Radio host and businessman Herman Cain addressed more than 400 Republicans packed into The Antler's Hilton conference room Saturday night for the annual Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser.
Much of Cain's message focused on conservatives stopping and reversing "Big Brother" control in Washington, D.C., and winning upcoming congressional races.
"Top-down strategies don't get people to the polls. We need activists from the bottom-up," Cain said, pointing to local activist Laura Carno, who's leading the effort to recall state Senate Majority Leader John Morse.
Saturday's event was hosted by the El Paso County GOP. A variety of Republican-esque items were auctioned off, including a Romney-Ryan poster signed by Paul Ryan, signed Karl Rove books, Cracker Jack boxes and seven 30-round Magpul magazines signed by El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa. Money raised from the event goes to support area GOP efforts.
"We're doing messaging and media better than we've ever done before," said Chairman Jeff Hays, referencing 2014. Hays was among a slew of local GOP leaders who spoke before Cain, including Carno, Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman, Attorney General John Suthers and Secretary of State Scott Gessler.
"In 2012, we lost big time. The thought I want to share with you: Get over it," Cain said to mild applause. On 2016 talk: "Forget about it! We still have 2014 to get through and we can win in 2014."
Cain is best known for his brief 2012 presidential run when the then little-known businessman pushed his 9-9-9 plan for a flat tax and national sales tax. He suspended his campaign after endless media attention over claims of sexual harassment and infidelity, which he denied.
"We need to clarify who we are as conservatives and Republicans," Cain said, launching into a plethora of topics, including replacing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and encouraging homeschooling.
Cain said it is not the "intelligent people" that are ruining the country, but those who are "stupid" and "ignorant" and trying to run the country.
"We can replace Obamacare," Cain said, calling those trying to implement it "nothing more than political pimps."
He also emphasized the need to stop being "wimpy" about the need to replace the tax code and pick a plan, whether a flat tax, fair tax or a 9-9-9 plan. "How much more strategy do we need?"
Cain said that conservatives must "defeat the sluts of the status quo in Washington, D.C." At the end of the day, he said that it all depends on gaining control of Congress. "We've got to look for candidates that are crystal clear for what we stand for."
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