Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, quick with a catchphrase, drew laughter and rousing applause from North Carolina delegates Tuesday morning when he shared his thoughts on the upcoming election.
He said presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who is likely to accept the party's nod Thursday evening, gets unfair treatment from the media, which has portrayed the former Massachusetts governor as out of touch and unlikable.
Before Cain dropped out of the primary race, he said Romney was one of the most likable people on the campaign trail. Besides, Cain said, the "likability factor" shouldn't play too large a role in a presidential election.
"It's not about likability," he said. "It's about leadership."
Cain isn't the first to address Romney's image. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who spoke with state delegates Monday morning and will give the convention's keynote address Tuesday night, talked fondly about Romney's warmth during a visit to Christie's home early in his presidential run.
North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis also weighed in on the candidate, whom he described as "very engaging, very personable and very bright."
The party seems to be driving home the message that elections aren't only about winning personalities, but winning policies. Tillis said it's Romney's business sense that impresses him most.
"It's the sort of professionalism I think we sorely need in the White House and we've been sorely missing for four years," he said.
It's a message delegates hope will resonate with the American people, who recent polls suggest perceive President Barack Obama more favorably than Romney.
"Herman Cain has seen Romney up close and personal. He knows what a great guy he is," said Tom Stark, a delegate from Durham County.
Ann Romney is expected to present her husband's softer side – his character and commitment to family – when she speaks before the convention Tuesday evening.