After Months Of Fox News “Love,” Herman Cain Announces 2012 Committee

Today on Neil Cavuto's Fox News program, conservative commentator Herman Cain made the “exclusive first”* announcement that he's forming an exploratory committee for the Republican presidential nomination. Fox News should feel some pride in the announcement: Cain has appeared as a guest almost exclusively on Fox News (according to a Nexis search) and since April, the network has repeatedly touted Cain -- who notes has “virtually no name recognition” but is “a favorite among many Tea Party circles” -- as a potential presidential contender.

Cain is a regular guest with Cavuto, who Cain has called “one of my closest friends.” In September, Cain correctly noted that “Neil has been trying to drag” a presidential announcement “out of me for months now.”

Cain has also drawn praise from other Fox News hosts. Glenn Beck, on his radio program, said that Cain reminds him of Ronald Reagan when he speaks. Fox Business host David Asman, while discussing Cain's presidential prospects, said, “I love the guy.” And Sean Hannity contrasted Cain's business background to President Obama's, and drew applause from his audience when he asked if Cain should run for president.

An Atlanta Journal Constitution article last month quoted Mercer University political science professor Chris Grant stating that it's “kind of hard to imagine him doing anything beyond getting 1 or 2 percent of the vote” but as a “practical matter, this would increase his listenership, he'll gain national notoriety, and he'll set himself up to make national commentary on social and political issues.” On the other hand, at the conclusion of the Cain announcement segment, Cavuto said that he has “as much a chance as anyone” of winning.

During the 7-minute segment, Cain unsurprisingly got a plug in for his campaign website.

*Sidenote: The live interview announcement wasn't really a surprise, as CNN reported the news this morning and Cain's campaign website and a Facebook announcement had already been posted.

From the January 12 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:

The following are six instances on Fox News where Cain discussed his presidential aspirations.

Hannity. April 14, 2010.

During a tea party themed program on Fox News, Hannity touted “rock star” Cain as a potential presidential candidate. After Cain noted his business background, Hannity remarked, “Well, obviously you've created a job ... This president has lost four million jobs so you would be, you know, way ahead of the game.” Hannity also asked his audience, “How many of you would like him to run for president?” which drew loud applause. From Nexis:

HANNITY: All right, guys, good to see you. Appreciate your being here. I got to get this out of the way because, you know, Herman Cain is a friend, colleague, fellow talk show host. And there's a rumor out there that you went down in New Orleans the other day and you gave a speech and you said you're considering running for president of the United States.

Is that true?




HANNITY: How many of you would like him to run for president?


CAIN: My exact words were, we have to focus on 2010. We know that is job one. But as we start looking to 2012, I simply reminded everybody that in 2011, as these candidates for president are emerging that there could be a dark horse candidate. That's all I said.


CAIN: Could be. Could be. Those were my exact words.

HANNITY: Now wait a minute.

CAIN: That's all I said.

HANNITY: Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

CAIN: It could be a white guy.



CAIN: It could be a white guy.


HANNITY: I have a quick question. You're getting a little like Bill Clinton to me here and that was not a good answer. I want to know would you consider -- now you have an incredible business background.

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: You founded --

CAIN: I used to own Godfather Pizza. But I didn't -- but I ran it for 10 years.

HANNITY: Ran it for 10 years.

CAIN: Brought it back from bankruptcy. Know how to solve problems.

HANNITY: Well, obviously you've created a job.

CAIN: Yes.

HANNITY: This president has lost four million jobs so you would be, you know, way ahead of the game.

Would you consider it seriously?

CAIN: I would seriously consider with a lot of prayer and that's what I want people to do, pray about it. Because as you know, that's one of the biggest decisions could possibly make.

HANNITY: Listen.

CAIN: And I did --

HANNITY: I'm going to make an announcement, too. I haven't prayed deeply about whether or not I should run for dogcatcher in my local community.


HANNITY: That's as far as my political career goes.

CAIN: But I just want people to understand that it takes a lot of prayer. And at this moment my wife is probably watching this show and she's probably falling out of her chair.


CAIN: Just to say it. I'm just saying.


CAIN: Yes, she's praying. But thanks a lot.

Your World with Neil Cavuto, April 15

On his April 15 show, Cavuto prodded Cain to announce that he's running for president on his program:

CAVUTO: Are you -- are you going to run for president?

CAIN: You`re one of my closest friends. I believe in the power of prayer. And I want people to keep praying. And, no, I didn`t answer your question.

Cavuto also drew an apparent contrast between Cain's business background and those in Washington:

CAVUTO: So, what do you make about that, that we need more people with corporate experience, with business experience, who know money in, money out...

CAIN: Right.

CAVUTO: ... something that seems alien among both parties in Washington?

CAIN: You have even reported on the fact that, in the Obama administration, 7 percent of his Cabinet and czars have ever signed a -- have ever had a real job. That`s a problem. The difference between businesspeople getting elected to office at all levels is that they know how to solve problems. They know how to cut through the clutter and solve problems. We don`t have any problem-solvers in Washington, D.C. All we have are politicians in Washington, D.C.

Your World with Neil Cavuto, September 24

Your World guest host Brian Sullivan intro'd Cain as “a rock star on the Tea Party circuit” and spent the segment asking Cain if he would run for president.

Your World with Neil Cavuto, December 6

On his Fox News program, Cavuto again asked Cain if he's running for president. Cavuto quipped to Cain: “Here's my one warning for you. If you announce on Hannity, our friendship is over. ... All right. You announce it here first regardless.”

On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, December 17

On her Fox News program, Greta Van Susteren hosted Cain and discussed his presidential aspirations. Greta noted that Cain is “friends with Neil Cavuto” and asked, “Will you come back and tell us first, maybe?” Cain replied that “Neil Cavuto has offered to disown me and send Guido to break my knees if I don't announce it there first.”

America's Nightly Scoreboard, December 23

On his Fox Business program America's Nightly Scoreboard, host David Asman asked Cain if he would run for president. Cain added that if he announced, he would do so on Cavuto or he “would have me eliminated.”

On December 28, Asman asked radio host Michael Graham if Cain had a chance to be president, and added, “I love the guy.” In response, Graham seemed to suggest that Cain wouldn't win the nomination because Republicans are more concerned about nominating someone who can beat Obama.