Cain @ Strong America Now event (audio)

Former Godfather’s CEO Herman Cain was the third presidential candidate to speak at today’s Strong America Now event in Des Moines.  He gave by far the shortest speech of the three.

AUDIO: 8 min

“We are in a national spending nightmare and we need a goal to balance the federal budget,” Cain said to open his remarks.  “It’s not going to get done by the committee of 535.  The only way it’s going to get done is with the right leadership in the White House where leadership is supposed to begin.”

Cain told the crowd it was time to  “get serious” about entitlement spending.  He talked about Social Security reform and his desire to transition to a “optional personal retirement accounts.”   Cain said the U.S. could “make that same conversion” with the “right leadership in the White House.”

Cain said he’d call upon “We, the people,” to get Washington to “see the light” about spending reform. “We’ve got to get away from being scared because it’s politically difficult and do what’s right for the United States of America,” Cain said.

During the Q&A session, the questioner (Hugh Hewitt) began by saying he was one of those who had questioned whether Cain should be on the stage for the New Hampshire debate. “You’re making me look pretty stupid, Herman,” Hewitt joked.

Hewitt next asked Cain about his comments on the Second Amendment, for which he’s caught some heat. Cain said he would support states deciding to do background checks for gun purchases, “but I did not in any way mean states have the right to restrict access to owning fire arms, so that was the misunderstanding.”

The two joked about their Q&A session being the only thing standing between the audience and lunch. “They are not serving Godfather’s Pizza, unfortunately,” Cain joked. “I’ve got bad news for ya.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.