Cain to Newsmax: Why I Stand With Newt

Newt Gingrich has the best chance of winning the White House for the
Republican Party in November because his economic plan to create jobs will work — and Mitt Romney’s won’t, former candidate Herman Cain insists.

“The biggest domestic challenge we have is stimulating this economy. I don’t happen to think Gov. Romney’s 59-point plan is going to do it,” Cain explained during an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, just minutes after formally endorsing the former House speaker.

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Cain said he made his final decision to back Gingrich on Saturday morning, the same day he made his announcement. He said he has no doubt that Gingrich, rather than his most serious rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Romney, is the man who can defeat President Barack Obama in November and win back the White House for the GOP.

“The distinction between Newt Gingrich’s ideas and President Obama’s are the widest,” he said minutes after making his endorsement in West Palm Beach, Fla. “When you look at Gov. Romney, too many of his phrases and too many of the things he talks about are more moderate in the middle.

“That’s too close. The American people need to see a wide, clear distinction between the two.”

Cain announced his decision during a surprise appearance at the Palm Beach County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner, just three days before the vital Florida primary. He said the two Georgians had had extensive conversations at least once a week recently.

“I presented to him a couple of weeks ago the idea that I aligned with all of his ideas, but I didn’t think that his ideas for economic growth and jobs were strong enough,” said Cain, who dropped out of the presidential race in December.

“I said you need to be bolder, and I said I offer you 9-9-9, so he said he would think about it.

“We had a conversation as late as this morning when he said he could embrace the idea. That isn’t to say that he is going to be the cheerleader for it — that’s my job — but he did say he would embrace the idea.”

Cain made the 9-9-9 plan the central plank of his own run for the presidency before he dropped out in December. Under it, the current tax codes would be abolished and replaced with a flat rate 9 percent rate for personal income tax, corporate tax and a new national sales tax.

Along with accepting the endorsement, Gingrich appointed Cain to co-chair his tax reform and economic growth advisory committee. “That means I will have an opportunity to convince others of 9-9-9, and I took that as a very positive sign,” Cain said.

Cain said he accepted that the Republican race now has just two realistic candidates, Gingrich and Romney.

Romney’s 59-point economic plan “is not connecting with the American people, they don’t even know what that’s about. The American people want specific ideas that are going to address the problem,” he said.

Cain said he and Gingrich agree on all other major issues, specifically noting there is no difference in their approach to energy independence, regulatory reform and the question of sound money.

“I wanted him to be stronger on replacing the tax code and we had a conversation and that put us over the fence.”

But he also said he likes the “boldness” of Gingrich’s thinking. “He talks about energy independence and Made in America. He’s bold in saying he will sign authorization for the Keystone pipeline, that’s what you call bold, not dancing around being generic and political.”

The two men first met in the early 1990s when Gingrich was speaker and Cain was leading the business opposition to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton’s plans to reform healthcare.

“I remember the first time I ever met Speaker Gingrich, we sat down in his office for a 10-minute conversation,” he said. “He canceled two meetings to spend some more time with me because he understood where I was coming from and he wanted to hear the businessman perspective.

“The one thing that impressed me the most is that when I had that initial conversation with him, it wasn’t ‘Let me do this because I think I should.’ He genuinely listened to my ideas and what I thought the business community wanted to do.”

Gingrich’s experience also added to Cain’s conviction that he is the man for the job. “He [was] in Congress for a long time, but the good news is he was out of Congress for a long time, that gave him an opportunity for him to clear his head, and he did.

“He will go back as president with a fresher, bold approach about what he needs to do in order to change Washington, D.C. — rather than somebody who has been stuck in Washington, D.C. or stuck in politics for most of their career.”

Interesting.

Woods fades in Abu Dhabi, loses to Rock by two – PGATOUR.COM

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Robert Rock held his nerve Sunday to hold off U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship for the biggest win of the Englishman’s career.

The 117th-ranked Rock shot a 2-under 70 for an overall 13-under 275 to beat the 22-year Northern Irishman by a shot and the 14-time major winner by two. Woods finished in a tie for third with Thomas Bjorn (68) and Graeme McDowell (68). Matteo Manassero (69), the 18-year-old Italian, and George Coetzee (70) of South Africa were a further shot back.

Woods started the final round tied for the lead with the unheralded Rock. He appeared poised to win his second tournament in a row after ending a two-year winless drought with a victory last month at the Chevron World Challenge.

