Let the presidential debates begin.
After Morgan Freeman criticized the Tea Party and called their actions "racist," Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is firing back ... with compliments!
OK, not just compliments, but Cain did take a moment during his defense of the Tea Party to call Freeman "a great actor."
That out of the way, what else did Cain have to say about Freeman and his criticisms?
In case you need a refresher, the Oscar-winning actor appeared on Piers Morgan Tonight on Friday and called the Tea Party "a racist thing" for attempting to boot President Barack Obama from office.
"Their stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term," Freeman said. "What underlines that? 'Screw the country. We're going to whatever we can to get this black man outta here.'"
Cain made an appearance on Fox's Your World with Neil Cavuto, where he addressed Freeman's remarks.
"Well, first of all, I doubt if Morgan Freeman, with all due respect, who is a great actor, has ever been to a Tea Party," Cain said. "Most of the people that are criticizing the Tea Parties ... about having a racist element, they have never been to a Tea Party."
When Cavuto attempted to make a joke about Freeman having presidential experience (during his meteor-plagued "Deep Impact" administration), Cain said, "In a movie! This is real life out here on the campaign journey, man. This is not a movie."
Cain, whose campaign is riding high after winning the Florida straw poll, was quick to say that he was not offended by the actor's remarks.
"I just think that it is sad that they're so short-sighted in really understanding what the whole Tea Party citizen movement is all about," he continued. "I'm not offended by it, because it doesn't slow down my momentum. It doesn't slow down the reaction that I get from people.
"So, name-calling is something that's going to continue in this, because they don't know how to stop this movement. And this movement is making a big difference in politics, because a lot of the traditional Democrats are moving to the center or moving over to vote for conservatives. They're taking another look at a Herman Cain."
Your move, Freeman. Your move.