Herman Cain
Herman Cain is proud of his straw poll victory. Image: Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA

The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain says he has considered quitting his campaign twice. That was before he won the Florida “Presidency Five” straw poll Saturday.

Beat out Rick Perry

Cain garnered about 37 percent of the votes, beating out the front-runner, Texas governor Rick Perry, who received only about 15 percent of the 2,657 votes. Many saw the victory as more of a blow to Perry than a victory for Cain, following Perry’s poor showing in the Republican candidate debate on Sept. 22.

‘Not a protest vote’

Cain was quick to defend the victory.

“It’s not a protest vote,” Cain said on NBC’s “Today” show. “The voice of the people is more powerful than the voice of the media.”

Considered quitting twice

In an interview with Chris Moody of Yahoo! News, Cain, bolstered by the victory, said he had seriously considered ending his campaign twice before the straw poll victory.

“The thing that I’ve learned about myself in this campaign — because I’ve never had this happen to me before on a single challenge — is that I’ve gone to the brink, ready to pull the plug, but came back, twice. I’ve only had two days where I personally felt, should I pull the plug? For different reasons. That’s how frustrating a campaign can be.”

Lack of front-runner in GOP

It has been an especially rocky campaign period for the GOP, which seems to embrace “darlings” of the moment and then turn on them in rapid succession. The in-fighting and the lack of solidarity in the party — possibly due to the rise in influence of the Tea Party, which many believe is sharply dividing conservatives — has made it difficult for a front-runner to emerge. Perry is only the most recent front-runner to lose favor.

SNL parody

A recent sketch on Saturday Night Live, lampooning the candidate’s past in the pizza business, featured actor Kenan Thompson as Cain and offered up a new campaign slogan: “I will deliver.” But Cain was far from offended.

“You may hear that last line in my next debate performance,” Cain said on NBC’s “Today” show. “I loved that SNL spoof, it didn’t offend me at all.”

Historic campaign?

Should Cain receive the nomination, it would be a historic campaign, with two black men vying for the highest office in the nation.

Sources

Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/09/26/cain-florida-straw-poll-win-wasnt-a-protest-vote/?mod=google_news_blog
Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/before-winning-the-florida-straw-poll-herman-cain-almost-quit-the-campaign-2011-9
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/26/herman-cain-2012_n_980877.html?icid=maing-grid7|maing9|dl12|sec1_lnk3|98945

 

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