Herman Cain: Solving America's Problems 'Not Rocket Science'

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 23, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


HERMAN CAIN, BUSINESSMAN: I'm running for president of the United States and I'm not running for second! I'm not running for second!

But when we wake up and they declare the presidential results, and Herman Cain is in the White House, we'll all be able to say, free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, this nation is free at last, again!


SEAN HANNITY, HOST: That was businessman and former radio talk show host, Herman Cain officially announcing his bid for the White House on Saturday. And as you saw, well, he left his teleprompter at home. He spoke directly to a crowd of thousands in his home state of Georgia. And tonight, Herman Cain joins us live from our nation's -- where are the glasses? I like those shades.

CAIN: They are transition glasses, Sean. So, I forgot that I was going to be in the sun and they turned dark. So tonight you get to see my eyes.

HANNITY: I want a pair of those. Those are nice.

CAIN: Thanks, Sean.

HANNITY: But I think they look better on you.

CAIN: Thank you.

HANNITY: You know, it's very interesting because you are getting a lot of attention. We had the first debate and we did the Frank Luntz focus group afterwards. You did the best out of everybody. Did you see that focus group?

CAIN: Yes, I did. I saw it right after I came off that stage. And I'd be honest with you, Sean. I was stunned when Frank was doing the results. And especially when he was talking to you and basically getting the people to respond. So, yes, I did see it. But quite, frankly, I was stunned in a positive way.

HANNITY: All right. I know your success on the radio because I'm in the radio business.

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: You were the CEO of Godfather's Pizza. I believe it was within about a year or 14 months you brought it out of the red and into profitability. So you have that background. You were asked a question, well, you don't have any political experience. And your answer was, well all these other guys do, how is that working out for you? Why did you think your lack of political experience is a plus?

CAIN: It is the plus for the following reasons, Sean. No matter what business venture I took over or what situation I took over, the approach to problem solving was the same. And I happen to believe that this approach to problem solving would work in government. Number one, make sure you are working on the right problem. Number two, make sure you set the right priorities. And in government, that means that you put the money where you want priorities to be. Number three, surround yourself with the right people. Number four, if you do that, you're going to be able to put together the right plans. Then you execute.

The problem in Washington, D.C. is that they don't do that. It is most reactive rather than proactive in terms of solving problems. Americans want problems to be solved. And here is the good news, it is not rocket science. People are looking for common sense solutions. And that's what I have been talking about. And that's what is resonating with so many people across this country.

HANNITY: All right. You support the fair tax, and we've gone over some of these issues. And when we do our half hour with you as we're doing with all the other candidates, we'll go into this little more deeply. I was watching you with Chris Wallace this weekend. There's been a lot of internet buzz and bit of controversy that has emerged over this exchange. Let's roll the tape.


CAIN: It is Israel's decision, not President Obama's decision as to where those borderlines ought to be.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: Where do you stand on the right of return?

CAIN: The right of return? The right of return?

WALLACE: The Palestinian right of return?

CAIN: That's something that should be negotiated. That's something that should be negotiated.

WALLACE, HOST: But do you think the Palestinian refugees, the people who were kicked out in the land in 1948 should be able or should have any right to return to Israeli land?

CAIN: Yes, but not under Palestinian conditions.


HANNITY: A lot of people think you didn't understand the right of return.

CAIN: They are exactly right, Sean. Chris caught me off guard. I didn't understand the right of return. That came out of left field. And of all the questions that I anticipated him asking me, I didn't even conceive of him asking me about the right of return. I now know what that is. The thing that you're going to learn about Herman Cain, if he doesn't know something, he's not going to try and fake it or give an answer that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Now, here's the thing about that right of return that I have learned since Sunday. It wasn't that they were kicked out of Israel by the Jews, no. Their Arab leaders asked him to leave, because they thought they were going to annihilate what was left and then they could go back. So yes, I still stick by my answer, it is the responsibility and the decision to be made by Israel.

HANNITY: Do you understand -- have you gone over for example, the U.N. partition plan and '48, '67, six day war, the Yom Kippur War in '73. And you think the return to '67 borders is?

CAIN: I think the return -- I think that just the way Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, that is -- that's not something that he wants to give in on. And I would agree with him. It is not the president's responsibility or authority to be able to dictate to Israel where those borders ought to be, that's Israel's decision.

HANNITY: All right. Who do you think is your toughest competitor in this GOP field?

CAIN: Well, if you look at it from the traditional top down model, it would be Mitt Romney. Because he has a very high name ID and he has a lot of money. Now, Sean, I know this may shock you, but I did not become a cajillionaire when I left Godfather's. I don't have the money that a Mitt Romney has. So, the fact that he can buy an organization, put it in place in the various places around the country, especially the early primary states, he has an advantage because of resources. On the other hand, my strategy is not top down, it is bottoms up. The difference is, you don't need millions of dollars to get your campaign going. We were able to get my campaign going with hundreds of thousands of dollars. And most importantly, we have a lot more volunteers that's propelling this campaign.

HANNITY: All right. We'll talk very much hopefully often in the future, thanks Herman Cain for being with us. Appreciate your time.

CAIN: Thank you, Sean. Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2011 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2011 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.