Santorum labels Cain 'pro-choice,' Cain rebuts
October 20th, 2011
02:02 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum labels Cain 'pro-choice,' Cain rebuts

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday seized on what he called "pro-choice" comments by rival Herman Cain on CNN.

The accusation elicited a Twitter response from Cain who wrote, "I'm 100% pro-life. End of story."

During an interview Wednesday with CNN's Piers Morgan, Cain stated his pro-life stance, even in cases of rape or incest.

"I believe that life begins at conception. And abortion under no circumstances," Cain said.

But when Morgan asked how he would feel if a member of his family were raped and if he would want that family member to raise the child, Cain said it is "not the government's role or anybody else's role to make that decision."

"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," Cain said. "It gets down to the family and whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn't have to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue."

"The government shouldn't be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to social decision that they need to make," Cain continued.

It was unclear if Cain, in his response, was referring to abortion or one's decision to raise a child.

The socially conservative Santorum pointed to Cain's comments to paint the former Godfather's Pizza CEO as a candidate who believes "abortion is a decision for the individual," and even compared his views to those of Democratic Sen. John Kerry and President Barack Obama.

"Herman Cain said that he believes life begins at conception, but that it's up to the individual to decide whether or not to terminate that life," Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, said in a statement. "And I find it gravely troubling that Herman believes it's a life, but that he doesn't consider it a life worth fighting for."

"You cannot be both personally against abortion while condoning it – you can't have it both ways. We must defend the defenseless, period," Santorum concluded.


Filed under: 2012 • Abortion • Herman Cain • Rick Santorum
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    So, the only thing left for republicans to run on is social conservatism and repealing women's rights. They can't run on jobs, because nothing has come out of the dysfunctional house of representatives since Boner took over, and they are not good at national defense or the war on terror. Republicans drove up the debt so they cannot run on being fiscally conservative. So look out Americans, here they come with their only issues.

    October 20, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. a in austin

    This from the guy who wants to outlaw birth control -

    October 20, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. sortakinda

    If the village idiot is opposed to abortion, is that enough to vote him into elected office? There's no way that abortion is a "choice protected by the Constitution." There is no way that Santorum has the brains to be elected president of the local chapter of the Ronald Reagan Fan Club, either.

    October 20, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. jmckee

    Sorry, but NOBODY has the right to tell a woman that she has to have a baby that is the result of rape or incest. It's a woman's decision to make & her's alone. She also deserves the right to make that decision if the pregnancy is a risk to her life. Abortions will continue to happen whether legal or not.

    October 20, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Guest

    Santorum's a complete tool. Almost irrevalant in this election cycle. This is probably the only thing I would agree with Cain on.... it IS NOT the place of government at any level to tell a woman whether she can have a medical procedure or not.

    October 20, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Steve, New York City

    Santorum is a dummy. The majority of Americans do not lean to the extreme right. He should take a hint from his poll numbers and drop out.

    October 20, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Ed DFWTX

    The Radical Right-Wing social extremists (to quote Newt Gingrinch) like Santorum have hijacked the party and burned bridges beyond repair. It is a real shame the GOP has become totally sold-out to the Big $ lobbyists and appeasing the radical social nutjobs who mainly care about wedge issues like Aborton or Marriage equality. .Santorum is career politician who needs to throw in the towell. He'll never be President.

    October 20, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. sortakinda

    Most abortions are NOT the result of RAPE or INCEST. They are a matter of convenience. They are taken as being as much of a right as to choose where to get one's hair or nails done. So, which of YOUR children should you have aborted?

    October 20, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. thomas

    Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is against contraceptives or birth control !

    Rick has seven children ! I don't tell him how many children he should have . In this economy how dose he make enough to support them with a quality life .

    Nobody likes abortion , Nobody. It's a social educational issue.

    I don't want this guy telling me about LIFE !

