Herman Cain: Uncertainty is killing this economy

Former presidential candidate sounds off


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 26, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Well, Fox on top of an economy trying to get back on top, economic growth coming in slightly better-than-expected in the third quarter.

That is still not to say it's good. It is better. But it's good. Or is it? Because business investment is down. Government spending is up.

And that doesn't exactly have Herman Cain fired up. The former CEO, presidential candidate traveling the country for 30 days, meeting with 2,000 business owners, hearing just one message.

Herman, what is that message?

HERMAN CAIN, CEO, THE NEW VOICE: Neil, that message is real simple. Uncertainty is killing this economy.

I have asked nearly 2,000 business owners at every one of the luncheons we have had one simple question: How many of you all have jobs, but you are not expanding because of the uncertainty relative to rolling out ObamaCare and uncertainty relative to taxes? Every hand goes up every time. This economy has growth potential, Neil. It's just not going anywhere right now.

CAVUTO: So, when you talk about guys who want clarity, what type of clarity would they like?

I mean, I think there was one CEO I was talking to on Fox Business, Herman, who said I don't even care if it's bad news, just as long as I know exactly how bad and when it's coming. At least it's something.

What are they saying?

CAIN: Two things that they looking for the most, first, clarity relative to taxes.

Governor Romney, as you know, has proposed a 20 percent across-the-board tax cut and they don't want it to be temporary. Temporary tax cuts creates uncertainty. The second thing that they're looking for is Governor Romney's pledge to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Neil, I've had nearly 30 percent of the people that I have talked to of these 2000 business owners tell me directly they will have to shut down if they are forced to completely implement ObamaCare. This is the kind of uncertainty that they want to get rid of. And they are ready to expand knowing what the taxes are and for how long, which would be indefinite, and getting rid of ObamaCare, which is the biggest regulatory threat.

CAVUTO: Herman, if you don't mind me switching gears, I want to bring in this hurricane. There's a reason for that, because one of the things that has been mentioned is that this is going to disrupt certainly much of the East Coast, population centers, affecting one out of five, maybe one out of six Americans, depending how you look at it.

And it could knock out power for an extended period of time for the most populous regions of the country.

CAIN: Right.

CAVUTO: There gets to gets to be the issue for Election Day, that maybe they extend Election Day for November 6, seep it into November 7. They're already talking about that. What do you think of that?

CAIN: Well, that's the real possibility.

But, remember, I'm in Wisconsin right now doing this live connect. Wisconsin wasn't supposed to be in play. As you know, Rasmussen's latest reports show that in Wisconsin, it is now 49 percent and 49 percent Governor Romney vs. President Obama

Pennsylvania wasn't supposed to be in play. Now, that's two states that I believe are going to be pivotal. It probably won't impact Ohio. And, as you know, Ohio is still a very furious battleground state.

Obviously, we all pray that people won't be affected; lives won't be lost because of the storm. But if it does, I think that it is probably going to impact both parties equally. But the other thing we have to look at is, you look at these states that are inland like the ones that are now in play that were not in play, I think that still bodes well for Governor Romney in what's coming up in the next couple weeks.

CAVUTO: Well, here's where my theory comes in to play about then it's a matter of getting out your jazzed base. And who's ever more jazzed comes out to the polls, right?

CAIN: Yes.

CAVUTO: And if they go will through rain and power outages to get to the polls to do that, therein lies right sort of passion gap or lack thereof between the candidates, whose ever respective troops are more jazzed, right?

CAIN: You're absolutely right.

I saw an article this morning that shows that the enthusiasm for conservatives and Republicans is now substantially higher than that for Democrats. So, assuming that all people would be impacted the same, the good news is the enthusiasm is on Romney's side right now, just like old man mo', momentum, is also moving in his direction.

So, I think that the impact of the storm is going to impact both bases equally, but right now Romney's got momentum on his side and the enthusiasm amongst conservatives and Republicans right now is much higher than it is for Democrats.

CAVUTO: All right, but we do know that Mr. Romney has put off at least one event in Virginia because of this.

CAIN: Yes.

CAVUTO: I'm sure others will be put off as well. Do you think it disrupts the flow of the campaign, the momentum, let's say, Mitt Romney has had? How do you think it plays out?

CAIN: I don't think it will disrupt the momentum of his campaign.

And here is why. Remember, that first debate was a breakout event for Governor Romney.

CAVUTO: That's right.

CAIN: And even though the liberals are saying, well, in number two, Obama came back, and number three; they want to call it a tossup. I don't care what you call it.

People have started to see Governor Romney through an unfiltered mainstream media lens. So I don't think it will disrupt the momentum of the campaign. The people will be disappointed that they don't get a firsthand look at the Republican candidate, but I think that momentum is going to continue even if he has to cancel some events because of the weather.

CAVUTO: Herman Cain, thank you for your indulgence in going into these other breaking issues. It's always a pleasure.

CAIN: And, by the way...


CAIN: And, by the way, Neil, congratulations for being chairman of the U.N. Nutrition Council.


CAVUTO: Don't laugh. It is that -- I'm telling you, it is that nutty. It is that nutty.


CAVUTO: Man...

CAIN: They are going to put me in charge of world pizza.


CAVUTO: Well, you know, that would be fitting. That would be fitting.

CAIN: You handle nutrition and I'll handle world pizza.


CAVUTO: Oh, man. Well, yours would be fitting, because you have the expertise. I don't know if you want to go my route on nutrition.

Thank you, Herman Cain.


CAVUTO: Always a pleasure.

CAIN: Enjoyed it. Enjoyed it, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right.

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