Club for Growth is waiting for some specifics from Herman Cain.
Over the last few weeks, the conservative economics-oriented group has been issuing detailed profiles of Republican presidential candidates and their policy histories.
Newt Gingrich was first. Tim Pawlenty next. Today was Cain’s turn. The group notes several times that the Stockbridge, Ga., pizza magnate has yet to develop positions on several policy issues – despite his impressive showing in several polls.
(On the other hand, you have to consider that the lack of specifics is precisely what has allowed Cain to thrive in the current, factionalized GOP environment.)
Read the entire Club for Growth assessment of Cain here. But below are a few slices.
[Cain] opposes tax credits, but he qualifies that by saying that there “are some exceptions.” It’s unclear what those exceptions are or how they square with his support for a Fair Tax, which allows no exceptions other than a large purchase exemption to avoid taxing the poor.
Cain’s public record on spending is very thin. “Nothing should be off the table,” Cain writes in “The People’s platform,” a policy document on his exploratory campaign website. “Every federal agency, every government program and every single expenditure must be reviewed and revised with a keen eye and a red pen.”
….Cain supported TARP, the government bailout of the financial industry, and even chastised people who opposed it in a condescending op-ed: “Earth to taxpayers! Owning stocks in banks is not nationalization of the banking industry. It’s trying to solve a problem,” Cain wrote. “Owning a part of the major banks in America is not a bad thing. We could make a profit while solving a problem.”
“The free market purists’ objection to this is that it smacks at government control of the banking industry, which is called nationalization,” Cain added. “They are correct. It smacks, but it is not nationalization because that would require the government to own at least 51 percent of the entity for an indefinite period of time.”
On political speech:
Herman Cain appears to have not made any public comment on McCain-Feingold, Citizens United, or any other issue dealing with political free speech.
On past political activity:
His history of political support is odd. Cain gave money to the pro-tax Mike Huckabee in his race for President, and donated to Danny Tarkanian over Sharron Angle in Nevada’s 2010 Senate race. However, Cain was also a national co-chair of Steve Forbes’s 2000 Presidential Campaign, which emphasized economic growth-oriented policies such as a flat tax and personal accounts for Social Security.
In 2008, Cain endorsed Mitt Romney for president, writing that Romney “has successfully managed a real business with other people’s money and some of his own. He has balanced budgets. He successfully led a turnaround situation with the Olympics. And he has spent more of his career outside government than inside.”
And the bottom line:
Herman Cain has generally used pro-growth rhetoric during his time in public life but has not had to serve as an elected official to prove he would govern to match his rhetoric. Aside from his support for TARP, we have very little question, based only on his rhetoric, that Herman Cain would be a pro-growth president. We look forward to seeing more details about his economic policy proposals.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider