(TAMPA, Fla.) — One-time GOP primary front-runner Herman Cain, who exited the race amid spiraling allegations of sexual infidelity, hears no call from the campaign trail after his failure to make it all the way to this week’s Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., he said Monday.
“No, I don’t [miss campaigning,]” Cain, a conservative radio host and former pizza-chain CEO who momentarily led the pack of GOP candidates before dropping out in December, told Terry Moran of Nightline.
“It’s always bittersweet when you compete in anything, but I said from the very beginning, whoever gets the nomination, I am going to support them fully,” Cain said on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Cain, who briefly tapped into a party then frustrated with Mitt Romney, was not invited to speak at the convention, a snub he says doesn’t offend him.
“I’m not going to be participating with the formal convention program, but it’s not about me,” he told Moran. “It’s about giving exposure to some young stars who are running for office.”
Cain’s road to endorsing Romney, set to be nominated later this week, was a long one. After dropping out, Cain, 66, initially endorsed “the American people,” before throwing his support more directly to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. It was not until May that Cain endorsed Romney.
“I said some tough things about [Romney] and I challenged him on his 59-point economic plan; he’s now reduced the number of points in his economic plan so he’s listening,” Cain said of Romney, morphing an attack line he once used on the stump.
“He didn’t get to nine yet, but he’s moving in the right direction,” the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO quipped.
Cain’s support skyrocketed when he introduced the catchy “9-9-9″ tax plan that would have replaced most taxes with a nine-percent flat tax on business transactions, income and sales.
Cain praised Romney’s pick of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate. “I think it has injected some enthusiasm,” he said of the decision.
Cain, the only black GOP candidate, said that despite the lack of black delegates on the convention floor, there were plenty of black conservatives in the Republican Party.
“I happen to believe that the party has more traction with black voters than meets the eye,” he said.
“It takes a lot of time and personal commitment to try and become a delegate with either the Republican Party or the Democrat Party. It takes a lot of time and a lot of resources. And so as a result, you don’t see as many black Americans,” he said.
Cain said it was the Democrats, not the Republicans, who had belittled the concerns of black Americans and were playing into the country’s basest fears about race.
“The Democrats are the ones that are making white people feel anxious about the race card in America. The Democrats are desperate. And when they’re desperate, they go back to their old playbook. Class warfare. The race card,” Cain told Moran.
Cain, who was accused at the time of his campaign of running just to sell books and promote his radio show, said he is still angry about the allegations of infidelity and impropriety leveled at him.
“I’m still a little angry about it. I’ll be perfectly honest with you; I am human,” he said, adding that he believed the attacks were coordinated and politically motivated.
“It’s just those that were behind it were very good at covering up their fingerprints, such that it’s difficult to determine exactly,” he said. “But it was absolutely politically motivated.”
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