Herman Cain: Another 180 Turn on Abortion

Here we go again with Herman Cain and his ever-evolving abortion stance. First, in February, 2011, he says as President, he'd sign legislation protecting the right of the unborn.

I am a firm believer in the dignity of life and support a ban on partial birth abortion. If I were president, I would sign legislation that would protect the sanctity of life.

And on October 7, he says at the Values Voters Summit (video here):

So I happen to believe that the Founding Fathers put it in that order— life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—for a reason. You can pursue happiness all you want to, as long as you don’t tread on somebody else’s liberty....You can pursue liberty all you want to, as long as you don’t tread on somebody else’s life. And that includes the life of the unborn.”


And on October 16, he begins to bob and weave, when he tells David Gregory on Meet the Press:

MR. GREGORY: What about abortion? You want to overturn Roe v. Wade. Could you support or condone abortion under any exceptions at all?

MR. CAIN: I believe in life from conception, and I do not agree with abortion under any circumstances.

MR. GREGORY: Exceptions for rape and incest?

MR. CAIN: Not for rape and incest because...

MR. GREGORY: What about life of the mother?

MR. CAIN: Because if you look at, you look at rape and incest, the, the percentage of those instances is so miniscule that there are other options. If it's the life of the mother, that family's going to have to make that decision.

MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm. But you can--would you condone abortion if the life of the mother were...

MR. CAIN: That family is going to have to make that...

MR. GREGORY: You won't render a judgment on that.

MR. CAIN: That family is going to have to make that decision.

Then he steps in it, as far as conservatives are concerned. On October 19, he tells Piers Morgan on CNN, it's not the President's job to decide whether abortion is legal.

No, it comes down to is, it’s not the government’s role — or anybody else’s role — to make that decision. Secondly, if you look at the statistical incidents, you’re not talking about that big a number. So what I’m saying is, it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president. Not some politician. Not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision....The government shouldn’t be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to a social decision that they need to make. (my emphasis.)

On October 21, Cain is trying to walk back, but doesn't quite get there. He tells Martha MacCallum on Fox:

Look, abortion should not be legal, that is clear, but if that family made a decision to break the law, that is that family’s decision, that’s all I’m trying to stay.

Then, last night at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition dinner, Cain does another 180. Now it would be his job as President again to step in:

“I would strengthen all of our current laws that prevent abortion...I believe that abortion should be clearly stated and illegal across this country.”

That's all he would say on the topic. Seems he's in defensive mode:

As other candidates worked the crowd, Mr. Cain stayed in his campaign bus until it was his time to take the stage. He left the room shortly after he finished speaking.

Cain is like an ice cream cone that's melting fast. And I think he's about out of flavors.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Cain's liberty. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by lentinel on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:23:44 AM EST
    You can pursue liberty all you want to, as long as you don't tread on somebody else's life. And that includes the life of the unborn.

    But it does not, apparently include the life of the woman carrying the unborn. Upon that, Cain is willing to allow some treading.

    Cain's parents (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 09:12:12 AM EST
    should have practiced abstinence.

    Instead of having an abortion.

    Why does anyone pay attention to Cain ? (none / 0) (#3)
    by loveed on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 10:46:21 AM EST
     The republican party knows Cain very well. They have known him for years. This flip-flopping from
    Cain,is not new. The repubs. expect this. They also know he on a book tour,not campaigning.
     The only people taking him seriously is Democrats.
     The republican party is not going to nominate Cain. There telling everyone,they don't won't Romney. And the media keeps pushing him down there throats.
     The media needs to stop playing there usual game of supporting Obama. With a terrible economy, why are we talking about abortion? No one cares.
       The repubs. rather vote for Cain than Romney.
     So were heading into Nov.. Who will be the flavor of the month? It won't be Paul,Santorum,
     or Gingrich. The media has already backed Bachmann,Romney,Perry, and Cain. The repubs. Have rejected all of them. Who's left?
     This is why I still think It will be Huntsman.
    Also if you wondered who won the debate, Huntsman.
    If the media every spotlights his record(a 1st or 2nd place finish in New Hampshire will force the media to cover him), he will win. Not just the nomination,also the presidency.

    "another 180" (none / 0) (#4)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 10:52:35 AM EST
    this candidate will be completely worn out by the time he finally gets born.

    People should be paying less attention (none / 0) (#5)
    by Anne on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 11:24:55 AM EST
    to this abortion hokey-pokey, and more attention to his economic plan which, while we all know is insane, is nevertheless drawing the other GOP candidates even farther to the right.

    Indeed, what Cain has done on taxes and economic policy is similar to what John Edwards did on health care in 2008. He came out of the box first with a comprehensive plan, and it drew his competition entirely to his left. Even though Cain is being savaged for his wealth redistribution scheme, he's drawing everyone to his right. Rick Perry's introducing a flat tax. Mitt Romney endorsed a version of the Paul Ryan plan for Medicare vouchers. It's become follow-the-leader in the Republican Party, and Cain is the leader. Regressive taxes and wealth distribution upward is the order of the day.

    Cain's not going to get anywhere on abortion, and he's not going to be the nominee; but look out for what kind of economic plan the eventual nominee ends up pushing as a result of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan.

    actually, his abortion hokey-pokey (none / 0) (#7)
    by cpinva on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:35:47 PM EST
    bears a striking resemblance to his 9-9-9 hokey-pokey, neither has any depth. when asked specific questions about both, mr. cain, apparently not expecting such questions, lets loose on the fly. he pretty much is making it up as he goes along, which is why his tongue is tied in knots.

    this is simply who herman cain is, a motivational speaker/author. as such, he's great with one liners, not so much when it comes to substance. he has no "plan" of any kind, beyond a catchy title/one-liner, most likely because he never anticipated being taken seriously as a candidate, he's in it simply to shill for his book/speaking engagements/FOX tv show.


    "And I think he's about out of flavors." (none / 0) (#6)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 03:13:48 PM EST
    Great line, Jeralyn.

    The Republican Party is about out of flavors, too. I wonder whether there'll be a boomlet for the loathesome Rick Santorum before they finally give up and nominate Romney.