Fox News
July 01, 2011

'Hannity' Primary Part 2: Herman Cain

Guests: Herman Cain, businessman

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 1, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome back to this special edition of "Hannity." Now we just heard from Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

Well, now it is the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, Herman Cain's turn to tell us why he thinks he is the best person to take on President Obama in 2012.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: How is it going so far?

HERMAN CAIN, BUSINESSMAN: Sean, it is going fantastic. Now our strategy all along has been to develop a very strong ground game. You know, the top down game was you got high name ID, you got a lot of money and you've held public office before.

My approach, our approach has been, I don't have either one of those so let's go out and meet the people, talk to the people. Share those common sense ideas that I've been talking about, about how we solve problems in this country. It has been resonating with people.

The second thing that is resonating with people, which is why I do believe that I'm now performing as well as I am, in terms of the polls, is my problem-solving background. People want problems solved. Not kicked down the road.

I think that's resonating. I believe that's why many people are respond to me, and though I did start with the war -- I didn't start with the war chest. I didn't start with high name ID.

I think based upon the reaction from people around the country, more and more people are ready for someone different in the White House, with a business background as a problem solver and not just another politician.

HANNITY: It's funny because you just ran into Bob Beckel before you came out here and he says, where did you come from?

CAIN: And my answer was my momma. If he's talking about the polls, where I came from was getting out there and doing old fashioned retail politics.

HANNITY: Where did Obama come from? I mean, that's my question back to him. Let me ask you this because you've never held office before.

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: All right, you say --

CAIN: I say most of the people in Washington, D.C. have. How is that working out for us?

HANNITY: -- which is a great line.

CAIN: We are looking at debt crisis, economy is stuck, stalled. We are in these wars and we don't have any idea what victory looks like. You are going to tell me that having previous office holding experience is a good thing? I don't think so.

HANNITY: How does you background for those who don't know. You can give a little biography of yourself, but you were CEO of Godfather's Pizza.

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: It was a major turnaround under your leadership, right? Why don't you tell everybody a little bit why you think your background would better qualify you coming from the private sector?

CAIN: Let's go back to when I went to Pillsbury. I worked at the Pillsbury Company and climbed the corporate ladder before it was cool for a black guy to be vice president. So I became vice president at the Pillsbury Company. Why? They gave me a very complex, difficult problem to solve, and I solved it.

HANNITY: What was the problem?

CAIN: The problem was they had a world headquarters project where they were trying to move people from nine locations around the twin cities into the Pillsbury World Headquarters building. I had to manage the completion of the World Headquarters building.

I had to manage the building and construction of the new computer data center. I had to manage the acquisition of a new computer and I also had to manage the integration of green giant with the consumer products division.

When I took over this project, it was behind schedule and over budget. We finished ahead of schedule and below budget. It was a complex problem. I was able to put together a team and we solved it then I went to Burger King.

I went to Burger King and I was assigned Burger King's worst region, in terms of profits, growth in profits, growth in sales, morale, new store development, all of the major matrix. In three and a half years, the region was the best in everything. I'm a problem solver.

Then I went to Godfather's, it was supposed to go bankrupt. Pillsbury had decided they were going to write it off, but I didn't get the memo. And the people in the company didn't get the memo. What did I do? What is the right problem?

Surround myself with good people. Put together the right plans to fix the problem and we did. To this day, Godfather's has not gone bankrupt. The skills that I used to solve problems in the business sector including National Restaurant Association when I was full time CEO and president of the National Restaurant Association, those skills, I believe are applicable leading this nation. That's why I believe people are responding.

HANNITY: To what extent? If you look at Obama's background, I've looked at it exhaustively, extensively, before the election -- and all during his presidency here.

One of the biggest problems that I see in his background, hung out with radicals, has extreme views. Not that I can see, ever met a payroll. I have, you have in my much smaller way. I was never the vice president of Pillsbury.

I was never, you know, the CEO of Godfather's, but in my own way what it taught me so much when people were dependent on me to keep my business running, because they had mortgages to pay.

I was a young kid. I still had to live up to my side of the bargain. What is the difference? Do you think he's even qualified based on his lack of business experience?

CAIN: No and here's why. Leaders, first of all, they know how to listen. They know how to ask the right questions. So if you've never been in a situation where you had to create jobs, lead a business or challenge your advisers, you don't know the right questions to ask.

This is why the president's economic policies have failed. He had five people that he trusted in that made up his senior economic advisory team. The only one that is left is Tim Geithner.

HANNITY: The tax cheat.

CAIN: You're right, the tax cheat. That is the only one that is left. Leaders know how to listen and they know how ask the right questions in order to get to the right plan.

HANNITY: Isn't the problem with him, is you analyze him is that his rigid ideology gets in the way of his ability to ask questions? Maybe he doesn't want to hear the right answers. Then he surrounds himself with people who just totally agree with him.

CAIN: You are absolutely right. Not only is his rigid ideology, which is government is better, so let's make government bigger. All you have to is look what he has done.

But it is also not having any real life practical experience running anything. That's how you learn how to ask those right questions. And that's how you learn how to challenge the people that are giving you this advice so you can put together the right plans.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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