Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, a Tea Party darling, endorsed Newt Gingrich for president on Saturday in West Palm Beach, Florida. Cain also accepted Gingrich’s invitation to co-chair Gingrich’s Tax Reform and Economic Growth Advisory Council.
“I hereby officially and enthusiastically endorse Newt Gingrich for president,” Cain said.
Cain said that America had a leadership crisis and Gingrich was the leader the country needed.
“It is time for conservatives and Republicans to refocus their attention on the ultimate mission of defeating President Obama,” Cain said. “I believe Speaker Gingrich is the bold leader we need to accomplish this mission.”
Quoting Edmund Burke, Cain also said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men and good women to do nothing.”
“We are going to do something,” Cain said.
Gingrich again articulated the reason for his candidacy. He said that he would present the clearest contrast to President Barack Obama in the general election, which makes him the most electable candidate left standing.
Gingrich has a point.
Whenever a presidential nominee from the opposing party has been a diluted version of the incumbent, the incumbent has won (see: Bob Dole in 1996 and John Kerry in 2004, for instance).
Gingrich also spoke again about American exceptionalism and how America is a “big country filled with big people” that “always had dreams.” He cited the westward expansion and winning World War II among his examples of American greatness. Gingrich said he is running so that this generation is not the generation that saw America decay and decline while other countries. And in order for America to not decline, Gingrich said the country needed boldness.
“America’s challenges are too great for mere tinkering around the edges. Just like Herman, who ran his campaign based on big ideas, I am running on bold solutions that will boost job creation, cut bureaucratic red tape, and fundamentally transform Washington,” Gingrich said. “I’m honored to have Herman’s support, and I look forward to working with him to help put the American people back to work.”
Gingrich, who is trailing Romney in Florida polls going into Tuesday’s primary, is hoping Cain’s endorsement can give him momentum to make Florida’s outcome close enough for Gingrich to not lose too much ground nationally as the race becomes more of a national contest after Florida.
The timing of Cain’s endorsement is interesting.
If Cain had endorsed immediately after Gingrich’s South Carolina win, Cain could have helped Gingrich bank more early votes in Florida in addition to giving Gingrich some free media that would have lessened some of the impact of the bombardment of negative ads against Gingrich that Romney ran that lowered Gingrich’s favorability numbers.