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Herman Cain Announces Suspension of 2012 Presidential Campaign

Aired December 3, 2011 - 13:30   ET


HERMAN CAIN, FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, my friends. Well, you all are great.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love y'all, too.

CROWD: Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, Gloria!

CAIN: Well, let me first say that as usual, the Cain supporters are not warm weather supporters. And I can't thank all of you enough for what you've done, how far we have come, and the things that we have done, the things that we have been able to achieve.

You know, I chose to run for president because the politicians in Washington, D.C. wouldn't do their jobs. That's why I chose to run. They have failed to provide economic growth. They have failed to get spending under control. They have failed to make us less dependent on foreign oil. These are some of the reasons that inspired me to run for president.


CAIN: And if you look -- if you look at the last 40 years, we've seen that same kind of failure. It's just that the mess has just gotten bigger. You are frustrated, I was frustrated, millions of other people were frustrated. And it was out of that frustration that I made the decision to run, because the people in Washington, D.C. are either playing the blame game or pointing fingers or throwing crumbs to the American people rather than bold solutions to fix the problems. America deserves more than that.


CAIN: And since the politicians have continued to fail, I decided to run for president and you all responded as you are responding now, and I thank you and I am honored by the deep support of so many people across this country, because it expresses the frustration of so many people across this country.

Now, when I made the decision to run, I didn't fit the usual description of somebody that ought to be running for president.


CAIN: I had never held public office before.

(APPLAUSE) CAIN: I didn't have high-name ID.


CAIN: But right now my name is probably 99.9.


CAIN: And I didn't have a kajillion dollars.

Because what we learned is that the voice of the people is more powerful than the voice of the media.


CAIN: And secondly, we have learned that message is more powerful than money.


CAIN: And you know, we approved something else.

You see I grew up in a world of segregated water fountains. My father was a chauffeur. My mother was a maid. We showed that you didn't have to have a degree from Harvard in order to run for president.


CAIN: We showed that you didn't have to have a political pedigree to run for president.


CAIN: And one of the biggest things that we have shown is that we, the people, are still in charge of this country.


CAIN: So today we are one month away from the Iowa Caucuses. With over 300 million Americans in our nation, we stand here, I stand here, because of you.

And if you look at the top three Republican candidates right now and you consider the president and the White House, we can say, I'm in the final four.


CAIN: We're in the final four.


CAIN: And when you think of where I came from on Pelham Street and Fifth Ward right here in Atlanta and now to be in the final four for the presidency, this is a great nation.


CAIN: That's why this nation is so great.

And I'll tell you what, it's a powerful and humbling position to be in. Proving this, that we can do this, was one of the greatest things, one of the greatest gifts that you and I could give to this country.

I've often said one of America's greatest strengths is its ability to change. We have created some significant change on this journey so far. I am proof of that, and you are proof of that.


CAIN: Because I am proof that a common man could lead this nation, because I consider myself one of you, not one of the political elites. I'm one of you.

Our nation is tired of hearing the politicians blame each other. It's time for solutions. But as false accusations about me continue, they have sidetracked and distracted my ability to present solutions to the American people.

Now, I have made many mistakes in life. Everybody has. I've made mistakes professionally, personally, as a candidate in terms of how I run my campaign, and I take responsibility for the mistakes that I've made. And I have been the very first to own up to any mistakes that I have made, even if the political elites don't think I handle it exactly the way the political elites handle it. I handle it my way because that's the type of person that I am.


CAIN: But because of these false and unproved accusations, it has pained and had a tremendous painful price on my family. These false and unproved allegations continue to be spinned in the media and in the court of public opinion so as to create a cloud of doubt over me and this campaign and my family. That spin hurts. It hurts my wife, it hurts my family, it hurts me, and it hurts the American people because you are being denied solutions to our problems.


CROWD: Herman! Herman! Herman! Herman! Herman! Herman! Herman!

CAIN: Now --

CROWD: Herman! Herman!


CAIN: Now here is why it hurts, because my wife, my family, and I, we know that those false and unproved allegations are not true.


