CHARLESTON, S.C. – Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain spoke to a sparse, late afternoon crowd at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, making an endorsement and offering advice to Newt Gingrich.
Cain spent the majority of his talk touting his 9-9-9 tax plan. In addition, he suggested that wealthy individuals, such as Warren Buffett, write checks to the U.S. Treasury if they feel guilty about earning too much money.
"The 9-9-9 is a great tax equalizer," Cain exclaimed. "Mr. Buffett has complained that it's not fair his secretary pays a higher percentage of taxes than he does. My advice to Warren Buffett is to sit down and write a check and send it in. Don't drag the rest of the rich people along."
The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza took the opportunity to give what he termed an "unconventional" endorsement. While those in the auditorium were sitting on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the announcement, Cain simply stated that he was throwing his support behind "the people."
"I am for the American people," said Cain, who went on to say he might still endorse an individual candidate at a later date.
"If I made an endorsement of a specific candidate today it might spilt my support. Whoever wins the nomination I will support. My primary objective is to defeat Barack Obama. I still might endorse a specific candidate but I am not prepared to do so now. I like three of the four who are still in the race."
He would not specific which three he was referring to.
Cain was also asked about the recent revelations by Gingrich's second wife, Marianne Gingrich, regarding Newt's past marital infidelities. Her interview will air on ABC's Nightline after Thursday evening's debate.
"The American people don't care. Don't focus on it," Cain advised Gingrich. "The people want to hear about solutions. Focusing on something in his past personal life – it does not do justice to the American people, folks. It is an injustice to drag anybody's past personal life out. The people just don't care."
The candidates will have one more chance to convince South Carolina's undecided voters they are the one to take on President Obama in Thursday night's CNN debate. The primary election will be held on Saturday.