(WMC-TV) - GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain visited Bartlett Friday to kick off a bus tour across Tennessee, looking to build support in the state where he was born.
Cain left Memphis as a toddler, but played up his Mid-South roots during Friday's rally, speaking to about 2,000 tea party activists. The GOP candidate with a modest campaign budget has come from behind in the polls.
"The voice of the people is more powerful than the voice of the media," he said.
The Georgia businessman has surged in recent polls and is looking to capitalize on the growing support.
Cain blamed the Obama administration for recent labor department figures that show the unemployment rate among African Americans is twice that of white Americans.
"Bad economic policy impacts black Americans in a compounded way," he said.
Cain said his 9-9-9 tax plan would level the playing field, with a 9 percent across the board business, personal and sales tax rate. And, he denied a Huffington Post report that suggests the plan was modeled after a video game, SimCity 4.
"That is a lie, and I'm not going to take it back, and I'm not going to politically say, 'Well, unfortunately that is not totally true.' It's a lie," he said.
Supporters. like Nancy Porter, said Cain's tax plan makes sense.
"If it catches on and everybody likes it and it works, it doesn't matter where it came from," she said.
Cain said Americans are ready for a leader who isn't a politician and brings a commonsense business background. Cain is the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza.