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In S.C., Cain defends book tour

By NBC's Ali Weinberg
ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Speaking to reporters after a book signing here, Herman Cain said he would not “apologize” for going on a book tour during his presidential campaign, saying that book-signing events help him raise his national profile.  

“I don’t apologize for these events at all and I’m going to do more of them as part of my campaign,” said Cain, who in recent days has surged in polls and won a straw poll in Minnesota today.

“Signing books helps to raise my name I.D.,” Cain said. “As a matter of fact it’s not inconsistent to be on a book tour signing books as well as campaigning. Because we have integrated campaign events along with events related to this.”

Cain noted that he also appeared on two TV shows this morning, which he said “complement” the word of mouth and media generated from today’s event, held at a Books-a-Million and attended by about 200 people. 

“I consider that the whole package in terms of how I’m spending my time. So to pick out one instance or one event and say that’s not contributing, I don’t think so,” Cain said. 

Cain also downplayed suggestions that he is a “flavor of the week” candidate with whom Republican voters are only temporarily enamored.

“I didn’t need to do this for visibility and exposure,” Cain said, citing the radio show he used to host, as well as his frequent Fox News appearances. 

And, he added, “There’s a difference between the flavor of the week and the flavor of substance. “ 

“A lot of people can’t think about Herman Cain without thinking about 9-9-9, my economic growth and jobs plan. They think about my plan for dealing with the Social Security program, the Chilean model. They think about how I describe how we should approach the illegal immigration issue. 

“I have put solutions on the table. It’s the substance that’s going to keep me from being a flavor of the week.”

The Cain campaign cancelled a second book signing scheduled for today at a Barnes and Noble in Spartanburg, South Carolina. A store clerk said the campaign cited a “family emergency” in cancelling the event, but Cain spokesman JD Gordon said there “was no family emergency” and that the event was cancelled because of a scheduling conflict.