(CNN) – Businessman Herman Cain previously advocated for a criminal trial in the event that al Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki was captured.
But now that al-Awlaki has been killed by a drone missile, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate is "pleased that we have one less al Qaeda member that's threatening us," according to campaign spokesman JD Gordon.
When pressed on whether Cain's feelings represent a departure from his earlier views, that al-Awlaki was an American citizen and deserved a trial, Gordon said, "It would be better to try him in court (but) if that's not feasible, we don't want him out there."
In remarks made last May and posted on the Atlantic's website, Cain says al-Awlaki, "should be charged."
"And since he's an American citizen, he should be tried in our courts," he continued.
When asked if it would be legal for President to issue a kill order for al-Awlaki, Cain said, "In his case, no, because he's an American citizen."