The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, who officially entered the race Saturday in Atlanta, laid out his "Cain plan" on "Fox News Sunday."
"Not pay the debt, pay the interest on the debt first," he said. "Make sure we take care of our military and their families. Thirdly, make sure the people that are getting paid for Social Security checks that they get paid. And then, fourth, make sure that people's Medicare bills get paid.
"Then, you look at everything else, and that's where you start cutting.
"If we don't pay the Chinese creditors first," Cain said, "the amount of interest we have to pay will go up. I am sure that there are penalties in there if we don't pay it on time."
Cain, who proclaimed "free at last!" at his announcement, echoing Martin Luther King, said his goal is an America "free from rising debt. Free from legislation that's being forced down the throat of the American people like Obamacare. Free from an arrogant disregard of the American people."
He called for abolishing the Internal Revenue Service and replacing the income tax with a "fair tax," a national sales tax of 23 percent.