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Hannity

Herman Cain Turns Heads at First Republican Presidential Debate

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 5, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN, FORMER RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The immigration issue in America is not one problem. It's four problems. It's securing the border, enforcing the laws that are there, promoting the path to citizenship that we already have. We don't need a new path. We've got to clean up the bureaucracy in the process. And then number four, this is where I believe you empower the states to do what the federal government cannot and is not doing.

So, no, Arizona did not go too far. They were simply trying to protect themselves.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And that was radio talk show host Herman Cain speaking at tonight's GOP primary debate.

Welcome back to the special post-debate edition of "Hannity." And joining me now is Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.

How are you, sir?

CAIN: Hello, Sean. Thanks. Happy to be here.

FULL COVERAGE: GOP PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

HANNITY: I got to tell you, we just did a -- we just did a Frank Luntz focus group. And you may not like the first part. The first part was there was only one person that came in to the debate --

CAIN: Yes. Right.

HANNITY: Supporting you.

CAIN: Right.

HANNITY: And then more than half the crowd afterwards support you.

CAIN: Do you think it was my hairdo?

(LAUGHTER)

CAIN: Well, you got --

HANNITY: Something like that.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Yes.

CAIN: Maybe it was my haircut. You know, that is very, very exhilarating because what I've found in traveling around for the past several months is that a lot of people who haven't her of me, as soon as they hear me and I spend some time with them talking about my common sense solutions, you know, a lot people --

HANNITY: I think the ones who knew you, when you filled in on my radio show.

CAIN: Absolutely.

HANNITY: Yes.

CAIN: That one person who listened to your radio show.

HANNITY: One person?

(LAUGHTER)

CAIN: No, I got to tell you. I have gotten more comments from people who said that they first heard me on your radio show. Even more than Boortz. Now he doesn't like that.

HANNITY: Don't tell him that. No, no, no. Don't tell him that.

CAIN: But when I substituted for you, really, a lot of people. Even as I travel today in Iowa, New Hampshire. And even here in South Carolina. But I got to tell you, it does make me feel good that a lot of people walked into that room not knowing who I was, but I said enough to cause them to say you know, I need to take a look at this Herman Cain guy.

HANNITY: You know, it was interesting because when they were going through the questions or -- the questions or the challenges that each candidate will face.

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: You've never held elective office.

CAIN: Right.

HANNITY: You say that's a benefit.

CAIN: I said I'm proud that I've never held public office. And for people who missed it, I said most of the people in Washington, D.C. have, how is that working out for us? We've got a mess.

And I said to Chris Wallace later, I said, Chris, I said you had a tough time digging up stuff on me. He said yes, because you've never held public office.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: That's a good line, too. You know I was -- I was watching, and obviously one of the big issues has to do with what's happening with the economy and with foreign policy.

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: And -- first of all, I wanted to get your reaction to Sunday. You said we should not release the pictures.

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: And I was surprised -- I was --

CAIN: Right.

HANNITY: Because I thought I knew you well, I was surprised by your answer tonight.

CAIN: Here's why I don't believe you need to release the pictures. First, I believe that we got Usama bin Laden.

HANNITY: I do, too.

CAIN: I'm not questioning the fact that the SEALs did not do their job.

HANNITY: You're not a doubter.

CAIN: No. No. I don't believe in this conspiracy theory that maybe they didn't get him. So, secondly, what good would it do? The pictures have got to be gruesome. They could fall into -- I'm not worried so much about it inciting the Muslim community around the world as much as I am some people and some kids won't know what they are looking at. Some people might use this in a bad way. So I don't see any purpose of releasing the photos.

HANNITY: Did you see the other three pictures that were released by Reuters?

CAIN: The three that turned out to be phony?

HANNITY: No, no, no. The three pictures of the other people that were inside when the raid took place?

CAIN: No, I did not see those pictures.

HANNITY: OK. You know what? There's nothing great about seeing a picture of somebody's head blown off.

CAIN: Right.

HANNITY: And the -- and I'm not debating you.

CAIN: Sure. Sure.

HANNITY: But why not show every terrorist around the world we are going to hunt you down, if it takes a day, a week, a month, a year, 9 1/2 years, and we are going to kill you and we're going to bring justice. Is that not positive?

CAIN: That could be positive. But remember, Scott Brown and a couple of other people saw some pictures that turned out to be fake. And I'm sure they were embarrassed by that.

HANNITY: Yes.

CAIN: My point is, most people wouldn't know what they are looking at. So I would rather for the pictures to just stay in the hands of our intelligence agencies. And they need to sift through them and use them for intelligence purposes.

HANNITY: You talked about what are our objectives -- what's the plan for victory.

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: Are the United States interests involved?

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: Now this was sort of contrary to what I guess we can call the Obama doctrine, which is well, if there's vital humanitarian reasons are involved. It was interesting that he chose one part of the world but not another part.

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: And are there moments where that's the right thing to do although we can't be everywhere?

CAIN: We can't be anywhere. We can't be the policemen of the world. But President Obama has shown inconsistencies is what that shows. He has been inconsistent even on Libya, as well as other parts of the world. So you're absolutely right.

Now here's the other thing. President Obama when he was campaigning, as candidate Obama, said the mission needs to be clear. We need to determine what's going to be in the best interests of the United States of America, and what's the plan for victory.

He kept hammering -- George Bush over the head with that -- those points when he was running. Now he's president he's not living up to that. We do not have a clear national security strategy from this administration.

HANNITY: You think he has been weak as a president? Timid?

CAIN: I think he's been very weak and very timid starting with when it took him months to decide to do the surge in Afghanistan. After getting the intelligence information and after getting the advice from his military generals and his experts, he sat on the surge decision for months.

Sean, we don't know how many men and women might have been killed while he was waiting. We don't know how -- we don't know much it jeopardized this latest mission to get Usama bin Laden because he waited 16 hours to make the decision.

When you've got a -- when you've got a mission that is that precise, down to every little detail, a president that procrastinates puts people's lives in jeopardy.

HANNITY: What is the advantage you have in running Godfather's Pizza, which by the way I'm a big fan of.

CAIN: Thank you.

HANNITY: What is the advantage of having to meet a payroll, having to make a profit, having to deal with government bureaucracy over maybe somebody that's never run a business?

CAIN: The advantage is, you start from what is the right thing to do? What's going to help us meet our standards to our customers? And how at the end of the day are we going to remain profitable?

HANNITY: Could we ever run government like a business?

CAIN: Yes, we could. And a lot of people don't believe that we can. And therein lies the problem. We should run government like a business. It's real simple. Spend within your means.

HANNITY: Pretty simple.

CAIN: This can't seem to get past the Beltway. Spend within your means. Now remember, we don't have a revenue problem in Washington, D.C. We have a spending problem in Washington, D.C.

HANNITY: Herman Cain, great to see you, my friend.

CAIN: Thanks, Sean.

HANNITY: Thank you so much.

CAIN: My pleasure. Thank you.

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