Donald Trump ally Herman Cain dies of coronavirus

Former pizza chain boss was once tipped as long shot for Republican presidential nomination

Herman Cain was a Republican presidential candidate in 2012. AP
Herman Cain was a Republican presidential candidate in 2012. AP

Herman Cain, the pizza chain executive who rose to prominence in Republican politics before being felled by a sex scandal, has died after being admitted to hospital in July with the coronavirus. He was 74.

The death of Cain, a close ally of US President Donald Trump, was announced on his website, which five days ago said there had been “hopeful indicators” for him in his Covid-19 battle.

He was treated in 2006 for colon cancer, which may have increased his risk of complications from Covid-19.

Cain released a statement on Twitter on July 2 less than two weeks after attending President Donald Trump’s indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Covid-19 cases were rising in the area at the time, prompting local officials to ask Mr Trump to cancel the event.

“Trump Tulsa Rally, I was there. The atmosphere was exciting and inspiring!” Cain wrote on Twitter after the June 20 gathering.

He tweeted a photograph of himself at the rally, not wearing a mask, in a group of other maskless Trump fans.

From pizzas to tax reforms

Cain spun his success in the pizza business and as a lobbyist, along with his charismatic personality, into a run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

He was briefly the front-runner — before any votes were cast — on the strength of his 9-9-9 tax plan.

“There are generally three kinds of people in the world. People who make things happen, people who watch things happen, and people who say, what in the heck happened,” he wrote in This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House.”

Mr Trump called Cain “a powerful voice of freedom and all that is good” in a pair of Twitter condolence messages.

“Melania and I loved Herman Cain, a great man,” he wrote.

Cain is survived by his wife, Gloria Etchison, who he married in 1968, and two children.

Updated: July 31, 2020 05:54 AM


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