Sudden GOP frontrunner Herman Cain defended his 9-9-9 tax plan on the talk show circuit today, shooting back at critics who say it would jack taxes for the poor, middle class, and elderly. "There are invisible taxes that are built into everything we buy," said Cain, adding that his plan replaces those "with a 9% visible tax." If people "do the math on their individual situation, I believe more are going to see it's advantageous." Questioned by David Gregory, Cain reaffirmed his February statement that liberals want to "destroy this country" by stunting the business sector, and said that Occupy Wall Street should take their grievances to the White House's door. Cain also shot back at critics questioning his wife's absence from the campaign trail, saying that Gloria Cain "is maintaining the tranquility of (our) family life," and "will be visible at some point, but it'll be based upon when we want her to be visible, not when the powers that be or the media wants her to be visible." Elsewhere on the Sunday dial, as per Politico:
- John McCain on Obama and creating jobs: “It’s time the president came off the campaign trail, sat down and negotiated with us [on areas of] common ground."
- McCain on Iran: “I think his policy of engagement with Iran has clearly been a failure. It’s time the American people were told by the president of all of the activities that the Iranians have engaged in."
- David Axelrod on Mitt Romney: “There’s a question about where his core principles are." Axelrod hammered Romney as a onetime "pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-environment candidate for office and then he decides to run for office and did a 180 on that … time and time again, he shifts.”
- Newt Gingrich on Cain's 9-9-9 plan: "If Herman figures out how to do it all right and if he can explain a 9% sales tax so people decide they want it, he has a good chance to be the nominee. "If, however, in New Hampshire, for example, where they have no sales tax at all and no mechanism for collecting it ... it gets to be a lot harder sale."
- Gingrich on his competitors: “Perry was the natural alternative to Romney and, if Perry had a flawless campaign, he would’ve been the nominee."