President Donald Trump has responded to the news of Herman Cain’s death. He released a statement on Twitter acknowledging the former presidential candidate’s passing at 74 after succumbing to COVID-19.
“My friend Herman Cain, a Powerful Voice of Freedom and all that is good, passed away this morning. Herman had an incredible career and was adored by everyone that ever met him, especially me. He was a very special man, an American Patriot, and great friend. I just got off the phone with his amazing wife Gloria, daughter, Melanie, and son Vincent to express my deepest condolences to the entire family. @FLOTUS Melania and I loved Herman Cain, a great man. Herman, Rest In Peace!” he tweeted.
Cain contracted the virus earlier in July, weeks after attending the president’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20. The two have maintained a close relationship as the former The Apprentice show-runner realized his political ambitions, with Cain one of the earliest Republicans to take him seriously as a candidate. Since Trump’s win in 2016, there have been regular rumors of the businessman and radio host joining the administration.
Cain Was One Of The First Notable Republicans To Support Trump’s 2016 Campaign
In October 2015, when Trump was considered a darkhorse for the Republican nomination by the most optimistic standards, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO attended one of his events in Norcross, Georgia and addressed those in attendance. According to a CNN report, Trump reached out to the business executive for advice on how to better engage with African-American voters.
During the event, Trump was complimentary of Cain’s similarly unique 2012 presidential campaign, in particular his simplified “9-9-9” tax plan. While referring to him as “Mr. 9-9-9,” the 45th president admitted he didn’t understand what it exactly meant, but the 2012 candidate “had a good thing.” The reform would have replaced all taxation with uniform nine percent tax on income, corporate and national sales.
While Cain made it clear that his attendance at the Georgia rally did not mean he was endorsing Trump as the Republican nominee, as the real estate mogul’s candidacy began to buck the odds and pick up steam, he became a more vocal supporter. After Trump’s dominating victories on Super Tuesday, the radio host made an appearance on Fox News to decry what he considered the GOP establishment for not getting behind the most popular Republican, as reported by Politico.
“I believe that the establishment needs to get over it and just allow the people to speak, and so far 285 delegates — that’s not a fluke. Get over it, Establishment.”
Cain Was Almost Nominated For A Seat On The Federal Reserve Board
Trump maintained his respect for the radio host after ascending to the White House. In April 2019, he revealed that he was planning to nominate Cain for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. However, the businessman would drop out of consideration for the position weeks later, as reported by CNN.
While a revival of the harassment allegations that caused him to end his presidential bid in 2012 was thought to have played a role in his removing himself from consideration, Cain wrote in a statement that the only influence behind his decision was the pay cut he would have to take.
“Without getting too specific about how big a pay cut this would be, let’s just say I’m pretty confident that if your boss told you to take a similar pay cut, you’d tell him where to go,” he said at the time.
If he were to join, the businessman would have had to divest from most of his business interests, rescind any commitments to serve on boards and be prohibited from making regular paid appearances on television. His annual salary would have been $183,100.
Trump didn’t take his friend’s decision to turn down the nomination poorly and tweeted a positive assessment of the man after the news became public.
“My friend Herman Cain, a truly wonderful man, has asked me not to nominate him for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. I will respect his wishes. Herman is a great American who truly loves our Country!”