Photo credit: Americans for Prosperity
Lost amid the media attention given to President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s recent visits to Reno for the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention was another, smaller event: a Monday rally by conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity featuring one-time presidential candidate Herman Cain.
AFP, which has come under fire for its deep connections to the billionaire Koch brothers, held a “Unicorns and Freedom" rally on Monday just a few hours and a few blocks away from where the President spoke earlier in the day (It’s called Unicorns and Freedom because of a Harry Reid quote about the similarities of millionaire job creators and unicorns).
Cain, speaking to a crowd of about 400 people, delivered his speech in his own unique fashion, at times saying that his 2006 diagnosis of colon cancer and subsequent recovery wouldn’t have been possible under ‘Obamacare,’ and that he would be dead today if that policy had been in effect.
But what prompted one of the largest audience reactions was his message to opponents, saying that, “If you think the Obama administration is doing a good job, then you’re stupid.”
After the event, Cain continued to answer questions by reporters in much the same fashion, loudly proclaiming, “Who cares?” when asked about the possible release of Romney’s tax returns.
But Cain’s continual rhetoric about the mistakes of the president can serve an advantage for Romney’s campaign as well. In a story I wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal, I brought up several advantages that AFP and people like Cain bring to Romney’s Nevada strategy — focus on attacking Obama. It’s similar to the strategy that Rick Perry used when he visited tiny Elko, Nev. last week, and what Romney himself did on Tuesday during his foreign policy address to the VFW.
From the dozens of people I’ve talked to in Nevada during this campaign season, one thing is apparent: Mitt Romney won’t win this state by his own popularity. Republicans need to convince voters that another Obama term is so bad, a Romney presidency is needed.
Cain himself summed up that thought process during his speech, saying, “He’s no Ronald Reagan, but he’s no Barack Obama.”