But the control Woods displayed for much of the weekend abandoned him Sunday, and it was Rock who held it together down the stretch.

“I didn’t hit the ball as well as I would like to,” Woods said. “Today I was just a touch off. I was righting the ball through the fairways. I was hitting the ball a little bit further than I thought I would … So something to look at, and something to try and figure out.”

Woods started strong and it looked as though he might pull away from Rock, sinking a 40-footer on No. 2 for birdie and chipping to within a foot of the cup for a second birdie on the third. But Rock — who said Saturday he was a bit overwhelmed to face his idol — didn’t blink. He also birdied two of the first three holes to keep pace.

Then Woods began to unravel.

He started spraying his drives into the thick rough and fairway bunkers, resulting in the first of three bogeys. When Woods wasn’t missing the fairways, he was scrambling to save par as he did on the 11th when overshooting the green. As he approached his shot in deep rough just off the 11th green, he sighed heavily and let out a stream of obscenities under his breath.

Woods managed to save par on 11 by sinking a 12-footer and Rock just missed a birdie putt. Woods pumped his fist and appeared to be regaining momentum as he pulled within one shot of Rock on No. 13 when the Englishman had one of his three bogeys. But the 34-year-old Rock birdied two of the next three holes to seize control.

Rock wobbled on the 18th when his drive landed in a pile of rocks near the water — forcing him to take a drop. But he recovered beautifully, reaching the green in four and then two-putting for the win.

“It’s pretty hard to believe that I managed to win today. Very surprised,” said Rock. “I played good. So I guess I had a chance from early on, a couple of birdies made the day feel a little bit easier.”

“But it’s difficult playing with Tiger. You expect almost every shot to threaten to go in. I felt a lot of pressure and couldn’t afford any lapses in concentration at all.”

Rock said he drew strength from the struggles of Woods and his other playing partner Peter Hanson (78) and used that to bounce back from several bogeys.

“I was just focusing on trying to hit fairways and then hit my iron shots as good as I have been and give myself chances at birdies,” Rock said. “Both Tiger and Peter struggled on occasions on a few holes and I managed to keep my ball in the right position and didn’t put myself under too much stress until the last, which was a relief.”

It was a storybook ending for Rock, who rose from a club pro to join the European Tour in 2003 and only got his first tour win last year at the Italian Open. The victory will elevate him into the top 60.

“It doesn’t get an awful lot harder than playing with Tiger Woods,” Rock said. “So I guess barring a major championship, I know I can handle that again. So that’s pretty nice to know.”

The loss is the second straight time Woods has failed to win with at least a share of the lead after 54 holes. He lost the Chevron World Challenge in 2010 after going into the final round with a four-shot lead over McDowell.

Woods acknowledged it wasn’t the way he wanted to start the 2012 season but said he took solace from the control he showed the first three days and the putts he made over the final three.

“Obviously the ultimate goal is to win and I didn’t win,” said Woods, who missed out on his 84th career win.

“I hit the ball good enough to win the golf tournament this week,” he said. “Today I just didn’t give myself enough looks at it. Most of my putts were lag putts. I didn’t drive the ball in as many fairways as I should have. Some of the balls were running through. Other balls, I was just missing. It was a day I was just a touch off off the tee and consequently I couldn’t get the ball close enough to give myself looks.”

While most of the attention was on Rock and Woods, several players surged into contention down the stretch.

McIlroy, playing ahead of Rock and Woods, birdied 18 to move to 12 under and give himself a chance. But he came up short with four rounds of par or better golf being undone by several costly mistakes — the worst coming Friday when the third-ranked McIlroy was penalized two shots for brushing away sand in front of his ball in the rough of the 9th.

“You know, you’ve got to take the positives,” McIlroy said. “It’s the first week of the year, and you know, it looks like it’s going to be the second year in a row here that I’ll finish second. But still a very good start to the season and something I’ll build on.”

McDowell played the most exciting round of the tournament on Sunday, with an ace on No. 12, a chip-in on 13 and then a shot off the grandstand at 18 that led to a birdie and a tie for third. For the 2010 U.S. Open champion, it was a good way to start the year after failing to win in 2011.

“Any time you come back in 31 shots on a Sunday, semi in the mix is always a good day’s work,” said McDowell. “It was certainly an eventful last seven holes with a hole-in-one and a nice ricochet off the grandstand at the last.”