    October 20, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. Nothing new here

    And in the meantime, Republicans, where are the JOBS you promised to deliver? Oh, excuse me, I didn't know they were being "conceived" in some woman's womb – Pul-eeezzzzeeeee!!!!

    October 20, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Sequoia

    Who else is tired of these right-wing Taliban types trying to force their idiotic religious beliefs into our lives? Taliban Ricky, this is a free country...a secular democratic republic, not a backwards oppressive theocratic fascist state like you want. Think about what Santorum wants...the most oppressive, intrusive government imaginable. A country where the government forces women to give birth agianst their will, where the government dictates who can marry whom, where contraception is illegal. No thanks. We'll keep freedom.

    October 20, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. Carl in Reality

    The Nation would truly be blessed if the teabaggers continue to alienate non-whites via immigration and muslim bashing then compile the ignorant hot mess with the 30 plus year terror war on women via birth control and a woman's right to privacy. I want all of the Republican teabaggers to affirm their Christian beliefs and fight for those beliefs as Jesus declared himself to be the Son of God.

    October 20, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Nothing new here

    Rick Santorum – the guy who defends child-molesting priests. And yet this guy considers himself to be "pro-family"? Yeah, right.

    October 20, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Cain has the wingnut bullseye on his back now. Good for him

    October 20, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. once upon a horse

    I am against abortion too....as a form of birth control. Even then I have NO right to tell a woman what to do with her body. I just wonder if these pro-life supporters such as Santorum would REALLY force a loved one to bare a child after they became pregnant due to a violent crime. I am willing to bet that they would NOT...they would do it in a way the public of course would not find out. God would know though.

    October 20, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Sequoia

    Wait a sec...how can Cain be 100% "pro-life" if he want to electrocute and murder Mexicans on the border? These people are morally bankrupt. What are their values? They obviously aren't "pro-life". They're "pro-birth" then they like to torture, murder, oppress and let people die from lack of healthcare (and cheer about it).

    October 20, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    Santorum and KochCain get into a meaningless argument at a time when the country needs leadership to fix our economy. Neither is up to the job and this article is a waste of time.

    October 20, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. thomas

    @sortakinda

    They are a matter of convenience. They are taken as being as much of a right as to choose where to get one's hair or nails done.

    It must be extremely emotional when you do your hair and nails !

    I want to ask you , have you looked at the data on abortions in countries in conflict , " wars".. Afghanistan , Iraq , Vietnam. You should look , abortions increased 60% !

    convenience ?

    October 20, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Jake

    much of America is pro-choice, you idiot!
    so you understand that your views will NOT get you elected, right? and further alienating your fellow GOP candidates increases the chance of Obama being elected, do you understand that? so in short...thank you for staying in the race this far!

    October 20, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. Name Rick Marts

    Idiots all!

    October 20, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. Switters

    Sanotum needs to 'go away' – quietly, loudly, whatever – just 'away'..................

    October 20, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. Bill

    These pro-life nutjobs do not want the goverment involved in health care, but want to tell women when, where and how to make a decision about abortion.

    October 20, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Enough is Enough

    Hay Rick what's your address so we can send you a bill for raising crack babies.

    October 20, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. AlaskaPalin

    why is the killing of the unborn child a womans right? Do we really stop to consider what abortion is? We do not want to kill murderers we see that as wrong yet we legislate that a mother has the right to kill her unborn child. Why should one killing be seen as wrong and the other right? How ironic that the case for roe vs wade was based on a lie. We legislate to give women the right to terminate the lives of millions of unborn americans based on a lie. This right that you as women are fighting for is 'the right to kill your unborn child'. What kind of right is that to have. How does that make you equal to men.

    October 20, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. Noodle Nose Johnson

    I can't wait for "Santorum" to become the GOP flavor of the month. Should be even funnier than Bananas Bachmann and Pistachio Perry and Black Walnut Cain – and just about as long. What's the over under on being a front runner with the GOTea? 3 to 5 weeks?

    October 20, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
1 2