(Gray News) – Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain has died of COVID-19. He was 74 years old.
“You’re never ready for the kind of news we’re grappling with this morning. But we have no choice but to seek and find the strength and comfort of God to face it, ”Cain’s Twitter account and official site mentionned.
“We are heartbroken and the world is poorer: Herman Cain has gone to the Lord. “
In a condolence tweet Thursday, Trump described Cain as “a powerful voice of freedom and all that is good.”
“Herman has had an amazing career and was adored by everyone who met him, especially me,” Trump wrote. “He was a very special man, an American patriot and a great friend.”
White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany tweeted Thursday that Cain “embodied the American dream and represented the best of the American spirit.”
“We will never forget his legacy of grace, patriotism and faith,” added McEnany.
In a separate tweet, Vice President Mike Pence called Cain an “indispensable voice for the Conservative movement” who will be “deeply missed”.
Cain, a colon cancer survivor, was diagnosed with coronavirus in early July after attending a Trump presidential rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20.
He was a strong supporter of the president and was nominated by the campaign as co-chair of Black Voices for Trump.
The Newsmax contributor and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza posted a photo on his Twitter account of the rally. Cain was shown without a mask and without social distancing in the crowd of thousands.
“There is no way of knowing for sure how or where Mr. Cain contracted the coronavirus, but we do know he is a fighter who has beaten stage 4 cancer,” A declaration from his Twitter account at the time said.
At least eight staff from Trump’s forward team who attended the Tulsa rally tested positive for the coronavirus.
After interacting with several colleagues who then tested positive, all of Trump’s campaign staff who attended his rally in Tulsa were quarantined the following week.
Cain has not met the president.
As a cancer survivor, Cain was considered to be at increased risk for serious illness from the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention.
Candidacy for the White House, professional career and youth
Cain, who had hoped to become the first black politician to win the GOP nomination, was initially seen as a long-standing candidate. His offer was propelled forward in September 2011 when he won a straw ballot in Florida, instantly becoming an alternate candidate for Republican voters concerned that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was not fairly conservative.
But Cain struggled to respond to accusations that he sexually harassed several women and – in a video that went viral on the internet – rambled uncomfortably when asked if he supported or opposed the policy. of President Barack Obama in Libya. There were also gaffes over abortion and torture that led critics of Cain to wonder if he was ready for the White House.
Just as Cain began to soar in the polls, Politico reported that the National Restaurant Association paid settlements to two former employees who claimed Cain sexually harassed them while he was CEO and chairman of the group. lobbying from 1996 to 1999. Another woman, Sharon Bialek, said that Cain, an acquaintance, groped her in a car in July 1997 after having dinner in Washington. Bialek, who was unemployed at the time, said she contacted Cain for advice on employment.
Cain said he didn’t remember Bialek and denied sexually harassing anyone, but polls conducted in the weeks that followed showed his popularity was drastically declining.
Cain honed his oral skills in the corporate world, then hosted a radio show in Atlanta that introduced his political views and fashionable life story to many Tea Party supporters and other conservatives.
He first ventured into national politics in 1994 when he publicly challenged President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, over his proposal to require employers to purchase health insurance for their employees. “For so many businesses like mine, the cost of your plan is just a cost that will cause us to cut jobs,” Cain told Clinton. “What am I going to say to these people whose jobs I will have to cut?” “
Subsequently, the restaurant industry used Cain as a spokesperson as it campaigned against Clinton’s plan, which ultimately failed.
Cain was a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City from 1992 to 1996. After returning to his native Georgia, he ran for the US Senate as a Republican in 2004. He lost to Rep. Johnny Isakson in the primary.
Less than two years later, Cain was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer that had spread to his liver. He recovered and later credited God with persuading him to run for president after Obama, a Democrat, took office in early 2009.
“That’s when I prayed and prayed and prayed,” Cain told an audience of young Republicans in Atlanta. “And when I finally realized that it was God saying this was what I had to do, I was like Moses. – You got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?'”
Cain projected an image of self-confidence that sometimes bordered on arrogance. He was referring to himself in the third person, and his motivational company was called THE New Voice Inc. The acronym stood for The Hermanator Experience.
Cain’s candidacy for the presidency was unlikely given his background. Born in the segregated South, his father held three jobs as a janitor, barber and driver, while his mother was a domestic worker. He graduated from Morehouse College, a historically black men’s college in Atlanta, earned a master’s degree from Purdue University, and worked as a civilian mathematician in the US Navy.
While it’s a good job, Cain said his ambitions are in the corporate world. He wanted to be president of “something … somewhere,” he later wrote.
He first worked for Coca-Cola, became vice president of Pillsbury, and then was appointed to lead his struggling Burger King unit in the Philadelphia area. His success prompted Pillsbury officials to ask Cain to take over his ailing Godfather’s pizza chain. Cain said he brought the franchise back to profitability.
The centerpiece of Cain’s presidential campaign was his 9-9-9 plan, which would have replaced the current tax code with a 9% personal and corporate income tax and a 9% national sales tax. Cain said the plan’s simplicity will boost the economy by giving investors certainty.
“If 10% is good enough for God, 9% should be good enough for the federal government,” he told the crowd.
Many Republican politicians, party activists and conservative political commentators mourned Cain’s death on social media Thursday.
Romney tweeted: “Saddened that Herman Cain – a formidable champion of business, politics and politics – has lost his battle against Covid. Saint-Pierre will soon hear “999! Continue the fight, my friend.
Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp wrote on Twitter that he was “so honored to call @THEHermanCain a friend and supporter. … Know without a doubt that Herman had a significant and lasting impact on our state and our country.
Cain is survived by his wife, Gloria Etchison, their children and grandchildren.
Copyright 2020 Gray Media Group, Inc. Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.