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political notebook

Cain expects to stay in top tier of GOP

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain spoke with the media after appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday.

Jose Luis Magana/associated press

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain spoke with the media after appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday.

Presidential hopeful and pizza executive Herman Cain says he “won’t be a flavor of the week’’ and his sudden climb to the top of GOP presidential polls will last.

A recent spate of polls showed Cain joining Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in the top GOP tier.

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Cain said yesterday that his signature 9-9-9 tax plan would lower taxes for most Americans, but conceded some in the middle class might pay more. The plan would scrap the current federal tax code and replace it with 9 percent rates for personal income and corporate taxes and add a 9 percent national sales tax.

Many independent analysts say Cain’s plan would lower taxes on the rich and raise them for many middle class Americans, but the Georgia businessman disputed those doubts on NBC’s “Meet the Press.’’

Cain said his proposed tax overhaul will benefit poorer Americans by eliminating “invisible taxes’’ that push up the price of goods.

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“There are some people who are going to pay more taxes,’’ said Cain in the interview. Most of those people, he said, will benefit from lower prices caused by greater competition among businesses and fewer taxes being embedded in production costs. “Those taxes go away, so the price of goods won’t go up,’’ he said.

Cain’s television appearance capped a week in which he surpassed Romney at the top of some Republican primary presidential polls.

Cain, who is making a campaign bus tour, appeared at Tea Party-supported events Friday and Saturday in five small towns in Tennessee that each attracted more than 500 people.

Cain will have difficulty convincing people to accept a 9 percent sales tax, especially residents of states such as New Hampshire that have no sales tax, Republican competitor Newt Gingrich said on CNN’s “State of the Union’’ program.

Protesters’ message lost on GOP, says Obama adviser

President Obama’s senior political adviser, David Axelrod, said that Republicans seeking the presidency don’t understand the American public’s pent-up anger over corporate excesses.

In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,’’ Axelrod said the American people “want a financial system that works on the level. They want to get a fair shake.’’

He appeared a day after scores of demonstrators protesting corporate business practices were arrested in New York’s Times Square in a confrontation with police.

Axelrod faulted Republicans who have been pushing in Congress to soften or repeal the landmark legislation Obama pushed through last year, tightening regulation of business practices.

Axelrod said he doesn’t believe “any American is impressed’’ when hearing GOP presidential candidates who want to “roll back Wall Street reform.’’

Keep personality out of jobs debate, Cantor says

House majority leader Eric Cantor said that Republicans and the Obama White House are struggling to agree on a plan to ease unemployment because “a lot of folks on the other side want to boil this down to personality.’’

Cantor was asked on “Fox News Sunday’’ about accusations the GOP has obstructed Obama’s proposals. He said “the differences we have with this president are policy-based.’’ Cantor said federally directed stimulus efforts don’t work. And he said that while Republicans agree with President Obama that “there’s too much income disparity in this country,’’ they want economic policies that lift all segments of society.

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