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Cain: Opponents 'misrepresented' 9-9-9 plan

GOP presidential contender Herman Cain insisted his “9-9-9” tax plan had been vetted by economic advisers and accused his rivals of misrepresenting the proposal a day after it came under attack from rival candidates during a Republican debate.

“I was attacked last night,” said Cain on CNBC’s Squawk Box Wednesday morning. “People who attacked me on 9-9-9 they either didn’t have a plan or in the case of Gov. Romney, he had a complicated plan that nobody understands.”

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Cain said that his rivals’ tax reform proposals “pivot off the existing tax code. My plan is the only one which throws off the current tax code.”

Cain accepted that some voters were “skeptical” about his ideas but said that economic advisors had vetted his proposal. “We have had it scored,” said Cain. “The company is called Fiscal Associates.”

He added that his campaign was “getting ready to share that information with people.”

Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan would implement a 9 percent tax on income and corporations along with a 9 percent sales tax.

During the Tuesday debate, audience members failed to raise their hands when former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) asked if any were supporters of the plan.

Earlier on ABC’s Good Morning America, Cain took particular aim at Santorum’s attack. 

“The reason people didn’t raise their hands is because it’s 9-9-9. Sen. Santorum took each one of them and asked that question. I commend the audience for not raising their hands, because they know that you need to take the three together. You broaden the tax base and lower the net, net taxes for everybody,” said Cain.

Cain said Santorum’s question “totally took it out of context.” “Sen. Santorum has misrepresented it more than anybody else,” he added.

Cain said opponents who claim his proposal would raise less revenue and would hit middle class families harder were “wrong.” 

He said those critics “were making this analysis based upon their set of assumptions and not the assumptions we used to develop the plan. We would be happy to share those assumptions, but they won’t call and ask ‘what are your assumptions,’” he said. “They are using assumptions from the old tax code.”

On ABC, Cain was also asked how he would respond to the alleged Iranian bomb plot if he were president. 

“President Cain would say, I would like to see all of the intelligence information. I would like to do a complete analysis with all of the advisers,” he said.

Cain dismissed suggestions that he lacked the foreign policy knowledge to be president saying it “shouldn’t matter to voters.” “Having a foreign policy philosophy is more important than having foreign policy experience,” he said.

Cain described his philosophy as building on Reagan’s vision of “peace through strength.” Cain said his approach would be “peace through strength with clarity.”