Feb. 8, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Senators Share Georgia Pride for Gingrich, Cain

Tom Williams/Roll Call
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (above) has high praise for Newt Gingrich, calling him “the smartest politician I know.”

“He does have some great ideas. Like all of us, every now and then one or two of them aren’t as good as we think they are. But if you aren’t thinking, you don’t need to be in this job,” said Isakson, who was elected to Gingrich’s old House seat following his resignation from Congress after the 1998 midterm elections. “Like anybody with a long career in public life, with that comes a lot of perceptions and past experiences, which he’s being confronted with now that he’s gotten into the race. But you can’t underestimate him as an individual and a politician.”

Isakson also is particularly familiar with Cain. The former CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza restaurant chain ran against Isakson in 2004 in an open GOP Senate primary. Isakson, who won that race, said it was an achievement for Cain that he finished second, ahead of then-Rep. Mac Collins.

“Herman’s a very articulate guy, he’s got a good business background. He’s a great speaker, and I know Herman well and have a high regard for he and [Gingrich] both,” Isakson said. “He was underestimated in the race he and I were in. It was a three-man race, and the incumbent Congressman who ran against me finished third.”

Chambliss offered similar praise for Cain, calling him a “really good guy” and a “really great communicator.”

Cain is a “bright guy, a good sound businessman. And, again, would make a very good president, in my opinion,” Chambliss said. “What I’m hearing from folks around the country is, ‘Gee, I didn’t know Herman Cain but I happened to see him in the debate, or heard him on TV the other day, and this guy’s got really good ideas, and he’s a comer.’ And, he’s going to get a really good look by a lot of people.”

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