10/24/2011 11:39 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Herman Cain Addresses Racial Humor Controversy, Abortion, 999 Plan

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain responded to questions about his racially tinged humor, his position on abortion and his 999 plan on "Fox and Friends" Monday morning.

A recent New York Times story probed his usage of racial cliches in his speech. "Fox and Friends" host Gretchen Carlson asked about the article, and whether Cain uses "racial discussion to get white people to like him."

"That is absolutely false and ridiculous. Obviously because I move up in the polls people are looking for ways to bring me down. I am who I am and when Herman Cain makes fun of himself and Herman Cain uses analogies like black walnut ice cream there is no hidden meaning there. It is what it is. And you know, as far as some of the rhetoric that I have been accused of relative to saying that black people, some of them are brainwashed and if they look at the tape, I stand my ground. Some of them are brainwashed because they won't consider another alternative. But I always say the good news is a large percentage of black people are thinking for themselves, that’s all I'm trying to do. But my sense of humor is not going to go away so they may as well get used to it," he said.

Cain was asked whether abortion should be part of the political discussion. "No it should not quite frankly. But my position is real clear and has been consistent, I am pro-life," he said. The former Godfather's Pizza CEO has repeatedly called himself "pro-life" but said "it's not the government's role or anybody else's role to make that decision" in a recent CNN interview.

Cain also rejected calls by Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore, who had a role in developing the 999 plan, to replace the 9 percent national sales tax with a 9 percent payroll tax. "We did run the idea past him, but he didn't really help us develop it," said Cain of Moore. "Number one: We wanted to expand the base; that's what we do with the sales tax piece. And number two, we wanted to get rid of the biggest tax that a lot of people pay, which is the payroll tax." he said. "We want to leave it just like it is," he added. Cain said in Detroit Friday that poor families would not pay a 9 percent income tax under his plan.

Cain also addressed his recent debate performances. "Find a perfect candidate or a perfect person who will not at points in time in a presidential campaign not make a misstatement and I will show you somebody that was hung on the cross 2,000 years ago," he said.