Herman Cain, Black businessman and darling of the Tea Party, is not shy about putting his finger on one reason his quest for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is an uphill climb.

African-American voters have been brainwashed, he said in a recent appearance on CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, when the issue of race came up.

“African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view,” Cain said. “I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative.

“So it’s just brainwashing and people not being open-minded, pure and simple,” he said, insisting that Blacks are assumed to be Democrats.

Cain went on to say that he’d spoken with many Black voters in his travels and he believes that a third of African-American voters would throw their support behind him.

He also believes that the link between Blacks and Democrats is not as solid as it once was. “More and more Black Americans are thinking for themselves. And that’s a good thing,” he said.

“I do believe a third would vote for me based upon my own anecdotal feedback,” he went on to say. “Now, they won’t be voting for me because I’m Black. They’ll be voting for me because of my policies.”

Meanwhile, he continues to draw mainstream attention. Comedian Dennis Miller threw his support behind him this week during an appearance on Fox News Channel.

“I said who’s the most confident? Who’s run a business? Who has a nice sense of humor about himself? Who seems to be a decent man? And who seems to be smart? And then I thought who’s going to have rough elbows because this thing is going to be ugly this time through,” Miller said. “And I looked around, and I said I dig Herman Cain for that job.”