause] Belief in what we could for ourselves. [applause] And belief in this exceptional nation called the United States of America. [applause] Believe in it. [applause]

You know that the people that are struggling the most are the ones who don't believe in this nation. They don't believe in the values of this nation. My parents never uttered the words--victim, because they never felt like a victim, having the opportunity to be in this nation despite its challenges. So I stand here today as Luther's and Lenora's oldest son, in my hometown. I stand here today in this hour, in the shadow of the Olympic flame, which represents not only the determination of those that go to the Olympics every four years with their own determination, but it also signifies the great spirit of this great country, the spirit of America. That's what it signifies. [applause]

And it is the spirit of America and the determination of America and the determination of its people that we are going to take our country back. [applause] We going to take it back. This day, this hour, in the spirit of America and the spirit of the Olympics here in this park. When people go to the Olympics every four years, they don't go to the Olympics to come in second. They go to the Olympics to win.

And you see, just like the spirit of the Olympics, number two is not in America's DNA. We don't do number two. Right here, this day, this hour, this moment. Reminds me of the words to the closing song of the 2000 Olympics: Life can be a challenge, life can seem impossible, it's never easy when there's so much on the line, but you and I can make a difference. There's a mission just for you, there's a mission just for me. Just look inside and you will find just what you can do. [applause]

Right here, this day, this hour, and this moment, I have looked inside of me and at this moment, this day amongst thousands and thousands of my friends, and with my family here with me and associates that I have known throughout the years, this day, this hour, this moment I came here to declare my candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States of America. [applause] This Moment. [applause] This moment.

And, just to be clear, just to be clear. in case you accidently listened to a skeptic or a doubting Thomas out there. Just to be clear, let me say it again. I'm running for President of the United States, [applause] and I'm not running for second. I'm not running for second. [applause] One. This day. [crowd chants Herman, Herman]

Now let me tell ya. Because I've had reporters ask me sometimes. Well, are you running just to get attention and maybe come in second or maybe to get a cabinet position? I said you don't know very much about me. You don't run for second--I don't run for second. I'm running to be number one.

Now let me tell you some of the reasons of why I am running for President of the United States. One of the biggest reasons is that we have become a nation of crises. We have a moral crisis. We've got an economic crisis. We've got an entitlement spending crisis. We've got an immigration crisis. We've got a foggy foreign affairs crisis. And we've got a deficiency of leadership crisis in the White House. [applause]

There is a big difference between leadership and positionship, a big difference between leadership and positionship. Let's look at the facts relative to all of these crises. We have anemic economic growth. In the first quarter of this year our GDP only grew by 1.8%. That is anemic, especially when China is growing at 10% compound. And if we don't increase our growth rate, they're going to be as big as we are in five years if you take out the differences in exchange rates.

And like I said earlier, if we allow China to become as economically powerful as us, you know that they are going try to develop their military might as big as ours. And I don't know about you, but I'm not going to allow America to be number two in the economy or number two militarily, not on our watch. [applause] Not on our watch.

We are a nation of crises. Look at the facts; don't listen to the rhetoric. A 9% unemployment rate, with nearly 15 million people out of work. 47 million people on food stamps; that's 14 million more than there were when the current occupant of the White House took over. Four dollars a gallon for gas and it's not over yet. One trillion dollars in spending to stimulate the economy and it didn't stimulate diddly. [applause]

All of that, and now to have a 14 trillion dollar national debt and the debate in Washington DC is going on about do we raise the debt ceiling again? Let me tell you what the Cain Doctrine would be. We ain't raising the debt ceiling. [applause] We're going to cut the spending. [applause] It's called reduce. So look at the facts. Don't just listen to the rhetoric. Look at the facts. The stuff is not working. It's not working. So the only thing that I can conclude is it's time to get real folks. [cheers] It's time to get real.

Hope and change ain't working. Hope and change is not a solution. Hope and change is not a job. Hope and change is not a new business. Hope and change is not a vision. We need a new vision in this country and that means we need a new person leading this nation in the White House. [applause] It ain't working.

Now I want to ask you a few questions. Is America ready for real results? [crowd...yes] Is America ready for common sense solutions? [crowd...yes] Is America ready to rekindle the spirit of America? [crowd...yes] And Is America ready for a real leader, not a reader? [crowd...yes] [applause] Do you want a leader? Or you want a reader? [applause]

Now since-- [crowd chants Herman, Herman] I know, I know it took some people to connect the dots on that last statement. …They were a little slow, but they finally got it. Now since you answered yes to those questions, let me describe our new vision. I don't call it my vision, my job as the leader is to define it, key it up, share it with you; it becomes our vision. Because, you know what, I can't do this by myself. This will be our vision, not a political vision, not the agenda of one person, but it has to be the agenda of the people of this country. I call it our vision. [applause]

And in order for us, in order for us to be able to achieve and make reality out of our vision, we're going to need some new plans, set some new priorities, and certainly get some new people around the President, this President that are better than the ones we got [applause] in terms of the vision. [applause]

Our new vision--real economic growth, not anemic growth and in order to do it, we've got to lower tax rates for corporations and individuals. [applause] We've got to suspend taxes on repatriated profits. We got to take the capital gain taxes to zero. We got to give the workers of America a real payroll tax holiday and then put a bow around it and make the tax rates permanent. [applause] That would lead economic growth. [applause]

Our vision. A real energy independence plan. [applause] A real one. Not one that someone just reads off of a teleprompter. No. A real one. One of things that is so frustrating about it is that we have the resources to become energy independent, we simply need to pull the resources together in order to make it happen. That's our vision.

