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Former GOP candidate Cain kicks off college tour in Iowa City

BY CASSIDY RILEY | SEPTEMBER 06, 2012 6:30 AM

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One former Republican presidential hopeful is reaching out to voters once again, but this time he’s not asking for their support. His message: register to vote, vote, and be an informed voter.

“The point I am making to you is this: You can either be a part of the problem with America, or you can be part of the solution to America’s challenges,” said Herman Cain, a former CEO of Godfathers Pizza and former Republican Presidential nominee. “Don’t be a stupid voter. Stupid voters are ruining America.”

Cain’s effort to educate voters is a part of the College Truth Tour, a 30-city stop across the nation to college campuses. Iowa City’s Pedestrian Mall was the first stop on the tour.

John Ford, director of college communication for the tour, told the DI the goal is to help college students become more aware of the issues that affect them.

“In a nonpartisan way, [we want to] encourage students to become informed,” Ford said. “Our main concern is [to] have students get out to vote and for those students who do vote, have them vote on facts and issues that affect them.”

The tour is sponsored by the nonprofit Job Creators Solutions, which helps employers provide avenues to better educate their employees about political and economic issues. Job Creators Solutions is cofounded by Cain and businessman Bernie Marcus.

Ford and J Hudson, the director of college events for the tour, said the College Truth Tour is a part of a multifaceted tour by Job Creators Solutions to reach out to a variety of voter demographics. Other events include the Breakfast Event Truth tour, which reaches out to faith and community leaders and the Lunch Event Truth Tour for local business leaders.

Ford said the tours are to help people better understand economic issues and what both political parties believe so they can cast a vote on Election Day for the candidate the best represents their views on the issues.

“If we can get [voters] out of the offices and the classrooms and out of the church to go and vote in this election, than we’ve done our jobs,” Hudson said. 

Though the organization boasted about its nonpartisanship, Cain declared his specific views on what was hurting the economy during a speech to a healthy crowd gathered outside the Sheraton Hotel. He said America’s economy is suffering from excessive government influence.

“The free-market system is what made America great,” Cain said. “We have to save the free-market system from too much legislation, too much regulation, and too much taxation.”

During his presidential run, Cain ran largely on his “9-9-9” economic plan, which would level out taxes to 9 percent for income, business, and sales taxes. He ended his campaign in December 2011.

In the spirit of being nonpartisan, the College Truth Tour reached out to both Republican and Democratic groups on campus to participate in the event.

Katherine Valde, the president of the UI College Democrats, told the DI the Democrats declined the offer to be involved.

“I just think that Herman Cain … made a lot of comments that were ignorant and uninformed and don’t represent the views of the Democratic Party,” Valde said about Cain’s stint on the campaign trail.

The UI College Republicans agreed to be involved in the event. Kelsey Boehm, the president of the UI College Republicans, worked with Ford to get the word about the event by passing out fliers and using social media.

“It’s important for college students to be educated about the economic issues, with that being such a huge issue in the election,” Boehm said.


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