Herman Cain: Boehner shouldn’t be replaced as Speaker

Herman Cain said he isn’t ready to say House Speaker John Boehner should be ousted from his job, as some Tea Partiers upset with his negotiations in the debt ceiling debate are now suggesting.

“No, I’m not going that far at this point,” the Republican presidential candidate told reporters Wednesday outside the Capitol. “I think he’s got one of the toughest jobs in D.C. I just would hope the Republicans would kind of get their act together.”

Earlier in the day, a leading Tea Party group said a majority of its members, who oppose raising the debt ceiling at all, are open to having a new speaker.

Jenny Beth Martin, a national coordinator with the Tea Party Patriots, said at a breakfast with reporters in Washington that 71.4 percent of its membership base is for replacing Boehner, or leans that way.

Cain said he supports the concept of a “balanced budget amendment, and I also support the concept of ‘don’t raise the debt ceiling.’”

He said Democrats are exaggerating the potential impact of not coming to an agreement on the issue.

“These are scare tactics when they say they have to raise it or old people, children or puppy dogs will be hurt,” he said. “That is just scaring people.”

Cain, who said he’s also in Washington for other meetings, greeted the activists at a small noon gathering to protest raising the debt ceiling, organized by the American Grassroots Coalition and Tea Party Express.

He didn’t address the crowd from the stage, though he had a short conversation with Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican.

Others who appeared at the rally included Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Utah Sen. Mike Lee, both Republicans.