- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Last November proved voters are eager for new blood in Washington. Tea Party activists helped elect individuals who had never before held public office to both the House and Senate. Herman Cain thinks he can tap the same enthusiasm for outside-the-Beltway candidates in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.

In a meeting with The Washington Times on Monday, Mr. Cain contrasted his ambitious vision for the country with the flaws of the incumbent. “There’s no substance,” he said. “As a supporter of mine described it, Obama can give a good speech from a teleprompter but if you take away that teleprompter to talk about how we move the economy, how we get our ideas around immigration, he would have a very difficult time doing that. I can talk about those things, one, two, three levels deep without a teleprompter because I have studied these issues, and I have been talking about these issues for years.”

Mr. Cain isn’t afraid to tackle any of the issues he has encountered in his career as a successful businessman and radio host. His approach is to find common-sense solutions by going to the source - “the real folk” - closest to any problem. His fearlessness in addressing any topic lies at the heart of the controversy over his comments about Islam, Shariah law and jihadist terrorism. Conventional wisdom would dictate that a serious candidate stick to safe talking points about the economy and national security. Mr. Cain isn’t interested in playing it safe.

He’s not interested in what’s politically stylish, either. When Mr. Cain was asked in an interview whether his position on the capital-gains tax unfairly benefited wealthy billionaires like Warren Buffett, he responded, “I don’t care about Warren Buffett’s tax rate and the American people don’t care about Warren Buffett’s tax rate. I care about the tax rate of those small businesses [whose] profit[s are counted as] personal income.” As he noted, “There are more of them than there are Warren Buffetts.”

Whether he’s calling out Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee, Texas Democrat, for “playing the race card, like they do when they can’t defend this president’s record,” Planned Parenthood - “it’s planned genocide … there’s not any planning other than to abort the baby” - or denouncing “class warfare,” Mr. Cain says exactly what he thinks, informed by what he’s heard from the grass-roots. “My background is not scripted, my message is not scripted, my ideas are not scripted, and the solutions come from many sources,” he told The Washington Times. “Call it charisma with substance. I just thunk that up while we were talking.”

After four years of scripted lectures from a president and vice president who have never held a real job in the private sector, the public is hungry for a straight-shooting candidate like Mr. Cain.