Rick Santorum: Herman Cain just waffled on abortion

Republican Herman Cain continued his presidential close-up on Wednesday with an interview with Piers Morgan that aired late Wednesday on CNN.

One of the first topics was where the blame lies for the current economic meltdown. From the transcript:

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain delivers a keynote address during the Western Republican Leadership Conference on Wednesday in Las Vegas. AP/Isaac Brekken

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain delivers a keynote address during the Western Republican Leadership Conference on Wednesday in Las Vegas. AP/Isaac Brekken

Morgan: Give me — give me a very quick pie. Here’s a pie. How much is Obama’s fault? How much is Wall Street’s a fault? How much is the fault of the people themselves?

Cain: I would say that 50 percent of it is Obama’s fault, 25 percent of it is Wall Street’s fault, and 25 percent of it is the individual’s fault.

Morgan: That’s a straight answer, from a politician.

Cain: I’m not a politician.

The pair then strayed into the topic of homosexuality. Cain repeated his contention that sexual orientation was a choice:

Morgan: Wait a minute, let me ask you. You genuinely believe millions of Americans wake up in their late teens normally and go, you know what, I quite fancy being a homosexual? You don’t believe that.

Cain: Piers.

Morgan: Do you?

Cain: You haven’t given me any evidence to convince me otherwise nor has anyone else.

Morgan: My gut instinct, Herman, tells me it has to be a natural thing.

Cain: OK, so it’s your gut instinct against my gut instinct. It’s a wash. It’s a push.

That being said, I respect their right to make that choice. You don’t see me bashing them or anything like that. I respect their right to make that choice. I don’t have to agree with it. That’s all I’m saying.

Morgan: It would be like a gay person saying, Herman, you made a choice to be black.

Cain: We know that’s not the case. I was born black.

Morgan: Yes, maybe if they said that, you would find it offensive. CAIN: Piers, this doesn’t wash off. I hate to burst your bubble.

Morgan: I don’t think being a homosexual washes off.

GOP presidential rival Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, this afternoon attacked Cain for comments he made in the following section, on the topic of abortion. The former Georgia radio talk show host said he believes that life begins at conception – but also added that abortion “ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make.”

Santorum – who has based his campaign on gathering support from social conservatives — called the comments “gravely troubling.” The Iowa Republican is raising similar questions.

You decide:

Morgan: But you’ve had children, grandchildren. If one of your female children, grand children was raped, you would honestly want her to bring up that baby as her own?

Cain: You’re mixing two things here, Piers?

Morgan: Why?

Cain: You’re mixing –

Morgan: That’s what it comes down to.

Cain: No, it comes down to it’s not the government’s role or anybody else’s role to make that decision. Secondly, if you look at the statistical incidents, you’re not talking about that big a number. So what I’m saying is it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make.

Not me as president, not some politician, not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t have to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue.

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.

Morgan: That’s a very interesting departure –

Cain: Yes.

Morgan: — from the normal politics.

Cain: Exactly.

Cain has been criticized for conducting a cable TV campaign rather than building networks of supporters in early primary states.

He returned to Iowa today after a two-month absence, and announced that his effort in that state would be headed by former Iowa GOP chairman Steve Grubbs.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

151 comments Add your comment

Tiberius

October 20th, 2011
1:50 pm

Cain isn’t a politican by choice. He is not a politican b/c GOP voters rejected him in 2004. If Cain had his way, he’d be the 2 term junior Senator from GA right now.

rd

October 20th, 2011
1:55 pm

Santorum is the worst sort of politician there is in the USA. And, the worst of the Republican lot.

Skeptic in the Burbs (Undecided)

October 20th, 2011
1:55 pm

I gotta say I try really hard not to like Cain, but he continuously does things I like.
His take on the gay issue is a little nuianced. While I would prefer that he be more logical about it and admit that it’s a condition rather than a decision, I appreciate that he is not being a jerk and not saying he has a problem with anyone being gay. He obviously never knew a teenager who so desperately wanted to not be gay that they took their own life to escape the pain.
Regarding the big “A’ issue, he seems pro-Choice, and that’s fine with me, too.
Now, if he could just explain his tax plan in a way that doesn;t make it seem regressive, he might get my vote.

Rick Santorum

October 20th, 2011
1:56 pm

I saw what you wrote rd , and I’m telling my big brother J.C.
You’re gonna get it.

