Cain shows no sign of ending campaign during local visits


DAYTON — Dismissing allegations against him as “character assassination,” Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain gave little sign during campaign stops in Dayton and West Chester Twp. on Wednesday that he intends to quit the race.

In remarks made while greeting supporters after his Butler County speech, Cain said he is “reassessing” his campaign, prompting chants of “stay in the race” from the crowd.

“We are reassessing as we speak. Reassessment means re-evaluation,” said Cain, a former business executive and radio host.

Cable news outlets reported Wednesday that Cain said he would make a decision in the next several days.

Cain faces accusations from Atlanta businesswoman Ginger White that she had a 13-year affair with him while he was married. Four other women have accused Cain of sexual harassment. Cain denies any wrongdoing.

“They want you to believe that with enough character assassination on me that I will drop out,” Cain told a packed room of about 400 at the Dayton Marriott.

The crowd responded with shouts of “no.”

Cain responded by saying that President Barack Obama might raise $1 billion in an effort to be re-elected, “but the American people are going to raise some Cain in 2012.”

He made no direct mention of allegations lodged against him. Instead, Cain spoke of his 9-9-9 tax plan, professed his belief in God, called for energy independence and said he would reinvigorate the economy and make the military stronger. Cain denounced Obama’s leadership of the country and foreign policy.

Cain told the Dayton audience that they need to “stay informed and know the facts because stupid people are ruining America.”

“We have to just outvote them,” Cain said.

Bridgett Miller, 36, of Springboro, said Cain’s Dayton speech was “inspiring” and she liked his focus on fixing the country’s economic problems. “I was very impressed with him,” said Bob Borgerdine, 62, of Dayton. “I believe he’s the kind of fresh air we need in politics right now.”

In a phone interview after Cain’s appearance Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Owens said, “Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would be the largest tax increase on middle-class taxes in history.”

Owens said Obama’s foreign policy successes include pulling most troops out of Iraq, the death of Osama bin Laden and the Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddhafi’s rule. “Our foreign policy has made our country stronger,” Owens said.

At Cain’s Ohio stops, which included Columbus, the campaign collected signatures on petitions to get his name on the state’s primary ballot. The primary is currently scheduled for June 14. In Dayton, the Rev. Wilburt Shanklin opened with a prayer and Cain was introduced by Rob Scott, president and co-founder of the Dayton Tea Party, which brought Cain to Courthouse Square last year.

Those interviewed in Dayton said they didn’t believe the allegations made against Cain by the women.

“They’re looking for their five minutes (of fame),” said Katie Dattalo, 28, of Beavercreek. Dattalo said America “is going downhill” and Cain can reverse it.

“The 9-9-9 plan is workable and transparent. He’s honest, he’s down-to-earth, and I think he really sees the problems where they need to be fixed,” she said.

Dattalo also liked Cain’s multiple mentions of former President Ronald Reagan. In contending that America had declined Cain referenced Reagan’s quote about America being a “shining city on a hill.”

“But that shining city on the hill has slid down to the side of the hilltop,” said Cain. “I, along with you, will lead that shining city on a hill back to the top of the hill where it belongs.”

He said his national security proposals are an “extension of the Reagan policy. Peace through strength and clarity.”

“We need to clarify who our friends are, clarify who our enemies are and stop giving money to our enemies,” said Cain. “And make it clear we are going to stand with our friends, starting with Israel.”

Cain also emphasized his 9-9-9 plan, which would scrap the current tax code and replace it with a 9 percent flat income tax, a 9 percent business tax, and a 9 percent sales tax. The crowd cheered wildly every time he made mention of dismantling the tax code.

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