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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Herman Cain Gives a Fiery Speech to Tea Party Rally in Tampa


TAMPA, Fla. â€" Far from the official convention grounds, at an alternate unity rally in a church made up mostly of Tea Party supporters, the former presidential hopeful Herman Cain gave a keynote speech to a roaring crowd of several hundred, explaining why he had come to Florida: “I'm still on a mission to defeat Barack Obama!”

In recent months, Mr. Cain, a former Republican presidential contender, has been quietly promoting the tax plan that was the centerpiece of his platform, a simplified code that he called 9-9-9. He quit the race earlier this year after accusations of sexual harassment eclipsed his message and caused his campaign operation to implode.

This evening, at a Tampa Bay Church, ho wever, Mr. Cain revisited the episode and blamed his early exit on “lies and dirty politics.”

Then he said he still had work to do: Educate the country about “the ABC's: American Black Conservatives.” And he said he wasn't at all concerned about not getting a speaking role at the Republican National Convention.

“It's not about me, it's about the grandkids,” he said, repeating a line he often used on the campaign trail during the primaries. “That's what a lot of people don't understand about what Herman is up to.”

Mr. Cain, a former pizza chain executive, appeared at the church rally after Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, also a former presidential contender, addressed the crowd.

In an apparent reference to the approaching tropical storm which is disrupting the beginning of the convention, Ms. Bachmann said the country is experiencing “a spiritual hurricane.”

Others praised the Tea party movement and claimed much success in shaping the official party platform, particularly in regard to restricting abortion rights and same-sex marriage. But the evening was also a pep rally of sorts, meant to lift the spirits of those who feel shut out from the mainstream party and its convention.

“There were some people who hoped you all wouldn't show up,” Mr. Cain said. “Y'all fooled them!”