Cain re-clarifies abortion stance, discourages smoking
October 30th, 2011
11:21 AM ET
10 years ago

Cain re-clarifies abortion stance, discourages smoking

(CNN) - Herman Cain, the latest Republican presidential frontrunner, clarified his stance on abortion Sunday by saying he opposes any abortion after conception, with no exceptions.

Cain, the former pizza executive, distanced himself from a previous comment that abortion in cases of rape and incest should be up to the family.

"I am pro-life from conception, period," Cain said Sunday on the CBS program "Face the Nation."

Last week, Cain said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" that that he was against abortion rights, but when asked about rape or incest, Cain said the government shouldn't have a say on those issues and the decision should be left to the family.

Some social conservatives slammed Cain for his remarks in the following days, prompting him to be vocal about his "pro-life" stance in subsequent campaign appearances and interviews.

Also Sunday, Cain responded to prodding by "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer to publicly declare his opposition to smoking in the aftermath of a novel campaign ad in which Cain's chief of staff takes a drag on a cigarette and blows smoke at the screen.

"Young people of America, all people, do not smoke," Cain said to the camera after Schieffer, a former smoker and cancer survivor who acknowledged he was editorializing, admonished the ad as possibly giving a pro-smoking message. "It is hazardous and it's dangerous to your health. Don't smoke. I've never smoked and I have encouraged people not to smoke."

To further prompting from Schieffer, Cain added: "It is not a cool thing to do."

Filed under: 2012 • Abortion • Herman Cain
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Look at his eyes - he's either a heavy drinker or has liver disease --- or both. He's on a book-selling tour paid for by his contributors (a fool and his money are soon parted).

    October 30, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. thomas

    Cain / Palin

    It's about time , It's about Space !


    October 30, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. GaryB

    So Herman Cain is advocating that the government get involved in what he considers to be a family decision? Just another big government Republican.

    October 30, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. diridi

    just because you discourage smoking, does it impede smokers from smoking? It has already hurt farmers, and industries. Smokers will smoke, drinkers will drink, eaters will eat, GOP will mess...can not change....

    October 30, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Herman Cain, the Weathervane.

    October 30, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. vic , nashville ,tn

    Herman Cain is confused, now he doesn’t know why he is running for office. He top in the poll he has to capitalize that. He will say anything to satisfy conservatives for another four months

    October 30, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. Henry

    Welcome to Crazyland which is right next to Nochanceinthegeneralelection. A slim majority of Americans support a woman's right to chose to have an abortion or not. An overwhelming majority of Americans support a woman's right to chose to have an abortion if they are the victim of rape or incest.

    October 30, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. Clwyd

    So if a mother's life was at risk and she had to have the baby and died. Mr. Cain could be called a murderer! Nice type to put in the W House! Typical republican't!!!!!

    October 30, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. T'sah from Virginia

    ►"I have never smoked and I encourage people not to smoke," Cain continued. "It is not a cool thing to do."◄

    Oh, but it is KOOL for you to take almost 20 seconds to SMILE after the commercial showing that you AGREE with it!!! Personally, I did not understand WHY the cigarette was introduced in the first place??? The cigarette had NOTHING to do with JOBS or foreign policy experience???

    Obama 2012

    October 30, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. rs

    Cain is now taking a page from Mitt's book. When you say something the TEA creatures don't like, then "clarify". For us in the real world, that is called "Flip-Flopping".

    October 30, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. fayse

    Cain has been spending a lot of time "walking back" his comments. Soon the "damage control" will spiral out of control. Mr. Cain is not Presidential material.

    October 30, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. NVa Native

    "I'm crazy – ignore the meaning of my words – just buy my book and hire me to motivate your followers."

    October 30, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Len

    We always hear from the GOP/Tea Party..we want government out of our lives...well folks, women have the right to make decisions that are best for them and their family. Do not take that right away......just think about your wife, daughter, grnaddaughter, girl friend being raped and becoming pregnant. Government should not tell them they must give birh. Get government out of a private decision.

    October 30, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Pat F

    "Former pizza executive"!!

    Cain was a top Pillsbury executive who turned around one of Pillsbury's failing divisions (Godfather Pizza), and then bought it from Pillbury! He is also a former Federal Reserve board member, from the Atlanta division.

    Calling his a former pizza executive is clearly an attempt to diminish him. Typical liberal media.. They love the "community organizer" (translation: professional blackmailer) but hate hard-working Americans.

    October 30, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |

    Everyday we hear another reversal from the teapublicans. Distancing themselves from previous comments has become the norm for these wing nuts. Is there anything or anyone the teapublicans stand up for, other than tax cuts for the rich, & stopping woman from making their own decisions about their health......

    October 30, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. lisa2010

    cain seems to flip flop on what he says and advertise.. he's never consistent on issues.. he sees the reaction of people on issues he presents and if its negative he retracks the statement or a voter i like to see issues that is consistent and permanent through out this whole presidential campaign.. for example the 999 plan, when he found out that it will not benefit the poor and middle class he changed it to 909...sorry mr. cain, you don't deserve my vote, yet, i'm still surveying my options.

    October 30, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. John

    So Is he Just Joking this Time or Is he Just chance He mind again. Everything he say he say he joking or he chances his mind. Don't he have any Idea what he Planning to say In the first Place. Or he does know but after he say It and Find out a lot of people didn't like what he say so he chances his mind. Either way It just prove he doesn't know what he taking about. Just another Republican and tea Party clown.

    October 30, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. logic in LA

    His comments are jokes. His statements need clarifying. This was an executive- how did he communicate to the board?
    He certainly can't communicate to us!
    Can you imagine what would happen if his communication skills were directed at the foreign leader?

    October 30, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. sensible

    Watch it Hermie.....the smoking lobby is powerful!!!! You are also alienating the smoking voters!!!!

    October 30, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. sensible

    I saw a bumper sticker for McCain the other day.....they took a knife and cut off the 'Mc'.....that says it all!!!!

    October 30, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. edpeters101

    Next question; Even though Planned Parenthood doesn't get any federal funds for abortions, should congress and the states still be trying to shut them down, and deny poor women needed health care? Is he also saying most birth control pills should be outlawed (i.e. take the Catholic Churches stance on no birth control at all)? More fodder for late night TV..

    October 30, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. Ex-republican

    Congrats "SEAL Team", but I don't think that he wants to hear this!

    October 30, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. steven harnack

    Yeah, shame on you Cain. You messed up and said something sensible and you'll be apologizing for it until you drop out.

    October 30, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |

    Wingnuts LIE whenever they talk about small government. They LOVE big government

    October 30, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  25. sara

    All of these "misfits" thinks the American people or either crazy as they are....or just plain stupid.

    October 30, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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