SAWB

October 20th, 2011
1:57 pm

I am very undecided about Cain, but he is refreshing. I mean we all hate the traditional politicians, but then we turn around and say he shouldn’t be President because he has no experience. I wonder though how much more experience does the Governor of Texas or the Junior Senator from Illinois have. Let’s be honest neither of those guys really improved things, so who knows maybe we need something different.

Ga Values...Just call me heartless

October 20th, 2011
1:58 pm

I see where Mayor Reed has fired 2 of the few honest people in the Atlanta City government. I only have 1 question does he have to share the kick backs off the Waste/Belt line with the Jackson Family or keep it all for himself? Inquiring minds want to know..

td

October 20th, 2011
2:01 pm

I have not made my mind up yet about who I am voting for in the primary but if Cain can keep up these types plain language, honest interviews then he may get my support. Whoever wins the primary will get my support, money and time to defeat Obama.

DHD

October 20th, 2011
2:02 pm

Just proves that Herman is not a politician with slick sound bites. if you want that, keep Obama.

BullDawg Rick

October 20th, 2011
2:04 pm

Herman Cain in ‘12

Ol' Timer

October 20th, 2011
2:05 pm

I bolstered myself for the Republican debacle by having a ready supply of Maker’s Mark at the right hand on Tuesday night.

As time went along I found myself needing a generous dose of the sauce to hang in there and when Mr. Cain started the apples and oranges explanation of his 9-9-9 tax plan I got totally confused.

But I hung in there and again fortified myself with the good stuff until Perry started to sound intelligible, so had to cut it off and go to bed. I figured I’d had too much of a good thing.

UGA 1999

October 20th, 2011
2:06 pm

Cain did a great job last night….he still has a long ways to go but he did a great job.

Clinton "Skink" Tyree

October 20th, 2011
2:08 pm

I beg your pardon: Herman Cain’t in 2012.

The oligarchs that are gaming the system with their support of Mr. Cain will spit him out like a sunflower seed when he begins to fade — and that’ll happen when the debates turn to foreign policy.

BEND OVER, HERE COMES THE CHANGE

October 20th, 2011
2:09 pm

I voted for Herman when he ran for the senate. I spoke with him for about a half hour about 3 months ago – he called me after he found out I had stage IV colon cancer like him, and gave me his Dr’s name here and at MD Anderson. I could not find a more straight talking candidate for President.

Three Jack

October 20th, 2011
2:13 pm

My man Herman! I just grew to like him even more with his answer about abortion. Rick Santorum, the supposed conservative would use the police power of government to force a rape victim to have the child. Can you imagine how rough it would be for that poor kid growing up?

Santorum proved his lack of conservative credentials with his support of government intervention during the Terry Schiavo episode where he was leading the charge to have congress takeover the family’s position in deciding Terry’s fate. Santorum is a joke, time to get back to being the unemployable ex-senator from PA.

Herman 2012!

Cain You Believe It! Heaven Help Us!

October 20th, 2011
2:14 pm

Buffoonery is alive and well with Herman Cain. HE IS A BIG BUFFOON WHO ENJOYS HIS 15 MINUTES OF FLIM FLAM!!!

UGA 1999

October 20th, 2011
2:15 pm

Cain….what is it about him that you do not like? Calling a Black man a “Baffoon” doesnt really help your case.

Tom (Independent)

October 20th, 2011
2:15 pm

Why are people with NO CHANCE like Rick Santorum trying to make things difficult for a serious contender like Herman Cain?? What are his motives? He acts like a wimp and was probably last person picked on sports teams earlier in his life. That is if he was picked at all!

WorriedAboutMyCountry

October 20th, 2011
2:15 pm

Cain is NOT pro-choice.

He is absolutely right that government has no business in deciding what a family should or should not do, The decision as well as the responsibility ultimately rests with the families to decide about the fate of the unborn baby.

He already said that it is morally wrong, but it is not his or any politicians business to tell what people can do or can not do about abortion.

Ringer

October 20th, 2011
2:17 pm

I am pulling for Herman hard. People want to point to small nuances in his stances and say he’s waffling or flip flopping on an issue when in reality he’s been saying the same thing repeatedly. Sometimes he has to refine his statements to help clarify but never have I seen him make a dramatic change in opinion. He’s a regular guy who answers questions directly. Sometimes those answers just come off a different way than we intend. The real question is what does he BELIEVE as core principles. Of that I don’t think anyone doubts he’s a genuine guy.

