LAS VEGAS—President Obama and Congressional leaders are showing a lack of leadership and “common sense” in addressing various crises now facing the country, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain told attendees at the FreedomFest conference here.
The crises involve economics, spending, energy, immigration, moral issues and a “foggy foreign policy,” Cain said. But the biggest failing is “leadership,” he added.
“Let’s get real about America’s challenges,” Cain said. “We don’t just have some challenges. We have some crises.”
The Obama administration has done nothing to fuel business, the economic engine of the United States, Cain said.
“We’ve got to put some fuel in the engine,” Cain said. The fuel should be taking the form of lower tax rates, cutting the capital gains tax to zero and other steps to boost economic growth, he added.
“This economy is not going to be robust in the next two years, based on hope,” Cain said.
He questioned whether President Obama’s policies would ever spur the economy. Leaders must make sure that they are working on the right problems, as well as having the right people help to create the needed plans, Cain said.
“You cannot run an organization if all you think you need to do is to put together a plan,” Cain said.
Under President Obama’s leadership, there has been “no progress” on the debt-limit situation, Cain said. The debt-ceiling dilemma became a crisis because of the “deficiency” of leadership.
“It didn’t need to become a crisis,” Cain said.
The spending priorities for the federal government should include paying interest on the debt, men and women in uniform and social security checks, Cain said. Once the most important spending is done, the nation’s leaders need to figure out what to cut to stay under the debt ceiling, he added.
“They do not understand the concept of spending within your means,” Cain said. “That is why we need a balanced budget amendment.”
The United States also needs to become energy independent, Cain said.
The nation is engulfed in an energy crisis, Cain said. When gasoline in this country hits $4.00 a gallon, it reaches a tipping point that hurts economic growth, he explained.
“They [foreign oil producers] are playing us like a fiddle and like a fool,” Cain said. “The United States needs an energy independence strategy.”
Immigration is another crisis in America, Cain said.
When people in Washington talk about “comprehensive immigration reform,” it is “code” to admit, “We don’t know what to do.”
If elected president, Cain said he would advocate that the U.S. government secure its border and enforce the immigration laws that already exist.
“Let’s clean up the bureaucracy so that people can come in the front door instead of the back door,” Cain said.
Cain also voiced the need to empower the states to do what the federal government cannot do. His view seems diametrically different from the Obama administration, which filed a lawsuit through the U.S. Justice Department against the State of Arizona in July 2010, claiming the federal government has “preeminent authority” on immigration enforcement
“I would not have sued Arizona; I would have given them a medal,” Cain said.
Foreign Policy Follies
“Do any of you know what our mission in Libya is,” Cain said rhetorically.
The U.S. appears to lack a clear policy for its intervention in Libya, Cain said.
The Obama administration also has adopted a faulty policy in Afghanistan by telling the enemy when it plans to withdraw, Cain said.
“If something is working, leave it alone,” Cain said. There is no clear definition of what would constitute an American victory in Afghanistan, he added:
President Obama decided to “shoot from the lip” about bringing troops home from Afghanistan, Cain said.
The United States has a “foggy foreign policy,” Cain said.
American also is losing its “moral” compass and needs to protect the “rights of the unborn,” Cain said.
“The challenge to you is that we must be the defending fathers of this great nation,” Cain said.
U.S leaders should defend free markets and pursue fiscal responsibility, Cain said.
“I don’t want you to give me your support,” Cain said. “I want to earn your support. I believe in common sense solutions to the problems that we have.”
If elected, Cain said he plans to change Washington, D.C.
“If Washington was working, we wouldn’t have this mess,” Cain said.