By Dave Andrusko
At the very same time his poll numbers are rocketing upwards, businessman and GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain is offering responses on the abortion issue that can be read a variety of ways.
First, the good news, from Mr. Cain’s perspective. He is, at worst, in second place among the Republican presidential candidates, and in some polls he places first.
And in a survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports after Tuesday’s GOP debate in Nevada, Cain received 28% of likely Republican voters in Iowa with Romney capturing 21%. They were followed by Congressman Ron Paul (10%), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (9%), Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (8%), and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (7%).
Iowa holds the influential first caucuses.
An interview Cain gave CNN’s Piers Morgan last night is generating buzz throughout the mainstream press outlets and the blogosphere. Note: when he does not like you, Morgan is an aggressive, openly hostile interviewer who makes no pretence to be asking questions that are not loaded and barbed.
“What’s your view of abortion?” Cain is asked.
“I believe that life begins at conception and abortion under no circumstances. And here’s why.”
Morgan jumps in, “No circumstances?” and Cain answers, “No circumstances.” To which Morgan remarks, “Because some of your fellow candidates qualify that–rape and incest and so on.”
That led Morgan, unsurprisingly, into a theoretical about rape. He posed the situation to Cain that if a daughter or granddaughter of his was raped, “You would honestly want her to bring up that baby as her own?”
“You’re mixing two things,” Cain responded.”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 incidence, 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 try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue.”
Morgan said to Cain, “You might be President of the United States of America. So your views on these things become exponentially, massively more important. They become a directive to the nation.”
“No they don’t,” Cain responded. “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 decision that they need to make.”
Morgan ended this line of questions with, “That’s really interesting, that a very interesting departure from the normal politics.”
Cain’s interview with Piers Morgan comes a few days after being questioned last Sunday by moderator David Gregory of “Meet the Press” (see www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2011/10/obama-catchwords-and-symbols-wouldn%E2%80%99t-save-a-failed-presidency ).
Cain told Gregory, “I believe in life from conception, and I do not agree with abortion under any circumstances.” Would he “condone abortion” if the life of mother were involved, Gregory asked. Cain’s response, “That family is going to have to make that [decision].”
Cain was also asked by Gregory, “Who’s your model of the ideal Supreme Court justice who you would appoint?” and he cited Justice Clarence Thomas. “I believe that Justice Clarence Thomas, despite all of the attacks that he gets from the left, he basically rules and makes his decisions, in my opinion, based upon the Constitution and solid legal thinking. Justice Clarence Thomas is one of my models.”
Later today, after being criticized by former Senator Rick Santorum, also a candidate for President, Cain issued a statement in which he said he thought Morgan was asking him whether as President he would “order” people not to seek abortions.
“My answer was focused on the role of the president. The president has no constitutional authority to order any such action by anyone. That was the point I was trying to convey,” he said. “As to my political policy view on abortion, I am 100 percent pro-life. End of story.”
In addition, Cain said he would do “everything that a president can do, consistent with his constitutional role, to advance the culture of life.”
Cain spoke at National Right to Life’s annual convention in June. In his remarks, he cited the Civil Rights Movement as an inspiration for pro-lifers and singled out for praise crisis pregnancy centers which offer alternatives to pregnant women.
“As we move forward, we all have to be leaders in this fight to protect the unborn,” he told his audience. “And my challenge to you is not to just push back but fight back …with our voices and our votes. That’s where our power lies.”
Cain added, “Only God can give life and only God can take it away.”
Your feedback is so very important to improving National Right to Life News Today. Please send your comments to email@example.com. If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/daveha