President Trump paid tribute to Herman Cain, who died Thursday of coronavirus complications at 74.
“My friend Herman Cain, a Powerful Voice of Freedom and all that is good, passed away this morning,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Herman had an incredible career and was adored by everyone that ever met him, especially me. He was a very special man, an American Patriot, and great friend.”
The president added that he had just spoken to Cain’s wife Gloria and his children Melanie and Vincent. “@FLOTUS Melania and I loved Herman Cain, a great man. Herman, Rest In Peace!” he said.
Cain was a former Republican presidential candidate, businessman, associate minister and Navy rocket scientist.
Cain spent nearly a month in the hospital with coronavirus before he succumbed to the disease. As co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, he attended President Trump's controversial, indoor and largely maskless rally in Tulsa, Okla., in late June without wearing a face covering, shortly before his diagnosis.
Just days ago, Cain’s staff said in several tweets he was undergoing oxygen treatment but his organs and other systems were strong.
Cain was diagnosed in 2006 with stage 4 colon cancer that metastasized to his liver and given a 30 percent chance of survival. He successfully underwent chemotherapy and had been in remission since.
Cain, who successfully steered food chains like Burger King and Godfather’s Pizza to profitability and served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, shot to prominence in 2012 when he launched a bid to be the Republican presidential nominee. While he had a strong following among Tea Party activists, his campaign was derailed when he was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct during his time as CEO of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s. He denied the claims but dropped out of the race.
Following his 2012 presidential bid, Cain launched T.H.E. New Voice, an advocacy group focused on tax reform, energy policy, and national security, and has become a frequent commentator on news outlets. He’s been a Fox News contributor for years.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who eventually beat Cain in a crowded competition for the 2012 GOP nomination, referenced Cain's catchy "nine-nine-nine" tax plan. Cain would have imposed a 9 percent personal income tax, a 9 percent federal sales tax and a 9 percent corporate tax.
"Saddened that Herman Cain – a formidable champion of business, politics and policy – has lost his battle with Covid. St. Peter will soon hear '999!' Keep up the fight, my friend," Romney said.