CAIN: So one of the first declarations that I want to make to you today is that I am at peace with my god.


CAIN: I am at peace with my wife.


CAIN: And she is at peace with me.

CROWD: Gloria! Gloria! Gloria! Gloria! Gloria!

CAIN: And I am at peace with my family and I'm at peace with myself, which is one of the most important things.

Now, that being said, becoming president was Plan A. And before you get discouraged, today I want to describe Plan B.

So as of today, with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign. I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family, not because we are not fighters, not because I'm not a fighter. It's just that when I went through this reassessment of the impact on my family first, the impact on you, my supporters, your support has been unwavering and undying, as well as the impact on the ability to continue to raise the necessary funds to be competitive, we had to come to this conclusion. But we had to come to this conclusion that it would be best to suspend this campaign.

That's the bad news. Here is the good news. The pundits would like for me to shut up, drop out, and go away. Well as my grandmother who lived to be 104 years old used to say, when somebody was dead wrong, bless their little hearts.


CAIN: I am not going to be silenced, and I'm not going away.


CAIN: And therefore, as of today, Plan B. Plan B. And I call it, and let me explain why.

You see, there are three audiences out there, folks, that we have dealt with, that I have had to deal with. There's the media class, there's the political class, and there's we, the people. It is we, the people, that got us to this point this far. It is we, the people, that wants change in Washington, D.C. It is we, the people, that are responsible for this massive movement that's going on across this country.

I call it the citizens movement, the Tea Party movement, the conservative movement. It is a movement by we, the people, that are going to insist on change in the United States of America. And Plan B is that I will continue to be a voice for the people.

That's why today we are launching where the people will choose, not the media, not the politicians, and the people will show that the people are still in charge of this country.

Through this new organization, I will still be promoting the biggest change and transfer of power out of Washington D.C. back to the people since this nation began, and that is the 9-9-9 plan. It's not going away. I will still be actively supporting and promoting a foreign policy that starts with peace through strength and clarity. I will still be promoting actively an energy independence plan for America. We can and we will become energy independent.

Now, I know that many of you are disappointed. I understand that. I know that many of you all are disappointed and I certainly understand that. And I am disappointed that it came to this point that we had to make this decision.

One of the reasons that I ran for president of the United States was such that I could change Washington, D.C. from the inside. Plan B is that we are going to have to change it from the outside. It will take a little longer, we're going to have to work a little harder, but we will change it from the outside.

One other thing. I will be making an endorsement in the near future. I will be making an endorsement. And I can tell you right now, it will not be the current occupant of the White House. That will not be my endorsement.

America has learned something about this process of running for president. It's a dirty game. It's a dirty, dirty game. But I happen to believe that the American people are sick of this mess. And if I'm not the outsider to get there, I happen to believe that the day will come when the American people will reject all of the distractions, all the false accusations and unproved accusations, and it will make a change because that's what we've got to do to get real change in this country and get it on the right track.

And as I think about my parents, who raised my brother and I right here in the Atlanta area, and they taught us three very valuable lessons that you share -- belief in god, belief in ourselves, and belief in the greatest country in the world, the United States of America.

And even though I have had to suspend my campaign, I have not given up on America. I have not given up on the United States of America, and here is why. Look at our history, when we have been challenged the most, it is when we, the people, have risen to the occasion the most. And I happen to believe we will do it again because we, the people, are still in charge of this country.

Let me leave you with this. I believe these words came from the "Pokeman" movie -- the media pointed that out. I'm not sure who the original author is, so don't go write an article about the poem. But it says a lot about where I am, where I am with my wife and my family, and where we are as a nation.

Life can be a challenge. Life can seem impossible. It's never easy when there's so much on the line, but you and I can make a difference. There's a mission just for you and me. Just look inside and you will find just what you can do. Just look inside, and you will find just what you can do.

I've had to look inside to find what I can do, and here is what I can do. Here is what we can do. We can put "united" back into the United States of America and move the shining city on a hill back to the top of the hilltop where it belongs. And I will never apologize for the greatness of the United States of America.

God bless you. I love you, and thank you.