Politics
In this photo released by FOX News Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather In this photo released by FOX News Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, talks of his decision to run for U.S. president in 2012 on FOX News Sunday in Washington Sunday, May 22, 2011. (AP Photo/FOX, Fred Watkins)  

DNC sets sights on Herman Cain

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

While conservative commentators Charles Krauthammer and Karl Rove might not see Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain as viable, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is keeping an eye on the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO.

While the DNC has been barraging media and supporters with alerts criticizing Republican presidential hopefuls Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Mitt Romney’s media appearances, Cain has largely been out of the mix. Last week, the DNC sent out more than 25 alerts attacking the aforementioned GOP frontrunners, not one mentioned Cain.

Today, however, the committee ramped up its focus on Cain, issuing a “Rapid Response” attack against his morning “Fox and Friends” appearance, during which Cain praised the Paul Ryan budget.

“I support Ryan’s plan one hundred percent,” Cain said. “We don’t need to come up with another plan.”

The DNC took issue with his comments and sent out a round up of criticism on the GOP’s budget plan, including threats that it would end medicare, favors the rich, and would increase the debt.

Herman Cain spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael, told TheDC that Cain is definitely a threat to Obama and that they have been surprised the DNC’s attacks have been so sparse thus far.

“Are we surprised they are attacking Mr. Cain? No. Are we surprised it took this long? Maybe. He has a strong ground game. He has a lot of fervent support, as the most recent polls show. And once people hear Herman Cain they like Herman Cain.”

DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan told TheDC that they want to hold Republican candidates accountable, including Cain.

“We fact-check anyone who misstates the facts or misleads the American people about their own or the president’s record,” he said of the DNC’s “Rapid Response” against Cain.

Thursday’s Gallup poll had Cain in the top of the pack among GOP voters, with 8 percent of the vote ahead of Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman. He trails Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich.

“When you have somebody who is so likable and so respected on our side and among the American people as a whole, that is clearly making them nervous,” Carmichael added.

Despite his high poll numbers and likability factor, there are some on the Republican side who still have doubts about the viability of his candidacy. According to Carmichael the criticism has not fazed Cain at all.

“This is the guy who spent his whole life being called an Uncle Tom and an Oreo. If he was sensitive he wouldn’t be running for president,” she said.

Follow Caroline on Twitter