Too bad.

‘Boring’ golf gives Stanley lead over varied cast – PGATOUR.COM

LA JOLLA, Calif. — When Kyle Stanley was a kid growing up in Gig Harbor, Wash., he woke up every morning looking at a poster of Tiger Woods on the ceiling above his bed.

And on Saturday at Torrey Pines, a place that once was the personal playground of the former world No. 1, a place where Woods won seven times, counting the 2008 U.S. Open, Stanley was doing his best imitation of his childhood idol.

He matched Woods’ 54-hole record of 18-under 198, which gave Stanley a five-stroke lead he modestly called “nice-sized” entering Sunday’s final round. Granted, Tiger’s was bigger in 2008, eight strokes to be exact, but who’s counting?

What’s important is that Stanley has a chance to win his first PGA TOUR event just 41 starts into that career. One stroke, five strokes, eight strokes, it doesn’t matter. What does is what happens on Sunday afternoon and whether he’s the one hoisting that trophy on the 18th green.

The last time a player made the Farmers Insurance Open his first win was more than two decades ago in 1991 when Jay Don Blake shot 20 under to beat Bill Sander by two strokes. Blake started the final round two strokes off the pace but closed with a 67 to seal the deal.

Stanley, on the other hand, has held at least a share of the lead since Thursday when he opened with a 62 on the North Course. He got to that position by playing what he calls “boring” golf — and don’t expect any changes on Sunday.

“I think the biggest thing is you can’t necessarily go out there and try to protect (the lead),” Stanley said. “You’ve got to really just keep doing what got you to this point. I’m not going to be anymore conservative tomorrow. I’ll stick to my game plan off the tee and hopefully just continue to give myself a lot of chances.”

John Rollins, who is tied for second with TOUR rookie John Huh, said the key will be getting off to a fast start and putting some pressure on Stanley. Rollins, Bill Haas and Brandt Snedeker are the only players among the eight within seven strokes of the lead who have won a PGA TOUR event before, and two of the others are rookies like Huh.

“If a guy had a 10- or 12-shot lead, you’d feel pretty comfortable,” Rollins said. “But when you’re four or five shots, sometimes it’s hard to play with a big lead because you get kind of relaxed and everything else.

“Then next thing you know, a bad drive here and there leads to some bogeys, and birdie-bogey on the same hole and two shots could happen pretty quick.”

Stanley learned that first-hand at last year’s John Deere Classic — only he was the pursuer that day at TPC Deere Run. Steve Stricker had taken a five-stroke lead into the final round but Stanley doggedly gave chase, even seizing the lead on the back nine before Stricker birdied the last two holes for the one-stroke win.

“I wasn’t very discouraged,” Stanley recalled earlier in the week. Not even after he closed with a 66 but missed a 9-footer for par on the 72nd hole to force the playoff. “I think if anything I took some positives from it. …

“It was nice to really get in contention with a few holes left. That’s kind of the goal for this year is to just keep working hard and keep trying to get myself back there.”

Turns out, that goal was realized quicker than he thought.

Stanley has been extremely solid in all phases of the game this week at Torrey Pines. He ranks first in greens in regulation and second in driving distance with an average of 311.5 yards and one in the books Saturday that measured 341 — of course, “it was just downwind and I hit that as good as I can possibly hit it,” Stanley, not one to boast, was quick to point out. He has owned the par 5s, too, playing them in 10 under.

As impressive as Stanley is off the tee, though, he’s also tied for first in approach shot distance to pin and distance of putts made so his irons are precise and his putter cooperative. And maybe most importantly through the first three rounds, the Clemson product has looked like he has ice water in his veins.

“I’m kind of an internal guy, I guess,” Stanley, shrugging and flashing a shy smile, said in understatement.

On Sunday, he’ll test himself at Torrey Pines, just like the man whose poster the teenager looked at every morning has done so many times before. Even with the prodigious lead, Stanley refuses to get ahead of himself, though.

“Winning on TOUR is something that you dream about as a kid, so it would be certainly nice for it to happen,” Stanley said. “But like I said, I still have one round left and we’ll see.”

Interesting…

Cain Endorses Gingrich for President

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain endorsed Newt Gingrich for the GOP nomination late on Saturday — at the same time accepting a position as the former House speaker’s tax reform chairman.

