Copyright ©2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Another Republican vying for the White House spent today in Florida. Herman Cain has been struggling recently, first with allegations of sexual harassment. And he's still answering questions about his fumbling response, earlier this week, when asked about Libya.

NPR's Greg Allen caught up with Cain in Miami.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Herman Cain followed a path well-worn by other presidential candidates to the Versailles Restaurant on Miami's 8th Street, Calle Ocho. And he played to the largely Cuban-American crowd.

HERMAN CAIN: Freedom for Cuba now.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

ALLEN: Florida is where Cain, for a time, became a frontrunner, winning the GOP straw poll here two months ago. In the past week, though, he's dropped back in the polls, running second or third behind Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. On his campaign swing through Florida, he's trying to recapture some of that momentum.

This week, he raised questions about his foreign policy expertise when he fumbled for an answer, after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board asked him whether he agreed with President Obama on Libya.

CAIN: Got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me that I agree or not disagree with Obama?

ALLEN: In Miami, after sampling some Cuban coffee and a croquette, Cain talked to the crowd about his plans for tax reform.

CAIN: Nueve, Nueve, Nueve.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

ALLEN: And, apparently referring to his mishap with the Journal Sentinel, he said he's sometimes criticized because he's never held public office.

CAIN: I'm criticized that I don't know this and I don't know that, and I don't know that and I don't know this. You know, a leader doesn't have to know everything. But a leader needs to know something. And I can tell you what I do know. I know how to surround myself with good people. And I know the right questions to ask in order to solve the problem.

ALLEN: That answer satisfied many of the Cain supporters in the crowd, including Juan Fiol, who runs a real estate company in Miami. Fiol said he was voting for Cain because he's a businessman, not a politician.

JUAN FIOL: So, if he's not fully fluent in foreign policy yet, then that's fine. A good CEO would surround himself with people who do know foreign policy, like, I don't know, Gingrich.

ALLEN: Fiol and others I spoke to said they like Cain, but if he fades, they'll happily settle on Gingrich, Romney or one of the other Republican candidates.

Greg Allen, NPR News, Miami.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: