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. fernace

    The GOP-TP are supposed to be the party of Less government, right!? Why then are there so many of them trying to have their personal opinions made into laws? People still have a right to smoke & it's not an issue that we're worried about right now! We need jobs, affordable healthcare & education! Abortion is a womans personal decision between herself, her mate & her god! Government really needs to get out of a womans uterus! Cain is a side show, he'll never get the nod!!

    October 30, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Brad5013

    II'm much more comfortable with a president who smokes than one who pompously lectures others. Healthy or not, it's a great stress reliever when times get tough and nicotine is a proven mental stimulant. I'll take Obama and a Camel at 3:00 am anytime.

    October 30, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. vivian m.

    Cain waffles on his own position to appease the ultra-right wing fundamentalist ideologues in his own party. Cain would force a rape victim to carry the child to term. PATHETIC!

    October 30, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. jb1963

    Can U say Flip Flop.
    This man is a fool. He is taking a pay check to run fro president. He could care less about winning all he wants is to be paid

    Oh What am I thinking that is every republicans reason to run for office.

    October 30, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. FIELD1stSGT

    PU-LEASE! This man is as much of an idiot as Obama is. We will trade one moron for another. No way does he have the experience neccessary to run a country such as America. Don't be fooled into thinking like Obama that Cain is worth the change. Or change is what your going to continue to get until this country goes down the drain. These stupids can not think well enough to come up with change except bankruptcy and socialism.

    October 30, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. MaxNatoma

    This guy seems to flip-flop more than Romney. With the exception of Huntsman, all the Republicans seem to be focused on kissing the collective Tea Party Butt. As a result, they advocate nonsensical positions on issues. Sad for the USA.

    October 30, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Larry L

    @ Pat F " Typical liberal media.. They love the "community organizer" (translation: professional blackmailer) but hate hard-working Americans."

    One would think any person who can work full-time on a campaign is not working at their other (former) job. The "liberal media" mantra used by conservatives is delusional. The right-wing has a huge news service totally dedicated to the Republican Party – the "Fair & Balanced Faux News". The list of hate-radio talk show hosts is as long as your arm and they are never constrained by the need to tell the truth. Can you say "swift boat"? How about the "birthers"? Or who created "Death squads coming to get granny"? Who keeps saying the President is a Muslim?

    Step away from Fox News for a moment and look at who is fighting against hard-working Americans. Who has blocked every jobs initiative? Who continues to protect only the wealthy and their rapidly-growing riches? Who wouldn't eliminate the subsidies for big oil while they made outrageous profits? Who plans to cut Social Security and Medicare? Who wants to end the new regulations on the financial industry – even though these rules were put in place after they screwed Americans and took the bailout money? Who wants to scrap the EPA – knowing the working folks will suffer the bulk of chronic illnesses acquired in the workplace? Can you really answer any of these questions truthfully? Nevermind... just go and get your answer from Rush, Sean or Glenn.

    October 30, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. alan

    The government forcing a 12 year old rape victim or incest victim to give birth is just not cool. Government just needs to stay out of moral issues such as abotion, smoking, drinking and leave it up to the individual, Period!

    October 30, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. Kennk

    Cain is just another GOPer trying to force government into our personal lives.

    October 30, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. TM

    In what universe is the decision 'left to the family" when a Cain government makes one of those decisions a CRIME? This man is a fraud and a liar.

    October 30, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. awsomedeal

    What I will NEVER understand with this PRO LIFE at any cost. But they do not want to help kids born in need with healthcare food housing etc etc. Have them babies but if you cant afford to feed them tuff S..T. OBAMA/ BIDEN 2012 to save america from this GOP FREAK SHOW !!!!!!

    October 30, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. keeth

    He keeps having to back-track and clarify and apologize for this and that. It's as if he doesn't even know what he stands for.

    October 30, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Marc Daniels

    Until the Supreme Court reverses Roe vs. Raid, it is the job of the President to defend the Law of the Land. We have serious problems to tackle. The President of the United States should help us energize ourselves for rising above our greed, bullying and otherwide exploitative instincts. JFK hat it right: Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country. Until we, as a people reach this state, we need to regulate our capitalistic desires. The same freedom that allows us to exploit and ruin each other is the same freedom that allows us to rise above this. We need to bridge our national detachment from God and Nature. The scapegoats that we should be battling our inner ones, not external ones. We need to weed out hatred in ourselves and sow the seeds of respect in each other. This is the prerequisite for occuping the American Dream.

    October 30, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. newsbuff

    Cain is proving himself to be a major "flip-flopper." I've noticed that if the media takes issue with something he's said, then he retracts his statement and says something totally different. If you're going to run for POTUS you've got to say what you mean and mean what you say. Show us that you have the courage to stand on what you believe. You can't flip-flop everytime somebody takes issue with what you believe or say. Though I support Obama, I wanted to hear your message to see what you are about. Man... you are a joke, and you're taking this office as a joke too! This country is hurting, and you're cracking jokes! I'm beginning to agree with the others that you're simply trying to sell your book. You are really NOT serious about being POTUS! You almost remind me of Ross Perot! LOL

    October 30, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. skarphace

    Cain is still having a hard time coming to terms with Tea Party hypocracy.

    On the one hand, they say that government should stay out of our lives. On the other hand, they say that government should force a woman who has been raped or whose life is at risk to bring the child to term.

    Cain is just now learning what the Tea Party wants of him: the ability to talk out of both sides of his mouth. They want a polititian, not an honest polititian. To them, the latter is an oxymoron.

    If the Tea Party wanted an honest polititian, they would still be supporting Ron Paul.

    October 30, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. Donald in CA

    Cain, you are a bigger fraud then palin. You say you discourage smoking but do a campaign smoking ad with your alcoholic looking campaign manager. Plus, why is only white folks buying your books?

    October 30, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. johnborg

    Cain just changes his stance on any issue when the majority of neo-cons disagree with him.

    October 30, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. frag

    Dear Mr. Cain, if the government is going to force a woman, by law, to bare a child that she does not want, then that government is also responsible for the expenses incurred for raising that child until he or she reaches the age of 18.

    October 30, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. lgny

    I am pro-life from conception, period," Cain said

    Note that also excludes the "morning after" pill, the IUD, and any other chemical or device that prevents implantation as birth control devices.

    He's significantly reducing the range of birth control devices available to women.

    October 30, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. Brian

    His choice of words was a bit unclear, but I understand what he is trying to say. His personal opinion on abortion is that it is immoral and if he knew anyone who was considering an abortion, he would discourage them from doing it. But his opinion on the government's policy towards abortion is that the government should only keep it's nose out of the matter in events of rape and when the mother is at risk.

    To give an analogy, I am personally against the use of cocaine and heroin. If any of my friends began using cocaine, I would do everything I could to encourage them to stop. My opinion on the government's policy towards cocaine, however, is that the government should not waste it's time trying to stop people from using it. The government has no place regulating what people are and are not allowed to do to their own body.

    What somebody's personal opinion is on a subject is a distinctly different matter than what they believe the government's policy should be on that subject.

    October 30, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. billy davis

    The GOP wants no wants less government in your lives unless your gay and pregnant. Then they want all in your business. Now that should fix the economy.

    October 30, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. Charlie from the North

    Thanks for clearing that up for me. You are completely wrong now. Glad to hear from you.

    October 30, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. DMR

    Cain will say what ever it takes to amuse the Tea Party crowd, and that of his task masters, the Koch brothers. Cain lack any original thought except how to satisfy the Koch brothers and what they desire.

    October 30, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. Dubya

    Don't believe in abortion? Then put your money where your big mouth is and do something to help the millions of children who are born into and die from poverty and abuse every year.

    If you're not willing to do that, then save us all the hot air you're blowing. You could care less about children and we could care less about your self-righteous opinions.

    October 30, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Nothing new here

    Well, Cain, you will not have my vote. People have a right to smoke. Smoking in itself is prohibited in certain places, but cigarettes are NOT illegal, and that is a an individuals' right to decide for themselves. Same for abortion. I don't care for the idea of abortion on demand, but the government should stay OUT of these decisions.
    Cain, just another BIG GOVERNMENT loser.

    October 30, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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