Cain names Jim DeMint, Paul Ryan as possible 2012 vice presidential picks

Herman Cain named Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) as potential running mates should he secure the Republican presidential nomination for the 2012 election.

Speaking Thursday on "The Steve Gill Show," Cain outlined the qualities he would like in a running mate, and then, unprovoked, offered specific names.


“There are some people in Congress that are very, very good, that I respect and admire and that I would love to have on my team,” Cain said. “Whether that would be in a V.P. slot or in a key Cabinet slot … I’ll give you a name — like Representative Paul Ryan. I’m not saying he would be the V.P. pick, he might be, but that’s the type of person I would want in my Cabinet. He’s the type of person. Sen. Jim DeMint — people who are not afraid to challenge the system. People who are not afraid to put on the table what we should do, and not just what we think we can get done.”

Cain acknowledged that his lack of legislative experience means he would likely need to fill the top slots with Washington insiders.

“You can’t be so egotistical that you’re afraid to hire someone smarter than you,” he said. “Based upon my thinking today, I would probably look for someone that has that D.C. experience, that experience in Congress or whatever the case may be.”

Cain also said that he’d seek the help of his friend — and fellow competitor — Newt Gingrich as a campaign manager, chief of staff or strategist.

“Newt is a brilliant mind,” he said. “I don’t know how things are going to turn out, but I would call upon Newt Gingrich to assist me at some point in some way because he brings so much knowledge and insight to this whole process, but more importantly, to the problems we face in this country.”