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New face emerges as presidential hopeful -

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Little known former pizza company boss Herman Cain has shot to the front of Republican presidential
hopefuls in the US.

Transcript

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: A new face is taking Republican politics in the United States by storm.
Herman Cain, a little known former pizza company boss and political cleanskin has shot to the front
of the race to become the party's presidential candidate in 2012. His spectacular rise has come at
the expense of Texas governor Rick Perry, who's seen his support halved.

Washington correspondent Craig McMurtrie reports.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE, REPORTER: This is the man who, according to an NBC Wall Street Journal poll is the
new Republican front runner. Herman Cain says he's no flash in the pan.

HERMAN CAIN, REPUBLICAN CONTENDER: There's a difference between the flavour of the week and
Haagen-Dazs black walnut, because it tastes good all the time.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: Analysts believe he's popular with Tea Party activists because he isn't a career
politician. In fact, the former pizza chain CEO, a liver cancer survivor, has never held elective
office before.

(TELEVISION EXCERPT) US TV PRESENTER: Most Americans are just getting to know you right now after
remarkably successful career in business, the head of Godfathers Pizza, but you have no foreign
policy experience. Why shouldn't that matter to voters?

HERMAN CAIN: It shouldn't matter to voters, George, because having a foreign policy philosophy is
more important than having foreign policy experience.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: The straight talking 65-year-old has attracted plenty of controversy for declaring
that he wouldn't hire a Muslim in his administration, that Barack Obama has never been part of the
black experience in America, and, more recently, for his condemnation of Occupy Wall Street
protesters.

HERMAN CAIN: Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks. If you don't have a job and you
are not rich, blame yourself.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: But his startlingly simple 999 tax plan that's brought him most national attention

HERMAN CAIN: 9 per cent corporate business flat tax, 9 per cent personal income flat tax, and a 9
per cent national sales tax. 999. 999.

(TELEVISION EXCERPT 1) WOMAN: 999

(TELEVISION EXCERPT 2) WOMAN: 999

(TELEVISION EXCERPT 3) MAN: This 999 plan...

(TELEVISION EXCERPT 4) I thought it was the price of a pizza when I first heard about it.

JIM INNOCENZI, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: He's a very polished man, he's an accomplished guy, he's a
professional in terms of the things he's accomplished as head of Godfathers, and working for
Pillsbury and some of the other things. And so, he's very bright. And he's also done a radio talk
show.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: Jim Innocenzi is a Republican media strategist and ad man. And he says with time
running out, raising enough money is the big problem for candidates like Herman Cain, who want to
be top tier challengers.

JIM INNOCENZI: The haves would be Romney, Perry and perhaps I would say Huntsman, because he has
money, but he doesn't have a message, and perhaps Cain

(PERRY CAMPAIGN ADVERTISEMENT): I'm a conservative businessman.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: Money is about the only thing that isn't a problem for Texas governor Rick Perry,
who's come out swinging against the man most still see as the one to beat, Mitt Romney.

(TELEVISION ADVERTISEMENT EXCERPT) MITT ROMNEY: There are a lot of reasons not to elect me.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: After a string of faltering debate performances.

(TELEVISION EXCERPT) RICK PERRY: Mitt had six years to be working on a plan. I've been in this for
about eight weeks.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: Perry has seen his early support fall away.

(TELEVISION EXCERPT) MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN CONTENDER: We have the lowest number of kids as a
percentage uninsured of any state in America, you have the highest. I'm still speaking, I'm still
speaking. I'm still speaking. We have less than 1 per cent of our kids that are uninsured. You have
a million kids uninsured in Texas.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: Romney is gradually winning more support from the party establishment, including
the prized endorsement of popular New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Many in the party wanted him
to run.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama and
Mitt Romney is the man we need to lead America, and we need him now. That's why I'm here.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: An endorsement parodied on Late night television.

(PARODY): How do you think he feels, watching you like everybody more than him.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: But Romney's religion, he's a Mormon, is emerging as an issue with conservatives.
Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress has described Mormonism as a cult. Why does it matter? Here's the
same pastor introducing Rick Perry.

ROBERT JEFFRESS, PASTOR: And he is a genuine follower of Jesus Christ. Would you join me in
welcoming the governor of the great state of Texas, Rick Perry.

MITT ROMNEY: I would call upon governor Perry to repudiate the sentiment and the remarks made by
that pastor.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: The first voting in the party's primary election process is less than 90 days
away.

As Perry has fallen, Herman Cain has risen, but he doesn't have the war chest of Mitt Romney and he
doesn't have anywhere near the political organisation. The NBC Wall Street Journal poll still has
Romney as the most competitive in a match up with Barack Obama, but it also has the president
leading all Republican contenders.

Craig McMurtrie, Lateline.