CPAC: Herman Cain says he dropped out to "put family first"

Former presidential candidate Herman Cain addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012.
J. Scott Applewhite
J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON - Businessman Herman Cain on Thursday said his decision to drop out of the race for the Republican nomination came down to two factors: "Gutter politics" and the fact that "I chose to put family first."

Cain made the comments to a sympathetic audience at CPAC, the four-day Conservative Political Action Conference that every year brings thousands of conservatives to Washington.

The former Godfather's Pizza CEO dropped his presidential bid in December after support dried up in the wake of accusations from a string of women that he had engaged in sexual impropriety. The former candidate has tried to remain engaged in the presidential race, endorsing Newt Gingrichand pushing his "9-9-9" tax plan.

Cain said Thursday he's building an "Army of Davids" to take on the Goliath of the Washington establishment. With that in mind, Cain said he's endorsing Sam "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher for Congress in Ohio's 9th district. Wurzelbacher would face either liberal stalwart Rep. Dennis Kucinich or Rep. Marcy Kaptur in the general election.

"Some of us choose to get off the sidelines," Cain said of both Wurzelbacher and himself. "Yes, he's going to get attacked. Yes, they're going to try to do the same thing to him they did to me. But more of us have go to take that challenge."

Cain told his audience that Americans "are fed up again of the abuse and arrogance" of the Obama administration.

"We need another revolution in this country, but it won't be bombs and bullets, not this time," he said. "It'll be brains and ballots. We must outsmart the liberals. We must outsmart the stupid people tyring to ruin America."