Former Godfathers Pizza chief executive Herman Cain says he’s definitely forming an exploratory committee — likely within the next several weeks — to test the waters for a possible Republican presidential run in 2012.
Cain, a radio talk show host and favorite of the Tea Party movement, confirmed the news in an interview with The Daily Caller. He suggested that a presidential campaign is likely, but said he hasn’t made a final decision.
“Bottom line is, all of the indicators and all of the benchmarks that I had laid out and we had laid out as a team are all moving in the direction of yes,” Cain said. “We haven’t gotten there yet, but we’re moving in that direction.”
He’s been particularly encouraged, he said, by the results of the midterm elections in November “because I wanted to make sure that this voter anger and frustration was going to convert into votes to change the political landscape, and it did.”
That gave him confidence, Cain said, that “people might be ready for an unconventional candidate” in 2012.
Cain, who on Friday is scheduled to appear on Greta Van Susteren’s show on Fox News, has been traveling to early caucus and primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire to reach out to grassroots movement and potential donors.
If Cain decides to run, he’ll certainly face high hurdles in getting attention in a race that could include Republican stars like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
But his visits to early primary states appear to be paying off.
Tim Albrecht, the communications director for the incoming Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, wrote on Twitter this week that, “Prediction: Herman Cain is going to have some serious legs when he begins visiting Iowa.”
Cain says that Tea Party activists and potential donors have been receptive to 2012 candidacy. “All of this encouragement, both grassroots and financial, will help me make a decision. And so far, so good, is all I can say,” he said.