Herman Cain: Recent Democratic Attacks on Tea Party 'Desperate,' Take Race Card to a 'New Low'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 31, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tea Party activists, if you are watching right now, you better buckle up! Tea Party activists may have thought they've heard it all. Vice President Biden is reported to have said the Tea Party acted like terrorists in the debt ceiling debate. And Congresswoman Maxine Waters verbally smacked the Tea Party, telling them they should go straight to hell. And Congresswoman Fredricka Wilson, apparently not wanting to be left out, said the real enemy is the Tea Party. Could the insults for the Tea Party get worse? Well, they just did. Check out what Representative Andre Carson said about the Tea Party.


REP. ANDRE CARSON, D-IND: Some of these folks in the Congress right now would love to see us as class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now of this Tea Party would love to see you and me -- I'm sorry (INAUDIBLE) -- hanging on a tree.


VAN SUSTEREN: Now, we invited Congressman Carson to come on our show tonight to explain his remarks, but he declined.

Joining us is Republican presidential contender and former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, Herman Cain. Nice to see you, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: Sir, sort of as a bookkeeping matter, I talked you before you ran for president. I called you Herman. I don't know whether to call you Mr. Cain now that you're a presidential candidate. I'm very -- we're very respectful here at "On the Record." Do we call you Mr. Cain or Herman?

CAIN: Mr. Cain or Herman, Greta, for you, either one is perfectly OK.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, let's stick with Mr. Cain while you're running, at least for a while, OK? All right, now...


VAN SUSTEREN: Now let me ask you the question. And this is awkward. Obviously, you're an African-American man. This is a very sensitive topic. But the comment that was made by this congressman -- what is the appropriate response, and what do you think about it?

CAIN: It was despicable. It was disgusting. And it was desperate. You see, the Democrats have no results to run on. They have no plans that are working. The president doesn't have any plans that working. He's broken a lot of promises. All they have left, Greta, is name-calling to try and intimidate those that might associate with the Tea Party or to intimidate those that are affiliated with the Tea Party. That's all this is. They have taken the race card to a new low and it's going to backfire because the American people are sick and tired of the race card and the class warfare card!

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I'd like to think that I would have the courage if anyone made a racial slur in front of me to stand up and say, you know, that's wrong. You know, and so, I mean, should we expect that there will be those who have the courage to stand up to this congressman and say that's wrong?

CAIN: You're going to have people like me who's standing up and saying that it is wrong and it's despicable. But whether or not you're going to have some of the others in their own party to say that, that's probably not going to happen because, quite frankly, the liberals and the Democrats, they basically play by double standards.

They're not going to say anything against that. But you allow a conservative to say something even close to that kind of remark, they are going to be calling for them to be fired. They're going to be calling for them to resign and every other thing. It's a double standard. They've simply taken the race card to a new low. It's despicable and it's disgusting.

And where is this air of civility that the president called for? Now, since the president is the head of the Democrat party, he should say something against those kinds of remarks. It's his responsibility. But I doubt whether or not he's going to say anything about those remarks.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now a two-part question. One is I want to know what your job plan is. But I also -- before we get to the job plan, this whole -- I'm sure you've seen the sort of dust-up over what night the president will unveil his plan. He wanted Wednesday. He's getting Thursday. Some have said that they that it -- well, I think -- someone told me in the green room tonight that it was because it's the first night Congress is back and that's why he wanted to it that night. His critics say, though, that it was political mischief because you and the other GOP candidates could be debating out in California. Political mischief, or is this because it was the first night back at work for Congress?

CAIN: I believe it was political mischief. He could have done it -- he could have done it -- he could have done it on Tuesday, had everybody come back a day early. But I now hear that he's going to do it on Thursday. I think, initially, it was political mischief. And then I think that the administration and the president and his people sat back and said, You know what? What if we go up against the Republican debate and our ratings are less than the debate? I don't think they wanted to play that card. But I happen to believe that it was political mischief.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now your job plan because everyone in America's wondering -- you know, we -- we need jobs. How is your -- what do you suggest and how is it different from what we anticipate the president and the Democratic position will be?

CAIN: My jobs plan starts with recognizing that the business sector is the engine that drives growth. You have to recognize that first, or none of the ideas are going to work. I have proposed a 9, 9, 9 plan. Take the current tax code and replace with a 9 percent tax on corporate profits, a 9 percent tax on personal income and a 9 percent national sales tax.

What this does is that it expands the base and it gets everybody involved in this. And more importantly, it eliminates the payroll tax and it eliminates the capital gains tax.

When we do this, Greta, it will provide the all-important ingredient that the business sector is looking for, certainty. We can no longer continue to expect businesses to invest and expand with all of this uncertainty. So my 9, 9, 9 plan levels the playing field. It expands the base and it stops politicians from being able to pick winners and losers. That will get this economy going.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now...

CAIN: Now, one other point very quickly.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes. Go ahead.

CAIN: One other point very quickly. This economy is on life support. It's on life support! That's why my plan is as bold as it is. We don't need another speech from the president that is going to lay out some, quote, unquote, "broad principles." The American people can't keep waiting, which is why I put my plan on the table.

VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Cain, thank you very much. And I'm sure we'll have you back because we have a lot to talk about between now and Election Day. Thank you very much for joining us, sir.

CAIN: Look forward to it. Thanks.