GOP hopeful Cain highlights business sense

BY ZACHARY POUND | JUNE 07, 2011 7:20 AM

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It’s sink or swim in politics, and currently, Americans are treading water, Republican presidential-nomination hopeful <a href=”http://www.hermancain.com”>Herman Cain</a> said in the IMU Main Lounge on Monday.

Cain, the CEO who is credited with saving Godfather’s Pizza from bankruptcy, has recently come into the spotlight in the Republican Party. While he achieved success with Godfather’s Pizza, he admits to having very little political experience. But his leadership skills more than compensate, he contended.

“A leader knows how to ask the right questions of the right people,” Cain said. “We have plenty of experts, but you gotta know how to ask the right questions in order to put together the right plan.”

He has made controversial statements in the past. Earlier this year, he said he would not hire a Muslim for his Cabinet because “there is this creeping attempt to gradually ease sharia law and Muslim faith into our government.”

Natalie Ginty, the chairwoman of the Iowa Federation of College Republicans, believes his business background is something to be appreciated.

“He emphasized a lot that he is a businessman — that he’s different,” she said. “He’s not the established Republican.”

And Bill Keettel, the head of the Johnson County Republicans, agreed that Cain is not the norm.

“He is going to compete for the family leader type and he also appeals to the secular part of the party,” Keettel said.

However, Abdullah Azkalany, the vice president of the University of Iowa Muslim Student Association, said Cain’s comments on Muslims in his prospective administration is “completely ignorant.”

“Any Muslim entering into politics would know that the United States is based upon the separation of church and state,” Azkalany said. “To say this, I believe, only detracts from his political credibility.”

Cain later publicly backtracked from his statement.

In his talk Monday, he also criticized President Obama and his policies, including what he labeled “Obamacare,” saying the current administration is corrupt in “choosing the winners and losers” when it comes to bailouts.

Cain said he favors reasserting the dollar as the money standard of the world and privatizing Social Security.

Recently, Cain has risen in the ranks of Republican GOP-nomination candidates. According to a recent Gallup Poll, Cain reached third in Republican and Republican-leaning independents’ preferences, after Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin.

Another Gallup Poll measuring feelings of “positive intensity” toward presidential candidates showed Cain’s supporters are more fervent than those of other Republican candidates.

And prospective UI student John Staak said Cain has a “spark.”

“He seems very ambitious about his goals and knows how to vocalize them,” Staak said.

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