Enjoying easily the largest allotted time slot for a presidential contender at the Faith and Freedom Conference, businessman Herman Cain spent more than a half hour Saturday night talking almost exclusively about the economy to a room full of values voters.
And the values voters, it seemed, were loving every minute of it.
The former Godfather's pizza CEO, selected to keynote the two-day conference's closing dinner, unrolled the "five basic steps" he would employ within the first days of the Cain administration--all of them economic fixes His remarks brought the audience to its feet several times, particularly when Cain suggested "taking the capital gains tax rates to zero."
Still, Cain cloaked the speech in faith-based oratory, beginning and ending with references to his religion.
Hours after he criticized Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., for sinking to "the ultimate pander" by leading conference attendees in an unsolicited prayer, Cain cited 2 Corinthians 4:8-9--"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; we are persecuted, but not forsaken; we are cast down but not destroyed"--and mourned that both faith and freedom "are under attack."
Leaving the stage, Cain told Hotline On Call that the reason he didn't get into his positions on social issues is "because everybody here has already talked about them, so I figured I would talk about some other stuff.
"My positions on social issues are documented," he continued, citing past town halls in which he's come out in support of social conservative priorities like the Defense of Marriage Act. "But I figure we all have heard a lot of those already, and there's not need to be redundant, because a lot of us are not that far apart."
A group of nearby fans endorsed this sentiment with a shouted "Yes!"
Cain does not lack confidence. Wrapping up his speech, he said that "when" Republicans win "the trifecta" in 2012--House, Senate, and "a conservative in the White House"--"I've got a good feeling his name is gonna be Herman Cain in 2012. I've just got a feeling."