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October 04, 2011 at 04:51 PM EDT

Conservative presidential hopeful Herman Cain’s appearance this morning on The View was far less uncomfortable than the hosts’ discussion yesterday about the use of the N-word when discussing the West Texas hunting camp used by Gov. Rick Perry that used to be known as “[N-word]head.” Watch that here if you missed it. Perry claims the name, written on a rock at the gate, was changed and painted out in 1983 or 1984, soon after Perry’s father joined the lease. “I still stand by my statement that it was insensitive for it to be there up until 1983,” Cain said on The View. “And the statement that has been issued by Gov. Perry’s campaign, I accept that. I do not believe that that represents how Gov. Rick Perry feels about black people in America. It was insensitive to leave it there as long as they left it.” 

The most heated moment during Cain’s appearance came when Joy Behar turned the conversation away from Cain’s 999 Plan to save the economy to his personal social views: he’s anti-abortion, even for victims of rape and incest, and believes being gay is a choice. When Behar asked him how he could think anyone would choose to be gay knowing how he or she could be vilified, Cain, to his credit, kept his cool. “You show me the science that says that it’s not [a choice], and I could be persuaded. Right now, it’s my opinion against the opinion of others who feel differently. That’s just a difference of opinion.” Elisabeth Hasselbeck jumped in and noted that some politicians separate their personal beliefs from the way they vote. Would Cain, an associate pastor at his church, Sherri Shepherd asked? “Yes. I am gonna make my decisions based upon the Constitution of the United States of America. That’s what the president has a responsibility to do. Some of my personal feelings are not gonna influence decisions that I need to make on behalf of all the people. That’s what a president is supposed to do.”

Other highlights:

• He “absolutely” stood by his statement that were he to run against Barack Obama, two-thirds of blacks would vote for Obama simply because they’ve been “brainwashed” not to consider a conservative candidate. “The good news is a lot of black Americans are thinking for themselves. Now, there are some that are so brainwashed that they won’t even consider a conservative idea.” How will he change their minds? “You save the savable, and if they’re not savable because they don’t even want to hear the idea about my 999 Plan… I tried to give that to some people and they didn’t want it because they saw me as a Republican. They saw me as a conservative. I call that being brainwashed, not being open-minded to another idea.”

• The quick sell on his 999 Plan: “Very quickly: It imposes a 9 percent business flat tax, a 9 percent personal income tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax. It expands the base so everybody has a lower rate, and it is not regressive on the poor. Now when you add certainty by passing this, that’s what’s gonna cause the business community to be inspired to put together growth plans.”

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