Herman Cain is scheduled to speak at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Oklahoma City Marriott, 3233 Northwest Expressway. His visit is part of the Oklahoma Republican Party’s 2012 Victory Rally, a fundraising event that seeks to bring as many of the party’s presidential candidates to the state before the March primary election, said Matt Pinnell, Oklahoma Republican Party chairman and director.
Cain has polled near the top of the pack in the Republican field, although he recently slipped somewhat following allegations of sexual harassment and botched answers to some foreign-policy questions.
He is the former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and the National Restaurant Association. One of his major policy proposals is his 9-9-9 plan, which would replace the current federal tax code with an across-the-board 9 percent tax on income, sales and business transactions.
Cain is the third top-tier Republican presidential candidate to visit the state. Texas Gov. Rick Perry held a Tulsa fundraiser in August, although it was not part of the state party’s speaker series. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney held a fundraiser in Oklahoma City in October, and stayed to participate in the state party’s speaker series, delivering a speech and taking questions from several audience members.
Pinnell said the state party has reached out to all of the Republican presidential candidates to take part in the series, and that he hopes more will come before the primary.
“When they come into town to raise their money, if they could come into town and also do an event for our grassroots activists, it sure does go a long way, as far as goodwill with our voters,” Pinnell said. “They really enjoyed Romney. He was very gracious with his time, and we’re happy to host Herman Cain.”
Admission to the rally is $20.12. “I think it gets our base excited about our primary in March. It gets people excited about the presidential election,” Pinnell said.
In addition, the state Republican presidential straw poll results will be announced at the event, he said. The poll, which began Nov. 21, currently is being conducted online at oklahomastrawpoll.com.
The state’s Republican presidential primary is March 6, 2012. The general election will be held Nov. 6, 2012.
Photo by Gage Skidmore