Mark Block is now presidential candidate Herman Cains campaign manager and chief strategist. He previously worked for the Wisconsin branch of Americans for Prosperity.
J.D. Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman under Defense Secretaries Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates, is the new vice president of communications and also serves as Cain’s foreign policy and security adviser. Rich Lowrie, who has served as the managing director of a wealth management practice in Cleveland, is vice president and economic security adviser. Michelle Gwaltney, vice president of operations, is responsible for running the business aspect of the campaign. Scott Bieniek, vice president and general counsel, previously worked for GOP election lawyer James Bopp Jr.
Block acknowledged the inexperience of his staff but coolly downplayed its significance.
“Herman Cain is not handled,” he said, explaining the role the candidate plays in the campaign.
“Who writes his speeches? Herman Cain. Who prepares all of his talking points? Herman Cain. Who gets him ready for stuff? Herman Cain,” Block said. “We don’t tell Herman Cain what to do.”
Block said Cain’s third-quarter fundraising would be competitive but declined to provide details.
Block said he expects the primary campaign to boil down to a two-man race between Cain and Romney by late fall, with the Georgia businessman wrapping up the contest by the end of January or sometime in February. Block said fundraising has picked up dramatically but suggested it has a ways to go, saying Cain refuses to go into debt to hire staff and pay for other campaign activities.
“While we’re not afraid of Gov. Romney, his money is a challenge,” Block said.