Cain Under Scrutiny, Stumbles

Cain Under Scrutiny, Stumbles

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By Susan Sulny, New York Times

Mr. Cain, a former restaurant executive who has never held public office, is a candidate being tested for the first time, particularly now that some polls show him perched at the top rung of the Republican field. And his lack of experience is beginning to show itself in the form of missteps or as he confronts more pointed questions about his tax plan.

After months of being dismissed as a nonstarter in the primary race, Mr. Cain is enjoying increased interest in his so-called 9-9-9 tax plan, which would set personal and business income tax rates at 9 percent each and institute a 9 percent national sales tax, eliminating all other federal taxes.

But instead of seizing his moment on the campaign trail, Mr. Cain has mostly removed himself from the ritual of retail politics to concentrate instead on the promotion of his new book, “This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House.” And his campaign continues to operate on a shoestring budget. A finance report filed Saturday to the Federal Election Commission showed that he raised $2.8 million over the summer, a figure that represented only a slight increase over the $2 million he gathered as a lesser-known candidate in the spring.

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