Herman Cain invokes Ronald Reagan, wins big ovations at Values Voters Summit

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain gestures during a speech at the Values Voter Summit on Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, in Washington. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain gestures during a speech at the Values Voter Summit on Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, in Washington.
Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain gestures during a speech at the Values Voter Summit on Oct. 7, 2011, in Washington.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain on Friday delivered a rousing defense of his campaign and candidacy, winning several standing ovations from conservative activists gathered in Washington for the Values Voters Summit.

Rising suddenly to become a top-tier contender means "you get this bull-eye's on your back," Cain said. But Cain insisted that his growing momentum was no fluke.

"This long shot may not be a long shot any longer," Cain said. "One of the questions I always get--"Why are you running for president? To be president!...I'm not running to go to Disneyland!"

Cain, the only African American candidate in the GOP field, touched on the highlights of his usual stump speech: His so-called 9-9-9 economic plan to reform the tax code; his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, and his own story of moving from poverty in the segregated South to success in corporate boardrooms.

Perhaps in response to polls that show him breaking out from the bottom of the pack to challenge front-runners Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, Cain also moved to bolster his foreign policy credentials.

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"My foreign policy philosophy is an extension of the Reagan philosophy," Cain said, referring to the late President Ronald Reagan. "Reagan's philosophy was peace through strength. The Cain philosophy is peach through strength and clarity. We must clarify who our friends are, clarify who are enemies are and stop giving money to our enemies."

  • Naureen Khan On Twitter»

    Naureen Khan covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.

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