07/03/2011 06:58 pm ET Updated Sep 02, 2011

Herman Cain: Obama 2008 Fundraising Strategy 'Genius'

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain says he's ripping a page from President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign playbook when it comes to fundraising for his own political operation.

In a New York Times Magazine interview published online last week, Cain signaled his team is beginning to see his pursuit of the White House take off. The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza indicated that his campaign has found success in appealing to "medium- to small-dollar donors" who have contributed anywhere from $25 to $100.

Responding to the suggestion that his strategy sounded "very Obama '08" the GOP contender said, "David Plouffe wrote a book about how he did Obama’s fund-raising strategy. And guess what we did? We read the book. Genius! Let me tell you something about Herman Cain, I don’t have a problem taking a good idea and using it, even if it did come from Obama."

The AP reports:

On Saturday, his campaign released his first campaign-finance filing, showing a total of $2.5 million raised so far. Spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael said the total includes more than 27,000 nationwide online donations. Cain did put some of his own money in, but Carmichael described it as "only a fraction" of the total and "modest seed money."

Earlier this year, Cain addressed the financial aspect of running a competitive presidential campaign. He said he had no intention of throwing millions of dollars of his own money into his presidential run. "My middle name is not Meg Whitman or Mitt Romney," he quipped.

The AP reports:

Cain's candidacy has not been without gaffes, and he has made a few racially tinged remarks that have raised eyebrows. Last month, Cain was quoted as saying that blacks "can't afford to" join him at tea party rallies and other conservative events. In campaign footage, he is seen with tea partyers across the country, warning, "To all of those who say that the tea party is a racist organization ... eat your words!"

Asked if signs carried at Tea Party rallies referring to Obama as Kenyan are racist, Cain told the Times, "Not if you’re from Kenya." In drawing a contrast between himself and the president in an interview with Bloomberg View columnist Jeffrey Goldberg last month, the GOP hopeful suggested the president was raised in the African country.