Former pizza executive Herman Cain pitched his 9-9-9 tax plan at a debate tonight focused on the economy as he sought to boost his standing in the Republican presidential race.

He also said, “If we stop adding to the national debt, we can start bringing it down.”

Cain’s proposal would replace the current tax system with 9 percent corporate and individual taxes and a 9 percent sales tax.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney, the leader in polls of the Republican race, pledged to deliver the leadership that Washington needs to overcome congressional gridlock.