Cain rallies for Sand in FargoFormer presidential candidate Herman Cain said here Friday he doesn’t care if his presence in North Dakota this weekend disrupts the Republican Party establishment.
By: By Kristen M. Daum, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — Former presidential candidate Herman Cain said here Friday he doesn’t care if his presence in North Dakota this weekend disrupts the Republican Party establishment.
That kind of change is just what America needs, Cain said, and it why he is visiting Fargo and Bismarck to raise campaign funds for Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Duane Sand.
“I didn’t come here to rain on their parade,” Cain said of the North Dakota GOP, which kicked off its state convention Friday. “I came here to help my friend Duane Sand.”
Cain said Sand is like him: An unconventional candidate with ideas, who can shake-up the establishment of party politics.
Sand’s plans on energy, national debt, the military and other key issues fall in line with Cain’s conservative mission, which is why Cain said he wanted to formally endorse Sand.
The Republican nominee for Senate will be decided by voters at a June primary. Sand isn’t seeking support from delegates at the state convention in Bismarck this weekend, leaving Rep. Rick Berg no challenger for the party’s ceremonial endorsement.
Cain called Sand’s move “courageous” and said it sends a message that voters will determine who gets the Republican nomination.
“I’ve seen this sort of ‘division’ in other states,” Cain added, “and the fact that he wanted to make a statement that the people are going to elect the nominee, rather than just party leaders — he has the right to do that.”
Cain flew into Fargo early Friday morning. His “Solutions Revolutions” bus — with a prominent photo of his head on its sides — also rolled into town, heralding his arrival ostentatiously.
Before a luncheon fundraiser in downtown Fargo, Cain and Sand visited with local media —including The Forum’s editorial board.
Forum Editor Matthew Von Pinnon ordered in Godfather’s Pizza for Cain’s visit, which humored Cain, the company’s former CEO.
Aside from stumping for Sand, Cain railed against the health care reform and the inability of the federal government to pass and stick to a budget.
Cain said he continues to campaign around the country — despite his presidential bid ending after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced — in hopes that Republicans will win control of the House, Senate and the White House.
Cain’s fundraising events with don’t conflict with any convention activities, but Sand said he’s still received heat from “high-ranking members of the Republican Party” for inviting Cain, a potential distraction from the party’s festivities.
“I hope it doesn’t disrupt (the convention),” Sand said, “but I don’t think it does or ever was going to.”
North Dakota Republican Party spokesman Matt Becker said it was the first he’d heard of Sand’s claim.
“It’s great anytime we can get a national political figure here to North Dakota,” Becker said. “But we really are far too busy for getting ready for our record convention to be concerned with what other candidates are doing outside of our process.”
Kristen Daum is a reporter
at The Forum of Fargo-
Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.