2012: CAIN is Able!

October 20th, 2011
2:18 pm

Herman > Barack

Piers Morgan = Manure

CNN = (see: Morgan, Piers)

Tom (Independent)

October 20th, 2011
2:18 pm

Cainyou believe – Herman is no more a BUFFOON than Barrack Hussein Obama is a BUFFOON!! How does that grab you lib??

mystery poster

October 20th, 2011
2:18 pm

Refreshing???
According to the truth-o-meter, almost everything he says is either false or “pants on fire.”

Red

October 20th, 2011
2:19 pm

I know a lot of straight talking people. But that doesn’t make them qualified and knowledgeable to be President of the US. You have to have a fundamental understanding of both foreign and domestic policy and a plan (realistic as well) in both arenas. Right now all Cain has is domestic and even it is solely based on 9-9-9. And one of the designers of this plan is now saying it must be redesigned. So the only thing Cain has to run on is being pulled and retooled. Does not bode well for a man trying to run the US. His backtracking over trading hostages with terrorists is a fine example of a man in way over his head. I’d feel much better if he were running for Congress making these slip-ups. One of over 500 in Congress making mistakes and lacking fundamental knowledge in areas does not cause problems. A President making these mistakes causes wars and major strife.

2012: CAIN is Able!

October 20th, 2011
2:19 pm

Where can I get a pair of glasses like Herman Cain?

Those spectacles are SHARP, whereas the average liberal is not.

Occupy THIS!

Jack

October 20th, 2011
2:19 pm

Cain can waffle all he wants…he’s no match for the BIG waffler in the White House.

Mid Ga Retiree

October 20th, 2011
2:20 pm

Kind of refreshing, isn’t it.

UGA 1999

October 20th, 2011
2:20 pm

Mystery…..Prove it.

2012: CAIN is Able!

October 20th, 2011
2:21 pm

Herman Cain = LEGITIMATE United States Citizen with Valid Social Security Number

Barry Soetoro = Not so much.

2012: CAIN is Able!

October 20th, 2011
2:24 pm

Wow.

With all this talk of waffles and the White House, this article has me suddenly craving some goodness from the WAFFLE HOUSE.

That is sort of how news stories on “Battered Women” make me suddenly hungry for either Pancakes for Fish ‘n Chips or even Popcorn.

Mmmm…… BUTTERED Women……. mmmmmmm……..

Tom (Independent)

October 20th, 2011
2:26 pm

Red – Herman has more experience than your Community Organizer buddy!!

Travis McGee

October 20th, 2011
2:26 pm

One thing is for certain, the Republicans just have a hard time fielding a viable candidate. The Tea Party will only support someone who’s unelectable.

The most electable candidate is Romney but he will be kicked to the curb in the southern Red States.

And, so it goes. . . . John McCain Part II.

UGA 1999

October 20th, 2011
2:28 pm

Travis….part of your comment makes a lot of sense. However either Cain, Romney or Perry would definately beat Obama in a general election. We are good!

Be Careful of the Stones U Throw

October 20th, 2011
2:31 pm

@Skeptic in the Burbs (Undecided) October 20th, 2011 1:55 pm

Herman Cain is putting on a minstrel show for the good white folks. He is just tap dancing to what they want to hear. He better be careful of the stones he throw they may come back to knock him down a peg.

Oh, the hypocrisy

October 20th, 2011
2:32 pm

I don’t understand why Piers (or anyone else, for that matter) didn’t make the following, logical conclusion from Cain’s position – CAIN IS PRO CHOICE.

UGA 1999

October 20th, 2011
2:33 pm

Be Careful….because he is smart, well educated, successful and driven you think he is “tap dancing” for the white folk. Can you say “ignorant”?

td

October 20th, 2011
2:33 pm

Travis McGee

October 20th, 2011
2:26 pm

Romney is not getting any support because he is the one closer to McCain than any of the other Republicans running. Newt, Rick S, Michele, John and Ron are the only Republican candidates that are close to giving Obama another 4 years. The remaining three are all ahead of him in polls right now and one of them will likly be the next President.

