POLITICS
10/13/2011 01:03 pm ET Updated Dec 13, 2011

Herman Cain Mentions Paul Ryan, Jim DeMint As Possible Vice President, Cabinet Picks (AUDIO)

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain is giving more insight into who might surround him for his 2012 run.

In an interview on Wednesday's "Steve Gill Show", the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza discussed the qualities he looks for in a vice-presidential running mate or cabinet member.

"First, someone who understands problem solving and leadership the same way that I do," Cain told Gill. "There might be different styles of leadership but there's still only one formula for successful leadership: making sure you know how to identify the right problem, set the right priorities, and surround yourself with good people."

Cain was not shy about naming names, mentioning Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) as individuals who fit that bill.

"I'll give you a name, like representative Paul Ryan. I'm not saying he would be a VP pick. He might be. But that's the type of person that I would want in my cabinet. He is the type of person."

"Senator Jim DeMint -- people who are not afraid to challenge the system. People who are not afraid to put on the table what we should do and not just what we think we can get done."

In Tuesday's New Hampshire debate, Cain put his economic policies on the table, making a fervent case that his 9-9-9 tax plan would come to pass in office. His GOP rivals criticized the proposal with an array of shots, including former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman's quip that he "thought it was the price of a pizza."

When asked about the attacks, Cain was resolute about his plan, telling ABC News: "This will probably get me in trouble, but as my grandfather would say, 'I does not care.'"

Some experts appear on board, with supply-side economics guru Arthur Laffer telling Human Events: "Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would be a vast improvement over the current tax system and a boon to the U.S. economy."

In the face of these challenges, Cain's composure has been a boon to his campaign efforts. His business background has helped move him to the lead spot in both Public Policy Polling and NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls. The Huffington Post's Howard Fineman captured the charisma that Cain brought to New Hampshire this week:

With the practiced ease of the pizza salesman, corporate CEO and talk show host he once was, Cain wowed the multitudes with a gusto that none of the other GOP contenders who spoke -- Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann -- could match.

Cain's syntax is a little muddled and his Georgia accent can be confounding to Yankee ears, but his message was clear as a bell: I know how to boil down and sell -- like so many 12-inch pepperoni pies -- the GOP's low-tax, no-government, no-regulation orthodoxy. I know how to speak to middle America. What I did for pizza I can do for policy.