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October 20, 2011

Herman Cain Opposes Abortion Under All Circumstances But He's Pro-Choice. Or Something.

Last night on CNN Cain made a hash of a perfectly normal and predictable question about abortion.

It was the answers that got a little weird.

First he says, " I believe that life begins at conception. And abortion under no circumstances."

He confirms that means no rape or incest exceptions.

But then he and Piers Morgan have this exchange.

MORGAN: By expressing the view that you expressed, you are effectively -- you might be president. You can't hide behind now the mask, if you don't mind me saying, of being the pizza guy. You might be the president of United States of America. So your views on these things become exponentially massively more important. They become a directive to the nation.

CAIN: No they don't. I can have an opinion on an issue without it being a directive on the nation. The government shouldn't be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to social decisions that they need to make.

What does that mean?

Is he saying he personally opposes abortion under any circumstances but wouldn't try and make that government policy?

That's reminiscent of the old Mario Cuomo formulation that Democrats could be personally opposed to abortion but be pro-choice in their political activities.

I can't believe that's what Cain means or that he thinks it could possibly fly in a Republican primary.

Ultimately, he'll walk this back by claiming he has to talk to experts and get all the facts. Maybe he'll go with the "just joking but I really mean it" defense. Failing all of that, he can just go with the old "I misspoke" gambit.

This isn't even really about abortion. It's just more proof that he's not ready for prime time. Not even close.

Via Ben, the video of the exchange.


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posted by DrewM. at 09:55 AM

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