Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain urged the South Carolina legislature to push for a federal balanced budget amendment.
Cain joined fellow conservative activists and politicians Saturday afternoon on the aircraft carrier Yorktown at Patriot Point to advocate for the Constitutional convention. The convention of states would then ratify the amendment. This strategy has not been used since the 1700s, when conventions of this type were used to determine early American policy.
Thirty-six of the 50 American states must pass legislation asking for a convention of this type, and 24 already have. A measure to ask for a convention has passed the South Carolina House of Representatives, but is not expected to make it out of the Senate this legislative session.
Cain led the "Freedom Rally," held on National Armed Forces Day, in conjunction with I Am American, an organization dedicated to making that convention happen.
"It's called 'from the bottom up,'" Cain said. "Because we know from the top down, it doesn't work."
Cain's fellow speakers expressed extreme skepticism that federal legislators would take action to lessen the national debt or pursue a balanced budget amendment on their own.
"That's just never going to happen," said Loren Enns, a speaker for I Am American.
Cain said he was inspired by his young grandchildren to advocate for this cause, referring to his youngest grandson as "the fourth installment of why I keep fighting."
"I'm supposed to be retired, but I can't find it in the dictionary," Cain said with a laugh.
Cain currently hosts a nationally syndicated radio talk show and is a contributor to Fox News. He pledged to focus more of his show's conversation on the work toward a convention to pass a balanced budget amendment.
I Am American CEO "Typhoon" Lou Marin, announced that the organization would begin actively lobbying for legislation advocating for a convention to pass a federal Constitutional amendment abolishing the Internal Revenue Service while continuing efforts on behalf of the balanced budget amendment.
State Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley, was scheduled to speak about his efforts to get the pro-convention legislation through the Senate, but there was a fire at his home, according to emcee Tara Servatius, a morning radio show host for Charleston's WTMA.
Nearly 200 people came to the rally. Some were dressed in patriotic clothing, and four audience members wore head-to-toe colonial attire.