The author of the now-famous 9-9-9 tax plan announced his endorsement in West Palm Beach, Fla., three days ahead of that state’s vital primary. The endorsement is a welcome boost for Gingrich, who has found himself having to defend himself against a vicious onslaught of attacks from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“It is time for conservatives and Republicans to refocus their attention on the ultimate mission of defeating President Obama,” Cain said at the Palm Beach County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner. “I believe Speaker Gingrich is the bold leader we need to accomplish this mission.”

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Exclusive: Cain tells Newsmax why he supports Gingrich — Go Here Now.

Cain was catapulted to national attention when his own campaign for the nomination took off in the fall. His signature 9-9-9 plan, which would have provided 9 percent taxation on income tax, corporate tax, and new national sales taxes, caught fire with the public. At one time, he led in the polls for the right to take on President Barack Obama in November. But his campaign faltered and he dropped out of the race in early December.

Cain and Gingrich both come from the Atlanta area and have been friends for more than 20 years. The two men worked together in the early 1990s to help defeat Hillary Clinton’s plans for healthcare, and as House speaker, Gingrich appointed Cain to the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform Commission, better known as the Kemp Commission.

Gingrich said he was “honored” to have Cain’s support and immediately announced that the former pizza mogul would co-chair his tax reform and economic growth advisory council.

“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.

When Cain suspended his presidential campaign, he promised to stay engaged. This he has done. The watershed moment of that engagement might very well be his endorsement of his former rival for the highest office in the land.

The venue for the endorsement was as unique as Cain’s spirited style, with Gingrich actually stepping in for Herman Cain as the headliner for the Palm Beach County event. The former House speaker took over Cain’s spot as keynote speaker at the Palm Beach County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day dinner Saturday evening. Cain then stole back the limelight with his surprise endorsement.

The event came three days ahead of Florida’s presidential primary.

Previously, Cain had been tapped by the Tea Party Express to give its response to the 2012 State of the Union address. His 13-minute speech was critiqued as being a lot more animated and vigorous than Indiana governor Mitch Daniels’ official GOP response.

Also not long ago, on Fox News this morning, Cain  applauded Gingrich’s well-received admonishment of CNN’s John King, who infamously opened a two-hour debate by asking the former Georgia congressman whether he wanted to respond to an accusation from his ex-wife. Both men agreed that it demeaned the presidential forum.

Good for him.

Ann Coulter Tells Glenn Beck That Newt Gingrich is Boring and Pompous | Video | TheBlaze.com

During his Wednesday morning radio broadcast, Glenn Beck and guest Ann Coulter discussed President Obama’s State of the Union address and what they consider the inexplicable rise of Newt Gingrich among his supporters and in primaries like South Carolina.

Coulter noted that even if one discounts Gingrich’s stated admiration for Franklin D. Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, “he likes amnesty for illegals, and he took $1.6 million from Freddie Mac.”

“It’s going to be very hard to beat Obama” — a point Coulter believes “should be said over and over again.”

The “Demonic” author also reminded that Republicans have only beaten incumbents twice in the last century.

Glenn and Coulter delved into Gingrich’s long history in D.C. as well as touched on a recently published caricature  depicting the former House Speaker as “a little stick figure at the center of the universe,” with a “primary mission, advocate of civilization definer of civilization, teacher of the rules of civilization.”

Glenn marveled, “I don’t think the Pope describes himself as that.”

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Coulter added:

“He had notes reminding himself to smile and look cuddly. And then after, you know, it all came crashing down with the ethics investigation, which was a real problem. I mean, for him to denounce it as, oh, this was just a partisan investigation, the congress and the House of Representatives was still majority Republican and there were a lot of good right wing Republicans on that committee and something like 90% of Republicans voted to reprimand Gingrich for abuse of a 501(c)(3).”

Glenn and Coulter also discussed how some Gingrich supporters are starting to behave like the more radical Ron Paul supporters Glenn has encountered. Coulter responded by saying she’s “never seen this behavior from Republicans. We normally associate it with Democrats.”

Hmmm.

The real State of the Union – HUMAN EVENTS

Has Barack Obama learned nothing in three years? Last night, during his State of the Union address, he promised “a blueprint for an economy.” But economies are crushed by blueprints. An economy is really nothing more than people participating in an unfathomably complex spontaneous network of exchanges aimed at improving their material circumstances. It can’t even be diagrammed, much less planned. And any attempt at it will come to grief.

