It was hard to keep track of how many times Herman Cain brought the crowd at the Values Voters Summit to their feet during his speech Friday afternoon. You really have to watch Cain's speech to appreciate his success. With a good sense of humor, the cadence and inspirational tone of a preacher, and a rich and booming baritone voice, Cain's charisma is what truly separates him from the rest of the Republican field.
Of course, it's Cain's charisma combined with rock-ribbed conservatism that appeals to these Republican voters. He told the values voters there's some "garbage" spread about him that he wanted to clear up. "I believe in life from conception, period. No exceptions," said Cain, as the crowd rose to their feet. "I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman."
"You can pursue liberty all you want, as long as you don't tread on someone else's life, and that includes the life of the unborn," he added. Cain has been criticized by groups such as the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List and the National Organization for Marriage for not signing their respective pledges, but the lines definitely seemed to win over the crowd.
The values voters enthusiastically cheered Cain's comments on non-social issues, too. "America wants to raise some Cain, not more money!" Cain said. He took aim at the 'Occupy Wall Street' protesters. "Wall Street didn't write these failed economic policies, the White House did. Why don't you move the demonstrations to the White House?" he said. "That's why you don't have a job! That's why you don't have a business! Move it to the White House!"
"Wall Street isn't asking us to spend another $450 billion," Cain added. "It didn't work with a trillion, it's not going to work with $400 billion. You can demonstrate all you want on Wall Street. The problem is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!"
Cain said he has three problems with the Dodd-Frank Act. First, the law didn't regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. "My other two problems with Dodd-Frank: Dodd and Frank," he said. The crowd laughed and cheered.
Turning his attention to Iran, Cain claimed our missile defense is already capable of knocking their missiles out of the sky. "And so I would upgrade--make it a priority--to upgrade all of our Aegis surface to air ballistic missile defense capability on all of our warships all the way around the world--make that a priority--and then say to Ak-ma-dinejad, 'Make my day.'" That might not work. But the crowd loved it.
As he came to a close, Cain said some people ask him: "Why are you running for president?”
“To be president!” he exclaimed, sarcastically adding: “I’m not running to go to Disneyland. I'm going to the White House."
After his speech concluded, the line for Cain's book signing stretched down a hallway, through the lobby, nearly reaching the front door.