CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Herman Cain on Thursday announced his long-publicized “unconventional endorsement” in the 2012 Republican presidential primary: “The American people.” But he says he still might endorse a specific candidate.
Cain, who suspended his own run in December, made the announcement in front of about 100 people at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Charleston, saying he wishes to “inspire them to believe that they can impact this outcome.” Speaking to reporters afterward, though, he said his “unconventional endorsement” doesn’t preclude the possibility that he’ll also endorse a candidate at some point.
“The fact that I made an unconventional endorsement today does not rule out that I still might endorse someone; I’m simply not going to do it now,” he said, after a reporter from National Journal/CBS News reminded him that he promised on the day he suspended his campaign that he would endorse a candidate. “I wanted my unconventional endorsement to be part of a bigger message.”
Asked whether he had any advice for Newt Gingrich, whose ex-wife was set to appear on TV to talk about their failed marriage, Cain said his advice is, “Don’t focus on it,” and reprimanded the media for bringing it up.
“This is my message to you: It is an injustice to the American people to continue to drag anybody’s past personal life out and make that a story,” said Cain, who suspended his campaign amid allegations of having a long-running affair. He has vehemently denied those allegations.