JACKSON, Tenn. — While most GOP candidates are blazing through Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire, Herman Cain followed his roots back to West Tennessee on Friday.
“By the way, you all know that I am 1 and 2 [in the polls],” Cain exulted during a stop in Jackson, Tenn. “I’m not bragging … The bull’s eye on your back gets bigger.”
Cain is currently leading the pack of Republican presidential candidates, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Not even a malfunctioning microphone could sap Cain’s energy as he turned around a few moments of silence by showing off his deep baritone voice and belting out “Impossible Dream.”
Listen: Herman Cain sings stow-stopper from “Man of La Mancha”
Aiming for the target on Cain’s back, political observers have attacked the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO’s decision to tour the Volunteer State, forgoing early-voting states that might be more pitoval in deciding the next president.
“The guy … did four stops in Texas — today, I think he’s on a bus going around Western Tennessee, which votes on March 8,” Karl Rove, former presidential adviser to George W. Bush, said on Fox News’ Sean Hannity Thursday.
“I mean, he needs, if he’s serious about this, to be spending virtually every waking moment he can in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, and Nevada.” (RELATED: DC pizza joint offering ‘9-9-9′ pizza deal)
Cain regional field representative Brad Greer, said Saturday that Cain is just staying true to his roots.
“I wish Karl Rove would go somewhere else and leave politics alone for a little while,” Greer told The Daily Caller. “He has had his day to try to do things right. It’s time for a change in leadership. And that means some of the people like Karl Rove need to move aside and let some people like Herman Cain step in and do the job they know how to do.”
Cain dismisses accusations that his campaign will lose its current momentum.
“The voice of the people is more important than the voice of the media,” said Cain. “You’re not going to let the media tell you who to vote for. And they are finally — finally! — starting to wake up to that fact.”
Cain’s momentum in the polls was reflected in the crowd of Tennesseans who chanted the name of his signature “9-9-9” tax plan right along with the candidate. The Jackson event even featured a Cain-approved food deal: three hotdogs, two bags of chips and a drink for — of course — $9.99.
Scoffing at those who say American energy independence is a pipe dream, Cain told the crowd that the Environmental Protection Agency needs an “attitude adjustment.”
“Why y’all keep telling me what I can’t do?” Cain asked, drawing laughter and applause from the crowd. “I’m going to be president!”
“There is only one reason why the bumblebee flies,” said Cain as he wrapped up his speech. “He didn’t get the memo that says that he can’t fly.”
“I didn’t get the memo that says I can’t be the president of the United States of America.”