Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain raised $2.8 million in the third quarter, an increase in campaign contributions that reflects his growing stature as a viable candidate in the 2012 race to the White House.

Cain emerged as a surprisingly strong contender in a crowded Republican field when he won the Florida presidential straw poll last month. Now, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll puts Cain in first place among Republican candidates, while a Reuters/Ipsos poll puts him in second place (behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney).

A former pizza company CEO who has never held an elected office, Cain is backed by the Tea Party, owing to his ultraconservative take on taxation and similar issues. Cain has proposed the 9-9-9 policy on taxes by which he proposes flat 9 percent income, corporate, and national sales tax rates.

Following are some of the most notable quotes by Cain:

9-9-9 Plan
The 9-9-9 plan that I have proposed is simple, transparent, efficient, fair, and neutral. My question is to Gov. Romney: Can you name all 59 points in your 160-page plan and does it satisfy that criteria of being simple, transparent, efficient, fair, and neutral?

Racism
I don't think racism in this country holds anybody back in a big way.
They called me racist, too, because I disagreed with a president who happened to be black.

Sense of Humor
I would bring a sense of humor to the White House, because America's too uptight.

Mormonism Debate
I am not running for theologian-in-chief ... I am not going to get into an analysis of Mormonism versus Christianity. I'm not getting into that ...

Gay Soldiers
In retrospect, because of the controversy it has created and because of the different interpretations that it could have had, yes, that probably -- that would have been appropriate ... (answering a question about whether he did the right thing by staying silent when a gay soldier was booed at a GOP debate).
I happen to think that maybe they were booing the whole 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal more so than booing that soldier.

Belief in God
When my father left his family’s small farm at the age of 18 with just the clothes on his back, he had his belief in God, his belief in himself, and his belief in the United States of America. With these beliefs, he achieved all of his dreams in life. Using those same beliefs, I have been able to achieve many blessings in life with the strength which comes from God. My family and friends, my church, my success, and the opportunity to live in the greatest country in the world are all blessings from God.

'Flavor of the Week'
“There’s a difference between the flavor of the week and the flavor of substance (responding to taunts that his rise will be short-lived).
“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.”

Occupy Wall Street
“To protest Wall Street and the bankers is basically saying you’re anti-capitalism.”

Tea Party
Most of the people that are criticizing the Tea Parties ... about having a racist element, they have never been to a Tea Party.

Health-Care Legislation
If Obamacare had been fully implemented when I caught cancer, I'd be dead.

2012 Chances
To quote one of my supporters, 'President Obama might raise a billion dollars to try to get re-elected, but the people of this country are going to raise some Cain.'