You have not enabled cookies! This site requires cookies to operate properly. Please enable cookies, and refresh your browser for full functionality.

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2011 ( – Herman Cain, a successful black businessman, radio host, and the former CEO of Godfather’s pizza, announced his intention to seek the GOP presidential nomination on Saturday in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park.


“Just to be clear, I’m running for president of the United States of America, and I’m not running for second place,” Cain told a crowd of 15,000 supporters gathered to launch his candidacy.

Cain is pro-life. He has voiced severe criticism of abortion provider Planned Parenthood, saying the organization should be defunded of public money. Back in March, at a Heritage Foundation event, Cain told reporters that Planned Parenthood’s heavy presence in minority communities “says to me they are targeting blacks,” and suggested that the name should be changed to “planned genocide.”

According to a Gallup survey published in mid-May, Cain has low name recognition (29 percent) among Republican or Republican-leaning independents. However, Gallup found his supporters ranked highest in positive intensity among a field of potential candidates including Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, and others.

Cain’s supporters plan to argue that his position as a Washington, D.C. outsider and his business executive experience are positive assets, especially as the United States remains mired in economic recession.

But Cain’s advantage of business experience is also shared by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who is seen as a lead contender for the GOP nomination.

Cain told Politico in an interview that he intends to use his grassroots enthusiasm to counter Romney’s fundraising juggernaut, should Romney officially enter the race as expected.

“I cannot compete with a Romney when it comes to money. He has at his disposal his own personal fortune,” Cain said. “I don’t come anywhere near that, quite frankly. He has a fundraising network because he has run before. I have the advantage of a grassroots network.”

Cain will have to perform well in Iowa caucuses in order to gain a serious edge over far more well-established rivals. The upcoming Ames straw poll, held in August, may prove a bellwether for how effective Cain’s grassroots are at getting out the message about their candidate.