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. pmk1953

    I'm agin it, except when I'm for it, except when they tell me I'm agin it.

    October 30, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  2. cee

    as a woman, there's no way i would vote for someone who is telling me what i can do with body after it's been violated or my life is in danger. it's my decision and the GOP or someone in washington shouldn't have the right to take it away from me. shame on any politician, male or female, who thinks that abortion is an issue that should be decided in the legislature and not between a family. it is a personal decision that the woman in question has to carry with her for the rest of her life.

    October 30, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  3. commonsense is paine

    I am sincerely enjoying the chronic struggle between what a candidate is trying to say, but what his party wants him to say. Cain promotes a hard-nosed, honest dialogue but fails to meet his own criterion when he backs away from his 'real' stance. If he was as straightforward as he promotes, he would have held to his original stance and not been influenced by ultra-conservative pandering. Further, his smoking campaign chief of staff said he was running a campaign like no one has seen before...but his actions play come directly from the Republican playbook.

    And let's be honest, did anyone really feel like his classic campaign video was in anyway a pro-smoking message? Honestly, smoking is a choice...not a mandate from big tobacco or the government. If Cain was a straight shooter, he would have articulated as much.

    October 30, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. texan

    " I`m for it .....unless I`m against it" .....Let`s clarify this........ Now, the truth of the matter is .............. BLA,BLA,BLA,BLA

    October 30, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  5. Debbie

    I want government out of my religion and I want religion out of my government. If the GOP is truely for smaller government then get out of peoples sex lives by inflating government rules, laws, regulations, etc.

    October 30, 2011 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  6. JD

    There is nothing humane, compassionate, or pro-life for that matter, about forcing a victim of rape or incest to carry a pregnancy to term.

    October 30, 2011 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  7. Beerman

    Herman doesn't care what you do with your lungs......
    Your uterus, is a different matter.

    October 30, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  8. Real Patriot

    These jokers want small government until it involves your uterus-then they want the government to force you to have a child.


    October 30, 2011 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  9. Lenny Pincus

    What ignorance. He claims Planned Parenthood wants to commit genocide on black babies by misquoting someone from the 1930's. These Christianists will lie about anything to promote their agenda.

    October 30, 2011 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  10. republicanshate women, eventheirOWNmothers

    So he's 'pro life' even if it kills the mother?
    How utterly ridiculous.

    October 30, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  11. Non Christian follower of Jesus

    Abortion is murder no matter the circumstance. In cases of rape or incest, the child is no less innocent and it's still a murder.

    October 30, 2011 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  12. Kahuna

    Another Republican who's all for getting Government out of your life, except where they want the government controlling your life. ESAD.

    October 30, 2011 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  13. normajean @ verizon ,com

    Now lets see, just what else can he be against???? There are a lot of things besides abortion and about lying and cheating and breaking up unions when so many people lose about massive tax breaks for the wealthiest, how about helping the banks foreclose on a familys little 2 bedroom house, how about sending jobs overseas just for profit and throwing millions out of jobs????? Oh I guess these weren't the kind of things he was thinking of..being against.... I KNOW WHAT I"M AGAINST......... MR.CAIN!!!!!!!

    October 30, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  14. Marques

    ...but he is BLACK

    Cain is the man for the hour for the GOP, but he is Black. He's the best of whatever candidates are there, but he is BLACK. He is the man of choice for the tea tea party faction of the GOP, but he is BLACK.

    The republicans worst nightmare is to be represented at the top by a BLACK man. They know they have a problem, their best candidate is BLACK.

    Can we ever imagine the republican part electing a BLACK man as their eventually nominee? He has the best chance of winning Obama when one looks at Perry the fubbler and Mitt the flip flopper, but he is BLACK.

    Maybe the republican party will eventually put aside their racist stance and elect a BLACK man to represent them. Cain is in it to win it for the republican, but he is BLACK.

    October 30, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  15. John/kc

    He is starting to sound like a flip flopper. Some abortions OK, now no abortions. Build a wall with electric fence, then flip flop. What is next?

    October 30, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  16. todd in DC

    Smoking will kill you, but he isn't going to outlaw it because that would inconvenience some MEN.

    Not having an abortion could kill the mother, or physically harm her, or impoverish her, cause her great emotional distress (in cases of rape), but he wants to outlaw abortion because it would not affect MEN.

    So women are garbage. Got it. Good luck with that.

    October 30, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  17. Marques

    For or against?

    One cannot figure out if Cain is for smoking or against smoking. If he's against it how would he allow his campaign head to advertise it, followed by his BIG chesire cat's grin?

    October 30, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  18. BK

    With the right-wing nut jobs forcing him into extreme stances, heh's going to be incapable of drawing moderate voters and will be domed in any main election. That's not hating on Cain; that's being realistic.

    October 30, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  19. qwerty1

    It's a good thing he distanced himself from the monstrous proposition that rape victims should be allowed to have abortions, i mean really...

    October 30, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  20. Jersey3038

    Yeah they say no abortion but let thier daughter get knocked up by a member of OWS and they put them on a plane to Europe for a secret abortion. Men should have no say. People worry about yourself. If you don't like abortions then don't have one. If you end abortion what will you do with these kids that nobody wants??????? These hardline prolifers have no answer for that. I don't like abortion but I hate unwanted kids growing up as criminals.

    October 30, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  21. Stan

    Oh, so if a woman is raped, she has to give birth to her rapist's child. How compassionate! Interesting set of values that these Republicans have - keep the government off of the backs of the people, unless they are raped, then we will force them to have the child! Lovely.

    October 30, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. True Christian

    Abortion should be unconditionally illegal. If a woman dies because she couldn't get an abortion, it's God's will. If incest were grounds for abortion, Adam and Eve would have had no grandchildren and none of us would be here! Getting or especially performing an abortion should be considered murder and should be a capital crime. Life is sacred!

    October 30, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  23. pmk1953

    Everybody just remember, only in the republcan states can you have introductions like, "I'd like you to meet my wife and sister." But there is only one woman standing there!

    October 30, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The one thing that I would like to see is some of these people who claim to be "pro-life" and ask them if support the death penalty. If they support the death penalty, then they would have to be called pro-birth. I was also wondering if they could clearly identify an embro that was human versus pictures of other primate embros.

    October 30, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  25. geekgirl42

    If you don't believe in abortion, then don't have one.

    October 30, 2011 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
1 2 3 4 5