The Republican presidential candidate joined Fred Dicker on Talk 1300 AM in Albany today, checking in via telephone from New York City, where the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO is raising campaign funds and receiving briefings on foreign policy.
“This might be breaking news, but there’s a lot of money in New York,” Cain joked when asked what he is doing in the Empire State.
Dicker asked Cain about his position on a pair of hot topics in New York state government: the so-called millionaires’ tax, and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.
On the tax — a surcharge on New Yorkers making more than $200,000 expires at the end of the year — Cain encouraged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stick to his position and allow it to run out. Cuomo, a Democrat, has faced stiff pressure from Democrats and liberals for his opposition to the tax.
Cuomo supports President Obama’s push for a millionaires’ tax on the federal level, but says extending the state tax would put New York at a competitive disadvantage with neighboring states.
“I would suggest to Governor Cuomo: Do the right thing,” Cain said. “Don’t pander to class warfare. That would be my advice to Governor Cuomo.”
Cain said he is going to be announcing his “energy independence” strategy within in the next couple weeks, suggesting hydrofracking will be a significant part of that plan. High-volume hydrofracking has been on hold in New York as the Department of Environmental Conservation finishes an environmental review and finalizes rules and regulations.
“I believe the people who are in favor of hydrofracking, they are going to win this. Why? Because if you look at the data, if they look at the science, if they look at the technology, they will see that there’s no threat to the environment.”
Dicker asked Cain about the effect the recent sexual harassment allegations against the candidate have had on his campaign.
“The good news is only a minimal number of people have been influenced by the mere allegations which have created a little cloud over my head,” Cain told Dicker, adding he “categorically denies” the accusations.
“I think the reality is going to set in with a lot of people, and further down the road it’s not going to be as big a deal as it is.”
A Marist College poll released just after Cain’s radio appearance found him in third place among Republican hopefuls. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney led the pack with 23 percent of Republicans (or GOP-leaning independents), followed by Newt Gingrich surging up the polls with 19 percent.
Cain came in with 17 percent, according to the Marist-McClatchy poll. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who once was considered a leading candidate for the GOP nomination, polled at 8 percent.