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. Lenny Pincus

    How many times does this joker get to clarify all the smoke he's blowing? He doesn't know what he stands for. How should we?

    October 30, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. jb

    Pizza is not great for you either in excess.

    October 30, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Blessed Geek

    Mr Cain, I was rather enthusiastic about your candidacy until your staff showed that smoking ad.

    October 30, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. AK_steve

    I love how the GOP talks about personal rights and then forces you not to have a choice if you get raped by a family member.

    This is compassion? What I bunch of wackos – we look like idiots in the eyes of the world.

    October 30, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. CBR

    Mr. Cain, the TEA Party and other GOP contenders want the government out of their lives. However, this does not apply to women who may not have control over their own bodies. That is a right that women must have.

    I wonder what other personal rights they would not allow? Certainly the ad with a smoker at the end leaves the message that smoking should be a personal right even if the rest of his have to pay for the consequences when p=smokers get cancer. If they do not have enough insurance we all help to pay the fees for doctors and hospitals everytime we pay a premium for an insurance policy.

    October 30, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Dixie

    Herman Cain would have a 12 yr old girl carry a rape or incest pregnancy to term. No exceptions.

    October 30, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  7. allens

    of course he opposes abortion for incest, they are the future of the tea party

    October 30, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. JustMe

    Republicans p.o. me because they say they're against government interference, but yet that is exactly what they're doing by sticking their noses into issues like abortion, gay marriage, etc ... Bottom line is that they need to keep their nose out of it if it doesn't directly effect the national security or the well being of this country and neither of these (nor just about any other social issue) does, so, i.e., Republicans, KEEP YOUR NOSE OUT OF IT.

    October 30, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. dreucalypt

    You mean re-re-re-clarify the original clarification, right?

    October 30, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. FedUpWithLife

    Herman Cain is both opposed and for abortion, I'm glad he cleared that up.

    October 30, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. RKN

    Drop out now. No, wait, spend all that money running for office so you can spread the wealth around and hire people – if only for a short time...
    Every republican seems to have trouble keeping their stories straight. Why is that?
    You cannot keep saying "you need to get a sense of humor, I was only joking..." every time you say something people don't like. Stand up for something. Now you look like a clown trying to be popular, rather than a leader that could do anything for this country.

    October 30, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  12. Larry L

    Smoking is only a personal choice when others aren't forced to share the smoke or the increased costs of insurance caused by your medical bills, Cain's decision to air that commercial says so much about his inability to appreciate the difference between Madison Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue.

    October 30, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. Kat

    Let me get this straight. He wants to force impoverished women to give birth to children they can't afford to care for, while denying them "socialized" health care or any form of government assistance. I'm sure that will work out very well for those unwanted babies.

    October 30, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  14. GrouchyKat

    Yes, shame on him for reminding the world what the founder of Planned Parenthood intended when she started the black genocide project. He showed an unpleasant truth about that group that the Democrats just don't want to admit. The smoking – yeah, a bad idea.

    October 30, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  15. ziegfeldf

    Whoo! Close call! He almost got booted by the cult otherwise known as the Republican Party.

    Look what happened to Perry when he admitted doing something that didn't conform to damning illegal immigrants to the seventh generation.

    October 30, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. Lets Produce

    Herman Cain, Just as inconsistent as most politician's. On Sunday mornings news shoes, he clarified the smoking ad. He claimed it only meant to let Herman be Herman. In other words, get government off people's back. Minutes later when stating his newest abortion stance says, no abortion under ANY circumstance. Not in the case of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother. Now did he not just articulate about how we need to get government off our backs? Five minutes later he's advocating putting that monkey back on again. Is that not the true definition of a politician?

    October 30, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  17. Tired of the nonsense

    The government needs to stay out of our private lives. The GOP wants to dictate what happens in our private lives. Vote them out now!

    October 30, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  18. Bobby

    Republicans want BIGGER Government.. The Abortion and bedroom police..

    October 30, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  19. Gezellig

    But does that mean he opposes abortion if medically necessary to save the life of the Mother? It seems this article should include his stance on that to give a complete view of his position.

    October 30, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. JohnRJohnson

    Mr. Cain is playing games with words here. He says he thinks the government should keep its nose out of highly personal issues such as abortion, but then he makes statements like this which are unequivocally opposed to ANY abortion. It is a stupid, transparent attempt to have it both ways. When people ask him what his stance is on abortion, they're not asking about his personal feelings. They are asking him if supports over-turning of Roe vs Wade. He knows that, but he is choosing to play this idiotic game.

    October 30, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  21. rep

    This guy is just a joke.

    "Blacks are brainwashed (because they won't vote for me)..."
    "Blame yourself if you don't have a job...but we should really blame Obama and big government.
    "We need electrified fences at the border. Oh...I didn't mean that....unless you're ok with it."
    "I'm pro life–except when its rape or life-threatening...then govt should stay out. No, wait. I'm pro life all the time. 100%"
    "I'm anti smoking. That's why I have a guy smoking as the focal point in my ad."

    Can't wait too see what idiotic remark finally busts his bubble. I suspect it will be epic.

    October 30, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. Red Sock

    Let's be clear this guy has worked as a highly paid lobbyist in DC for the last decade lobbying heavily against smoke free restaurants and taking big bucks from RJReynolds. The whole "pizza exec" thing was more than 11 years ago.

    October 30, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. Chipster

    The anti-Big Government folks want a government BIG enough to dictate our personal, most personal, decisions? What a bunch of frauds! They object to a government that expects businesses to avoid poisoning the water our babies drink and the air our babies breathe! Govt won't interfere with a company that wants to make dangerous drugs or regulate safety in the work place – you can't let "life" interfere with PROFITS! It's OK, they say, to kill them slowly after they're born but not when they're a dividing cell that may or may not ever develop into a human being. It's OK, they say, for "conscientious "Catholic hospital personnel to stand around and watch and woman (and her baby) die rather than save her life with an abortion. She's just a woman, not really a life? not really a person? Cain is pandering. Paul is a fraud! Romney – who knows which side he's on today. Perry – oh god help us with that one. Is this the best Republicans can come up with ?

    October 30, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. Kevin

    "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."

    Despite the obvious hypocrisy Cain is-once again-exhibiting (prohibiting abortion *IS* the very definition of government regulation), if the decision should be left to the family then a route for legal abortion in case of rape or incest needs to be provided by the government. If one is not provided by the government, and no facilities are provided for safe legal abortions by knowledgeable and practiced surgeons, then families are not empowered to make that decision. What Cain wants is incompatible with common sense. The right thing to do is legalize abortion with regulations focused on women's health and reproductive rights. But Cain doesn't appear to care at all about these things.

    October 30, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. concernedCitizen

    Mr. Cain, thanks for having some balls and telling us what you really feel. I'm tired of candidates telling us what we want to hear just to get the votes. When it's my turn, I'm voting for you. Yes we Cain!!!!!

    October 30, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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