Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the Defending… (Haraz N. Ghanbari / Associated…)
As he appeared on stage Friday before a gathering of conservative activists, Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain gave no indication that he was discouraged after a turbulent week marked by allegations that he had sexually harassed former employees.
Cain opened his speech with an obvious jab at President Obama and at rival Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who had delivered his own speech just moments before.
“Before I get started, I want to know, whose teleprompters are these? “ Cain said after taking the stage. “I don’t need ‘em. Maybe they’re for somebody else.”
Then he got philosophical, warning the audience against a life without dreams.
“The American dream has been hijacked,” he said. “But the good news is, we can take it back.”
Cain touted his business background and defended his "9-9-9" tax plan. He made no mention of the sexual harassment allegations.
But he did address another topic – his relationship to the billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, who are credited with having founded Americans for Prosperity, the group that hosted the summit.
“I’m very proud to know the Koch brothers,” Cain said. “This may be a breaking news announcement for the media: I am the Koch brothers’ brother from another mother.”
David Koch, who was sitting in the front row of the packed ballroom at the Washington Convention Center, stood as the crowd burst into applause.