The Washington Times - November 9, 2011, 06:35PM

The vocal leader of Tea Party Nation has a message for Herman Cain: leave the Republican presidential race.

“Herman Cain has got to go,” Judson Phillips wrote Wednesday in a post on his group’s website.

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“I will repeat what I have said earlier. I like Herman Cain. Of all of the candidates, he would probably be my first choice to sit down and have a pizza with. But to quote the famous line from ‘The Godfather,’ it’s not personal, it’s business.”

Mr. Phillips endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich earlier this year.

While he doesn’t buy the stories of the women who have accused Mr. Cain of sexually inappropriate behavior while at the helm of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, he said Mr. Cain should leave the race because his campaign was so slow to settle on a response and “you cannot have amateurs running a campaign.”

Mr. Phillips points out that the Washington-based website Politico gave the Cain camp ten days to respond before the story was published and still they struggled to handle the news.

“What the hell were they doing?” he said, adding, “Ten days in, the Cain campaign is still stumbling around like newly castrated cattle.”

The final straw, he said, was when Mark Block, Cain’s campaign manager, claimed that the son of one of the accusers, Karen Kraushaar, worked at Politico. But the accusation ended up being false.

“If Cain cannot run his own campaign, how is he going to run the country?” Mr. Phillips said. “A few days ago, I would have been willing to accept Cain as the nominee. Cain was not my first choice but I could have easily supported him.To which he added, “No longer.”