Herman Cain speaks out on 2013 budget

Former 2012 candidate on President Obama's proposal


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 16, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: This is a budget alert, new budget numbers today. No, not the president’s. Herman Cain’s.

And it’s not 999. Oh, no. Try 35-50-80.

Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain here to explain.

Well, 35-50-80, please explain, Herman.

HERMAN CAIN, CEO, THE NEW VOICE: Three numbers and three assumptions tell the whole story.

When President Obama took office, the national debt of every man, woman and child in America was nearly $35,000. At the end of 2012, this year, based on the numbers from the Office of Management and Budget, the debt for every man, woman and child will be approximately $50,000 per person.

This is in three years. If we go with President Obama’s budget that he has propped for 10 years, the national debt for every man, woman and child will be nearly $80,000 per person.

Stuart, this is insane.

VARNEY: It is. It is. And those numbers are, indeed, shocking.

CAIN: Yes.

VARNEY: But I put it to you, Herman, the debt was a big deal back in 2010. It was a big deal last August, when we were downgraded. But it’s lost its power, lost its force.

The debt no longer -- just an opinion -- I don’t think it has the political traction that it had last year and the year before. And you say?

CAIN: And I say you're right, for the following reasons.

There are three assumptions that also make this budget fantasyland. Number one, they assume a GDP growth rate of an average of 2.8 percent per year over the next 10 years, with the high point being 4.1 percent.

Stuart, my good friend, they haven’t hit 2.7 since he has been president. The second incorrect assumption, in addition to the GDP growth rate, is that they can raise nearly $2 trillion in taxes and it will not have a depressing effect on the economy.

Stuart, you and I both know, you raise taxes and it has downward pressure. But here's the third assumption. They are assuming -- and it gets back to your point -- that 50 percent of the American people are economically challenged. And they are.

They will not be able to understand it. And that's why, for some people, it has lost its political appeal. But people like me and you and others that are trying to wake up America have got to sound the alarm.

VARNEY: Now, I'm not running for the presidency but I've got three numbers for you, Herman Cain. And here they are, nine, 10 and 20, $9 billion a week in interest payments alone right now, nearly $10 billion a week by the time of the election, and $20 billion in interest payments alone on the national debt by the year 2022 if this budget is accepted.

Now, I would've thought when you are talking about that kind of massive interest payment, you get some traction. What do you think?

CAIN: I think we can, Stuart, but this means that we're going to have to continue to drive that message.

I -- your numbers are just as equally compelling. Let's take your three numbers and my three numbers and my three assumptions and put them all together. It spells financial disaster. Can we say Greece?


VARNEY: Do you think we're headed towards Greece?

CAIN: We are on the road to Greece. Yes, we're headed on the road to Greece.

And here's why. In 2012, at the end of this 10-year budget, if -- if it passes -- I don’t think it's going to pass in its present form. They are going to compromise something that, instead of us being fast going to financial destruction; they might slow it down a little bit.

And the other thing is, if you look at what's happening in Greece with the riots and the unions pushing back, because they are delusional, they don’t want to accept the reality of what the situation is.

In this country, the unions are already positioning these -- own Wall Street protesters to be ready to create chaos if we get a Congress and a president willing to make the tough decisions.

VARNEY: Look, wait a second. We’ve a Congress, we've got a House of Representatives dominated by Republicans, which is almost certainly going to vote yes on a huge increase in spending and a big increase in the deficit this year because they are going to vote in favor of the payroll tax holiday extension, unemployment benefit extension. They’re going to vote in favor of it.

Do you think they’ve lost their resolve?

CAIN: I believe that many members of the current House have lost their resolve and they are trying to politically position themselves, which I believe is a mistake.

Here is our only option, Stuart, for those of us who get it, for those of us who do not want to see this country stay on this road to this financial destruction. We've got to take -- keep control of the House, take control of the United States Senate.

And I'm going to stay it. We have got send President Obama packing, because he and his administration do not have the best interests of this country at heart. I am convinced of that. And, fortunately, 50 percent of the American people are. We've got to work on getting people to sound the alarm, like I’m trying to sound and a lot of other people are trying to sound at


Mitt Romney will skip the CNN debate on March the 1st. And your take on that is what?

CAIN: Yes.

That's good for Newt Gingrich, bad for Mitt Romney. I think that Mitt Romney needs to be in that debate. It's down to, technically, a four-person race. I think it's a mistake for him to skip that race.

Now, it's inconsistent with his strategy. I thought, with the money that he's spending here in Georgia with advertising that he wanted to try and take Newt Gingrich down. That's not the way to do it. Newt is going to be very strong. I’m going to be campaigning for Newt Gingrich on Saturday.


VARNEY: I'm terribly sorry to jump right in, but I have just heard CNN has canceled the debate. I just got that just a second ago. They've canceled the debate. OK? So, consider that.

CAIN: Wow.

Well, given that, it -- given that, it was going to be good for Newt if they didn't cancel the debate. Now that they've canceled the debate, it's still good for Newt? You want to know why? Because Georgia is one of those states that I believe will rally back around Newt Gingrich.

So, by not having the debates, I don’t think Newt loses as much as Romney would’ve lost.

VARNEY: I'm sorry to interrupt like this, but I have got one more for you, Herman.


CAIN: Wow. What is this, breaking news?



VARNEY: I hear you turned down "Dancing with the Stars." Did you?


CAIN: Stuart, my good friend, the answer is yes.

And here's why. They wanted me to learn how to do an eight-count, and I can only do a nine-count. I'm sorry.


VARNEY: Oh, that was good, spur of the moment. Oh, this man is fast.


Herman Cain, what a pleasure. Thanks for being with us, sir. Appreciate it.

CAIN: It's always good, Stuart. I enjoyed you, my friend. Thanks.


CAIN: Thank you, sir.

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