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Herman Cain talks morality, 2012 campaign

Cody Cousino / Photo editor

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Herman Cain, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, spoke about America’s crises but did not mention the ones surrounding him and his campaign Wednesday afternoon at the Ohio Union.

During the rally, Cain talked to more than 500 students and visitors about “America’s crises” in morality, economy national security and foreign policy, energy and military.

Cain shared a story about watching children say the pledge of allegiance twice during the U.S. Open. When the children said the pledge, both times they left out “under God,” sparking what Cain says is a “moral crisis.”

“They left out ‘under God!’ In the pledge of allegiance! I was outraged!” Cain exclaimed. “We have to keep God in this culture and we have to fight for it.”

Cain acknowledged a need to fix the moral crisis in America and “fight to keep God,” but did not address his alleged sex scandal during the rally nor did he take any questions from the audience or press about the accusations.

Four women have accused Cain of sexual harassment. Two of the women accusing Cain worked with him in the 1990s during his time at the National Restaurant Association. The two women claimed Cain made inappropriate comments and gestures during conversations. The women eventually left their positions with the NRA while receiving undisclosed monetary compensation.

Cain has denied these accusations to numerous media outlets.

More recently, an Atlanta woman, Ginger White, told media outlets that she had a 13-year on-and-off again affair with Cain. He also denies these accusations.

The recent accusations forced Cain to “reassess his campaign,” but Cain showed no signs of quitting during the rally while discussing his “problem-solving approach” to the following issues:

•Economy: his 9-9-9 plan, which entails a 9 percent business flat tax, a 9 percent individual flat tax and a 9 percent national sales tax. Cain says the plan is simple, transparent and efficient as it rids of America’s tax code.

•Foreign Policy: America needs to “clarify friendships” with countries, specifically mentioning U.S.’s solid friendship with Israel. America must also maintain its mission for peace through military, economic, and moral strengths.

•Energy: Cain said research has shown that there are plenty of coal and oil energy resources in the U.S. and his team is working toward energy independence.

Cain also discussed his proposal to strengthen the U.S. military and refusal to cut more military funding. Instead, Cain proposes reinstating the space program, predicting future military conflicts will occur off the ground.

“We are now dependent upon other countries to getting into outer space. That’s shortsighted,” Cain said. “Future conflicts won’t just be fought down here on the ground. Some of the best military defense and best military offense of the future is going to be space-based.”

Students for Herman Cain, an organization activated last week, hosted the rally. The organization started with six members and has grown to about 80 members.

Rami Aziz, president of Students for Herman Cain, said he was happy to bring Cain to Ohio State.

“This was a great opportunity for us and for his campaign,” Aziz said. “And it was great for us as a group to see him. To have him on campus is a great opportunity.”

Many students who attended the rally had mixed reactions to Cain and the issues presented.

Cara Pollock, a first-year in French, said she thought the event was not what she expected.

“He talked about wanting to expand our military into outer space. I was really surprised to say the least. I was not expecting to hear that,” Pollock said.

Rachel Cohen, a first-year in political science, did not agree with his position on the economy or morality issues.

“I thought he was a really good speaker. I thought the 9-9-9 plan was very well presented. It came off very convincingly,” Cohen said. “I thought his moral crisis stuff was pulled out of his ass.”

Cain is a businessman, former CEO and radio host from Atlanta. Cain is fighting for the Republican nomination against Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman Jr., Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

The presidential election will be held Nov. 6, 2012.

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