Herman Cain: America needs my 9-9-9 plan more than ever

Former presidential candidate talks economy


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 20, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, Herman Cain says we need his 9-9-9 plan more than ever because of this: President Obama racking up more debt in his first three years than President Bush racked up in all of his eight years.

And Herman is not messing around, he's calling for a march on D.C. next month to push his plan.

Herman, good to have you back.

HERMAN CAIN, CEO, THE NEW VOICE: Thank you, Neil. Happy to be here.

CAVUTO: Do you think, Herman, this debt issue resonates though? When people talk about the biggest concerns to them, it seems to be jobs, it seems to be gas. Debt, I think -- and I'm no expert here -- but I think when it comes to the American people, it is too ethereal, too vague for most to get a handle on and comprehend.

What do you think?

CAIN: I don't think so, Neil. I'm out there all the time listening to people and talking to people.

They understand the concept of $15 trillion. President Obama made a promise when he was a candidate, or early in his campaign when he said he wanted to reduce the national debt by 50 percent. It has increased by 50 percent. The American people, they get that.

Here is the other thing. There was no way he was going to be able to keep that promise, other than a robust economy in terms of economic growth, which we have anemic growth. It is not robust. This is why I proposed the 9-9-9 plan -- and there is still a lot of energy out there for the plan -- and dramatic cuts in spending. He has had dramatic increases in spending.

CAVUTO: The 9-9-9 plan -- right.

Paul Ryan came up with a plan to reduce taxes across the board, $2 trillion over the next 10 years. Democrats already pouncing on that as a boon to the rich. What do you say?

CAIN: Well, Democrats have the same old, standard, lame line about it's a boon to the rich because they don't want a robust economy.

Paul Ryan has made a great first step with what he laid out today. What I like about it, he says it is a cause, not a budget. And he realizes that nothing much will get done in this election year, but it is a cause to try to get the tax brackets down to 10 percent and 25 percent, to two brackets. That is a great start, because this is the part that the Obama administration simply will not acknowledge.

You have got to cut rates, rather than raise rates, if you want this economy to grow faster. And you are not going to do anything about offsetting the spending unless you get a robust, growing economy, and you make some dramatic cuts, which this administration and this president has done neither.

CAVUTO: Herman, I know you came out in support of Newt Gingrich, who is not polling that well right now. He might -- he might do well in a few days in Louisiana or some of these other states he's hanging his hat on.

CAIN: Right.

CAVUTO: But he is in a lot of trouble politically, and some people are thinking -- particularly within the Santorum camp, not surprisingly -- why don't you quit, dude, so that conservative support could coalesce around us?

What do you think of that?

CAIN: Well, you are right. The proportionality that many states use in order to allocate their delegates is definitely working against Newt Gingrich, since he now is in third place. And you are right. The numbers are not in his favor. However, I believe that every candidate has a right to decide from their perspective whether they should get out of race or whether they should stay in the race.

I will be honest with you. I don't know Newt Gingrich's plan B, even though I supported him. But the numbers are definitely working against him. And I think for another campaign or for some of the establishment Republicans to suggest that he ought to get out from their perspective, I just think that it has to be up to the candidate and their campaign.

It is almost harder to decide to get out of the campaign, like I did, than it is to decide to get into the campaign to run in the first place.

CAVUTO: Do you think though that the longer the race drags on, as the Romney folks keep saying, the more damage it does potentially to him, and the closer you get to the convention in Tampa and if we do not have this resolved, the more it looks like whoever gets the nomination is a sure loser?

CAIN: I do believe it is doing some damage.

And if Romney does in fact get the nomination, he is going to have to do some things differently in order to win, Neil. And I have publicly said this. And I hope some of the Romney people are listening. If he gets the nomination, he can win if, if he embraces some of the good ideas that have come from some of the other candidates like Newt.

He has a great idea with the 2-5-0, $2.50 a gallon plan. He actually has a plan. I am offering him my 9-9-9 plan. If he adopts some of the good ideas that have surfaced, that means he is listening to the people and he is considering an outside perspective.

Too often -- and I experienced this -- campaigns become too inwardly focused and they're not listening to the people. I hear from people all over the country all the time, we want some bold solutions. We don't just want generic political talk. Put some bold solutions on the table, and they don't care where they come from, even if it comes from someone who may have been competing against him for the nomination.

That would be my advice to whoever gets the nomination.

CAVUTO: All right, duly noted. And they are watching, Herman. They are watching.

Herman Cain, thank you very, very much.


CAIN: Thanks, Neil. Delighted to be here.

CAVUTO: Same here.

Content and Programming Copyright 2012 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.