Despite suspended campaign, Cain visits Okla.

By Sean Murphy

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Dec. 5 2011 8:21 p.m. MST

Herman Cain waves as he leaves a Republican fundraiser in Oklahoma City, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011. Cain promised to continue fighting for several of his initiatives "from the outside."

Sue Ogrocki, Associated Press

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Despite suspending his presidential campaign, Herman Cain still sounded like a candidate Monday as he visited Oklahoma for two fundraisers for the state GOP.

In a speech to about 250 people in Oklahoma City, Cain promised to continue fighting for several of his initiatives "from the outside."

"Contrary to what some people think, they're not going to shut me up," said Cain, who announced Saturday in Atlanta that he was suspending his bid for the Republican nomination following recent accusations of sexual misconduct. "I'm not going away.

"Even though I may not be a candidate, you're going to be seeing a lot of me."

Cain continued to tout his 9-9-9 plan to scrap the current tax code and replace it with a 9 percent tax on personal and corporate income as well as a 9 percent national sales tax. He also promised to unveil a new domestic energy plan in the coming weeks.

"I'm going to continue to promote the bold ideas that we've developed," said Cain, who described himself as a "free agent."

Cain has said he would offer an endorsement to one of his rivals, but declined to do so Monday.

Cain initially planned to attend a private campaign fundraiser earlier in the day before speaking at the GOP event, but Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell said both events benefitted the state GOP and that Cain's visit was sure to energize Republican voters in the state.

"We need Herman Cain in the Republican Party," Pinnell told the crowd. "This is a joyous occasion this evening — to make Obama a one-term president."

After the speech, Chad Khoury, 26, of Oklahoma City said he appreciated that Cain made the trip despite suspending his campaign.

"I admire the courage it took to continue to honor his commitment," said Khoury, a Republican who described himself as "on the fence" in terms of which GOP candidate he supports. "I still think (Cain) has a lot of good ideas, and I'm excited to see him trying to promote the welfare of the nation."

Sean Murphy can be reached at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy

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