TODAY | January 31, 2012
>> you so much. herman cain who bowed out of the race in december endorsed mr. gingrich over the weekend. good to have you here.
>> delighted to be here.
>> earlier this month you stopped short of endorsing candidate. you said you endorse the people.
>> what made you change your mind to endorse newt gingrich now?
>> when i endorsed we the people i was trying to send a message to the people, don't be distracted by the negativity and the attacks. you've got to stay engaged and inspired all the way through the process even though it's gotten ugly and bitter. then as i talked with speaker gingrich , compared where he stood on many of the issues, he believes we should replace the tax code , so do i. he believes in energy independence with a better regulatory environment. so do i. he believes in sound money . when i saw how close his tax plan came to my 9-9-9 plan we talked and i decided to endorse it.
>> he didn't promise you anything. did he lobby you.
>> he offered you a job. he said he'd make you chair on jobs, economic growth and taxes.
>> he offered me that. i call it a job when you get paid. he asked me to be a voice.
>> would you take that?
>> i would. the reason is his tax proposal. remember, my number one issue was this economy which is why i put the bold 9-9-9 plan on the table. his comes closer than any other candidate. he just doesn't have the third component. he said he would seriously consider moving more toward mine.
>> endorsing one candidate, you are not endorsing another. so the question is why don't you want mitt romney to be president?
>> well, that's not completely accurate. i have said whoever gets the nomination i will support. the process is what it is. yes, there's going to be competition amongst the candidates all the way up. i am committed to support whoever gets the nomination.
>> are you comfortable with mitt romney securing the nomination?
>> i could be very comfortable with mitt romney . if uh you look at mitt romney and newt gingrich both, one has negatives that will be attacked. the other has negatives. the difference is what negatives will be attacked by the obama administration.
>> in terms of the negatives in the gop race, you have criticized gingrich for attacking romney 's bain years calling them irrelevant and poor strategy. as a former ceo, as a man who understands business, why support a candidate who has really taken on free enterprise by attacking romney in this way?
>> you have to make a decision. if you take both candidates, you've got things you may not like. i didn't get involved with speaker gingrich 's tack tickets and i haven't been involved in governor romney 's tactics. you have to say what do i agree with the candidate on versus how much i disagree with the tactic or political strategy.
>> did you feel this was all political strategy or did gingrich betray the business world?
>> i don't believe he betrayed the business world. i have known him since the 19 # 0s. i know from my own personal experience with speaker gingrich when i worked on the economic growth and tax reform commission with jack kemp , we were appointed to the commission. i know he is business friendly. i know he's pro growth and i do believe he will be bold in making the necessary tax changes in order to boost this economy.
>> do you have any regrets about running for president of the united states ?
>> no, i do not.
>> not a single one?
>> here's why. one of the things that has come out of me running is elevating the discourse and keeping the public's attention on the most critical --
>> what about the personal cost to you?
>> yes. there were things i i expected but there were things i didn't expect. i didn't expect the gutter politics would get as bad as it did. i made a decision -- family first. that's why i bowed out, but i will still stay involved in helping make the major changes.
>> do you think you will run again?
>> i don't think so. my biological clock is ticking. i don't want to spend more of my biological clock being beat up.
>> maybe it is like giving birth. biological clock and all that entails.
>> thank you.