You know, I will never go to a foreign country or Brazil, loan them money and then tell them we are going to be their best customer for their oil. Let me share with you another one of the Cain Doctrines. America is going to be its own best customer. Drill here. Drill now. [applause] Right here in the U.S.A.. [applause] We will be our own best customer. [applause]

And as President of the United States I'm going to make sure that we are our own best customer when it comes to our energy needs and our energy resources. It's not that we don't have the resources; we just got too much bureaucracy that keeps getting in the way.

Our new vision means immigration through the front door and not through the back door, not through the side door. [applause] This nation was built upon immigrants. Legal immigrants. And if we attack the right problem--which is we got four problems, not one. We got to secure the border, we got to enforce the laws that are there, we got to promote the path to citizenship that's already there, clean up the bureaucracy. We don't need a new path to citizenship; we already have one. Why don't you ask the millions of people who came here legally. [applause] They'll tell you. And then the fourth thing that we have to do in order to deal with the illegals that are already here, the federal government is not going to solve the problem. In our new vision we will empower the states to solve the problem of those that are here. [applause] That's how we take care of that problem.

And the last thing that you will get from a Herman Cain presidency is suing a state because they are trying to protect themselves. We shouldn't be suing Arizona; we ought to send them a prize. [applause] A peace prize. [applause] Suing a state of the United States of America. There's a major disconnect.

Our new vision. Real energy--economic growth, real energy independence, immigration through the front door, not the back door or the side door, and then real, clear foreign policies. [applause] Real clear. I love it when the skeptics want to criticize me because of "lack of foreign policy experience." Let me tell you what I know about foreign policy experience. I know that you don't throw your friends under the bus. [applause] That's what I know about foreign policy. [applause] You don't need to have years in the State Department to figure that out.

Know who your friends are. Know who you enemies are. And don't throw your friends under the bus. I was shocked last week, I think it was Thursday, when President Obama threw Israel under the bus.

Let me tell you what the Cain Doctrine would be, relative to our friends, and I'll share with you later my doctrine relative to our enemies. I got some stuff for them too. [applause] But, relative to Israel, that most of us have appreciated the relationship for decades. The Cain Doctrine to the world would simply be if you mess with Israel, you're messing with the United State of America. Don't mess with us. [applause] Don't mess with us. Is that real clear? [applause] Is that real clear? [applause] That's what I mean by real clear foreign policy. [applause] Know who your friends are. Know who your enemies are.

And it's our new vision; not the establishment, not the politicians. It is our new vision. Let me-- and lastly this nation has gradually over the years slipped in to an entitlement society. Well I got to tell you folks, not only do I believe it is possible, but I also know that it's time with restructuring programs, instead of reshuffling programs we can take this entitlement society to an empowerment society. [applause] Empower people. Empower the states. Empower businesses. We can become an empowerment society with our new vision. With our new vision.

You know the founding fathers they did their job. And they did a great job at it. And they kept it simple. They wrote the Declaration of Independence; they designed and wrote the Constitution of the United State of America. And one of the other things that is part of our vision is that we don't need to rewrite the Declaration, we don't need to rewrite the Constitution of the United States. Rewrite it? We need to reread the Constitution and enforce the Constitution. [applause] We don't need to rewrite, let's reread.

And I know that there are some people that are not going to do that. So for the benefit of those that are not going to read it, because they don't want us to go by the Constitution, there's a little section in there that talks about Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. You know those ideals that we live by, we believe in, your parents believed in, they instilled in you. When you get to the part about Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, don't stop right there, keep reading. Because that's when it says "When any form of government becomes destructive of those ideals, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it." We've got some altering and some abolishing to do. [applause]

In 2012, we are not only going to keep control of the House of Representatives, we are going to also control the United States Senate and take it back. And in 2012 we are also going to run the trifecta and alter the occupant of the White House with a new President. [applause]

And lastly -- [crowd chants Herman, Herman] Thank you. And for sure, we're all going to have to work a little harder, we're going to have to work a little smarter. We're not going to convert everybody over to our conservative way of thinking; we're not going to sell everybody on our new vision with new leadership, new people, new ways to think about it. Because a good friend told me once, all you can do is save the savable. And you know what? Between November now and November 2012, I think I'm going to save my Aunt Bessie. [applause] I think she's got hope.

We got a lot of work to do folks, but I believe that we can do this. If I didn't believe we could do this, I wouldn't be doing it. So we all got to do a little bit more. We all go to work a little bit harder in order to take back this country. It's going to be tough, I'm up for the fight, I'm up for the challenge, and I know that you are too. [applause]

The founding fathers, the founding fathers did their job; we have to do our job and be the defending fathers. And I have been blessed with two adult kids; they're grown and gone. We've got three grandkids and it's not about us. It's not about us, and I know everybody here feels that way from me traveling all over the country talking to groups day in and day out, town hall meetings, large rallies, big rallies, small rallies, the message has been consistent. It's not about us, and people are ready to do whatever it takes in order to take this nation back. And I firmly believe in my heart that God is in this Journey, that God is in this Journey. [applause]

And in November of 2012, the day after the Election Day, when we wake up that morning and all of the votes are counted and they declare not only all of the local election results, the state-wide election results, the congressional results, the senatorial results, but when we wake up and they declare the presidential results and Herman Cain is in the White House, we'll all be able to say-free at last, free at last, thank God almighty this nation is free at last again. [applause] God bless you. God bless the U.S.A.. [applause] [crowd chants Herman, Herman]

Thank you. Thank you very much. This is my family along with you, and I wanted you to see them, because this thing is going to move so fast that you may not see them much, so you better look quick. Thank you again, ladies and gentleman. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Jim, Bessie. Thank you very much. God bless you. God bless you. Stay tuned. God bless you. God bless each and every one of you.

Herman Cain, Remarks Announcing Candidacy for President in Atlanta, Georgia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/298937

Simple Search of Our Archives