Oh, the hypocrisy

October 20th, 2011
2:36 pm

UGA 1999 – you are the ignorant one here; you show it time after time after time after time after time after time, etc. To the point where your moniker is a disgrace to the school it purports to represent.

Holding My Nose and Voting

October 20th, 2011
2:37 pm

as between a “no-nonsense” rambler and a polished politician with slick sound bites, give me the latter as Leader of the Free World.
And as for the knucklehead who said Cain is not “pro-Choice,” the position he espoused to Piers is the very definition of “pro-Choice.” What is wrong with you?
Here’s the deal with the GOP primary:

Cain is cool because he is focused on what seems to be important right now – the economy. Focus is good, but sometimes it can hurt. I remember Sen McCain touting his foreign policy credentials ans saying he had a plan to end the Iraq War with dignity and then admitting the economy was not his strong suit. And we know how well that comment served him.

Romney looks presidential. He acts presidential most of the time, and he has experience leading a state with resources and a bi-partisan culture. His only problem with conservatives is that he is not really all that conservative on social issues, and he is not afraid to admit that a comprehensive public health insurance mandate is good for the voters.

The problem with all the other candidates, including Perry, is that they are absurd mutant charicatures of what they perceive their base to be. Santorum actually seems to take himself seriously and he sticks to the same issues he’s been whining about for 10 years. The problem there is no one listens to him except for his mom and lunatics.

Be Careful of the Stones U Throw

October 20th, 2011
2:37 pm

@UGA 1999 October 20th, 2011 2:15 pm

White people love negros that tap dance to their tune. Herman Cain is an uncle Tom who caters to the white people. He thinks he is America’s Savoir because he has made a few dollars. I applaud him for his career but he should not forget the people who got him where he is today.

Where were all the good ole white folks when he did not have a nickle to rub together?

Edward

October 20th, 2011
2:38 pm

The only thing more ignorant than Herman Cain are the people who support him.

UGA 1992

October 20th, 2011
2:38 pm

@ Red – the 999 is not being pulled or retooled as you falsely claim. It is being attacked by those that are too stupid to understand the details of the plan. It is not a VAT. It is a replacement tax. It will removed the embedded taxes already in the price of goods and replace it with a very visible sales tax. Do your homework. Read Art Laffer’s or Paul Ryan’s assessment if you want the truth.

Charles

October 20th, 2011
2:38 pm

This sounds to me like Cain is pro-choice. He’s not saying hard and fast that a woman shouldn’t under any circumstances have an abortion. That’s pretty much what I usually hear coming from the Right. What he said is pretty much what most people on the other side say. Dems aren’t telling women to go out have a ball and if you get pregnant you know there is always abortion. Yet that is what the Right wants you to believe. I would venture to say that the majority of people don’t believe that abortion is morally right, but just like Herman said, they don’t think it’s the right of the government to tell the woman what to do. So how is he not pro-choice again?

UGA 1999

October 20th, 2011
2:39 pm

Oh, the hip hopcrysy……again, you show no point. Just point fingers and blame. It is ok, we are all used to it from your side. Something will never change.

UGA 1999

October 20th, 2011
2:40 pm

Be Careful….because he believes in self reliance and not standing outside welfare office with his hand out, you call him an Uncle Tom.

HAHA, Keep on drinking what Obama is feeding you. You will be a government leach your entire life.

Oh, the hypocrisy

October 20th, 2011
2:40 pm

UGA 1999 – kettle calling the pot black much? idiot.

UGA 1992

October 20th, 2011
2:41 pm

@ Be Careful – you are showing who is the real bigot. I find it very interesting that those that scream racism are the very one’s calling Cain an Uncle Tom. Talk about hipocrisy!!

UGA 1999

October 20th, 2011
2:41 pm

Oh, the…..good job, there it is again. Keep on doing that…..we all laugh at you!

UGA 1999

October 20th, 2011
2:42 pm

Oh,,,,,thanks, you did it again! haha great.

Oh, the hypocrisy

October 20th, 2011
2:42 pm

UGA 1999 – i’d venture to say you’re currently in the unemployment line typing your asinine ramblings from a device supplied and paid for by your mom and dad, both of whom are in agreement that you’re a load that should have been swallowed.

UGA 1999

October 20th, 2011
2:42 pm

1992…AMEN!

Did you pledge?