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Herman Cain as Moses? Presidential candidates feel divinely influenced to run

Published: Thursday, Nov. 17 2011 10:05 a.m. MST

Republican presidential candidates, from left, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry cover their hearts during the playing of the National Anthem before a Republican presidential debate Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, in Tampa, Fla.

Chris O'Meara, FILE, Associated Press

While much of the religious attention in the current campaign for the Republican presidential nomination seems to be on Mitt Romney's Mormonism, Herman Cain is invoking the name of God and a certain Biblical prophet in explaining his reasons for running for president.

The Huffington Post is reporting that Cain told about 100 members of the Georgia Young Republicans last weekend that he "prayed and prayed and prayed" about the decision to run for president.

"I'm a man of faith," Cain said. "I had to do a lot of praying for this one, more praying than I'd ever done before in my life. And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses. 'You've got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?'"

Cain is not the first Republican presidential candidate to claim divine influence in the decision to run. A month ago, candidate Rick Perry's wife, Anita, told students at North Greenville University in South Carolina that as early as 2010 "God was already speaking to me" about the need for her husband to run for president.

"But (Rick) didn't want to hear it," she said. "He needed to see the burning bush," a reference to the Old Testament account of God speaking to Moses from a burning bush on Mount Sinai, and telling him that he was to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Mrs. Perry didn't elaborate on her husband's burning bush experience, but she did say that when he saw it he prayed about it and "he threw that fleece out there twice to make sure it came back with what he needed to do," another Biblical reference, from the Old Testament story of Gideon, who asks God to make a fleece wet — and then dry — as a sign that he wants Gideon to attack the Midianites.

When Michele Bachmann announced her decision to join the campaign, she explained that she felt a "calling" to run.

"I've had this calling and tugging on my heart that this is the right thing to do," she said at the time.

Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation" last June Bachmann reiterated her feeling that her prayers had provided her with "a sense from God" that joining the campaign was what God wanted her to do.

"Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer asked: "Did God tell you He wanted you to run for the Minnesota State Senate, or something like that?"

"I prayed about that, as well," Bachmann said. "And that's really what that means. It means that I have a sense of assurance about the direction I think that God is speaking into my heart that I should go."

At the time Rick Santorum announced his intention to seek the presidency,CBN political correspondent David Brody did an interview with Santorum and his wife, Karen, who said that the decision to run "really boils down to God's will — what is it that God wants."

"Each and every day, that's the prayer," Karen Santorum said. "We have prayed a lot about this decision, and we believe with all our hearts that this is what God wants."

It should be noted that none of the candidates — or their respective spouses — are saying that God wants them in the White House, just that He wants them to run.

No word yet on God's will for Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich or either of the two LDS candidates, Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney.

EMAIL: jwalker@desnews.com

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