    Politicians like Obama believe they are the best judges of how we should conduct our lives. Of course a word like “blueprint” would occur to the president. He, like most who want his job, aspires to be the architect of a new society.

    But we who love our lives and our freedom say: No, thanks. We need no social architect. We need liberty under law. That’s it.

    Obama — and most Republicans are no different — doesn’t understand the real liberal revolution that transformed civilization. The crux of that revolution is that law should define general visible rules of just conduct, applicable to all, with no eye to particular outcomes. In other words, as Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek taught, the only “purpose” of law is to enable us all to pursue our individual purposes in peace.

    If Obama really wanted, as he says, a society in which “everybody gets a fair shot,” he would work to shrink government so that the sphere of freedom could expand. Instead, he expands government and raises taxes on wealthier people, as though giving politicians more money were a way to make society better. Instead, the interventionist state rigs the game on behalf of special interests.

    What should Obama have said in his speech? Here’s what I wish he’d said:

    Our debt has passed $15 trillion. It will reach Greek levels in just 10 years.

    But if we make reasonable cuts to what government spends, our economy can grow us out of our debt. Cutting doesn’t just make economic sense, it is also the moral thing to do. Government is best which governs least.

    We’ll start by closing the Department of Education, which saves $100 billion a year. It’s insane to take money from states only to launder it through Washington and then return it to states.

    Next, we’ll close the Department of Housing and Urban Development. That saves $41 billion. We had plenty of housing in America before a department was created.

    Then we eliminate the Commerce Department: $9 billion. A government that can’t count votes accurately should not try to negotiate trade. We will eliminate all corporate welfare and all subsidies. That means agriculture subsidies, green energy subsidies, ethanol subsidies and so on. None of it is needed.

    I propose selling Amtrak. Why is government in the transportation business? Let private companies compete to run the trains.

    And we must finally stop one of the biggest assaults on freedom and our pocketbook: the war on drugs. I used drugs. It’s immoral to imprison people who do what I did and now laugh about.

    Still, all these cuts combined will only dent our deficit. We must cut Medicare, Social Security and the military.

    I know. Medicare and Social Security are popular. But they are unsustainable. The only way to cut costs and still have medical innovation is to free the market. So I propose that we repeal Obamacare immediately. My proposal was a mistake. We should repeal all government interference in the medical and insurance industries, including licensing. It all impedes competition.

    We must shrink the military’s mission to true national defense. That means pulling our troops out of Germany, Japan, Italy and dozens of other countries. America cannot and should not try to police the world.

    Those cuts will put America on the road to solvency. But that’s not enough. We also need economic growth.

    Our growth has stalled because millions of pages of regulations make businesses too fearful to invest. Entrepreneurs don’t know what the rules — or taxes — will be tomorrow.

    All destructive laws must go. I endorse the Stossel Rule: For every new law passed, we must repeal two old ones.

    OK, Obama will never say that.

    But I can dream, can’t I?

Good stuff.

Fowler switches to Cobra Puma clubs « PGATOUR.com The Tour Report

Rickie Fowler is known for being attired head-to-toe in Puma clothing and now his golf bag will feature a similar look with Fowler officially switching to Cobra Puma’s new AMP clubs, which he’ll use in his season debut at this week’s Farmers Insurance Open.

“I am so excited to have the Cobra sticks in my bag and be a full part of the Cobra Puma Golf team,” Fowler said in a release. “I’ve been hitting the AMP driver great; I’m getting a lot more distance and the orange details look really fresh.”

As noted, Fowler will play the AMP driver, which features E9 Face Technology with dual roll, Advanced Material Placement and Adjustable Flight Technology. He’ll also use the AMP 3-wood and AMP Pro prototype irons. Details on the clubs will include flashes of Fowler’s trademark orange.

The AMP Driver and the AMP irons were both featured in this year’s edition of Golf Digest’s Hot List.

“Rickie’s focus, determination and performance combined with his stand out style and joy for the game make him a perfect match for Cobra Golf,” said Bob Philion, President of Cobra Puma Golf, in a statement Monday. “He has had a tremendous effect in the golf industry over the past few years and his influence continues to grow. As we continue the revitalization of Cobra globally, Rickie Fowler will be instrumental in bringing our core DNA to life by being grounded in performance while bringing an edgy, unique personality and style to life. He will help us introduce the new Cobra Golf to a new group of consumers.”

We’ll see how they work.