Gingrich: Cain has 'good chance' to be nominee if he can sell 9-9-9 tax proposal

GOP presidential contender former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Sunday that fellow Georgian Herman Cain has a "good chance" at winning the Republican nomination for 2012.

Gingrich cautioned however that Cain’s chances of cinching the nomination would depend on how successfully he sold voters on his increasingly popular, but controversial “9-9-9” tax reform plan.

"If [Cain] can explain a 9 percent sales tax so people decide they want it, he has a good chance to be the nominee,” said Gingrich on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley.

Adequately describing Cain’s plan to replace the current tax code with a 9 percent income tax, 9 percent sales tax and 9 percent corporate tax may be more difficult however than it seems, Gingrich warned.

“If, however, in New Hampshire, for example, where they have no sales tax at all and no mechanism for collecting it, or in Iowa where senior citizens are going to say, wait a second, as my 79-year-old mother-in-law said on her Social Security, in her fixed income she's now going to pay 9 percent more? … As people look at 9-9-9 and disaggregate it, it gets to be a lot harder sale, I think,” Gingrich told Crowley.

As for his own candidacy, Gingrich said he’s running a “campaign of substance.”

“The challenge for somebody like me is to have -- because I am a very complicated candidate, right? We have a "21st Century Contract with America" that's at We're having thousands of people download it. It is gradually circulating. I am deliberately running a campaign of substance,” Gingrich explained as he handicapped the race.

The former House Speaker noted that at this time during the 2008 presidential election, the GOP’s eventual nominee, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), was in third place – an indication that Gingrich shouldn’t be counted out yet.