Cain clarifies again: Abortion shouldn’t be legal, but some families might decide to break the law anyway

posted at 5:10 pm on October 21, 2011 by Allahpundit

A better answer than yesterday’s spin attempt but Mediaite is right that it still doesn’t jibe with what he said to Piers Morgan. Then:

No, it comes down to is, 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 try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision…

The government shouldn’t be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to a social decision that they need to make.

Now:

Look, abortion should not be legal. That is clear. But if that family makes the decision to break the law, that’s that family’s decision. That’s all I’m trying to say.

Big difference between (a) the government shouldn’t tell you what to do about “sensitive” social decisions and (b) the government should tell you what to do by criminalizing one of your options. In fact, per Christian Heinze at the The Hill and Philip Klein at the Examiner, even in today’s answer there’s an element of choice insofar as Cain suggests that a pregnant woman might end up breaking the law to get an illegal abortion. That’s, er, true — some of them would end up doing that — but it’s an odd note for a man in his position to sound. Rarely do would-be presidents acknowledge lawbreaking as an option in any context, however disapprovingly. (Klein, applying Cain’s logic, goofs, “Theft should not be legal, but if a family decides they have to steal, that’s their decision.”) And rarely do pro-lifers suggest that criminal penalties might not be much of a deterrent. The whole point of the movement is to de-normalize abortion itself, not to lock up practitioners as punishment for what they’ve done. The more “normal” it is to carry out illegal abortions, whatever the penalty later, the greater the setback to the pro-life cause. Cain inadvertently injects a bit of that normalization here.

The good news is, now that he’s spent two days answering questions on this, sheer media fatigue with the subject will probably mean no new interrogations about it next week. New pressure will have to come from the other candidates like Michele Bachmann, who called his position “pro-abortion”(!) earlier today. Exit question: Will any of this end up doing damage to Cain’s polls? My experience with Cain fans in the comments here is that they’re extremely — extremely — loyal. Not quite as loyal as Palinistas are to Palin, maybe, but they’re getting there. Patience.


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Look, this issue is simple. Let’s say we get lucky and Congress votes to define personhood as beginning from conception. Will Cain sign the bill? I think yes.

I am at least more certain of Cain’s signature than of Romney’s, Perry’s, or Gingrich’s. These men are politicians first, Republicans (at best) second. They are utterly unreliable and there’s no trusting them beyond the day of the convention.

So what do we do? Bachmann’s campaign is over and Santorum never even started. It’s Cain or a Democrat. While we may wish that he was a firebreathing social-con with a specific action plan to end abortion, that’s not in the cards, so we vote for the best candidate left standing.

You criticize Cain’s “inconsistency” Allah, but how is it relevant? Clearly the guy is (stupidly, in my view) trying to play politician and please his interviewers. In this he is imitating the polished liars that you would prefer we nominate. Or… are you contending that Cain is so ignorant and disinterested that he doesn’t actually have an opinion about abortion? That’s an incredible accusation.

joe_doufu on October 22, 2011 at 1:21 PM

That…um…wait…what?

Count to 10 on October 22, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Abortion is not going anywhere. So all the gynocologists in the country are murdered by pro-lifers(pro life fantasy of all time). You would still have to put speed bumps on every stairway in America and make all wire hangers illegal. The same logic as the idiots that want to take away the second amendment and all my guns. Once guns are gone, no one can kill anymore. You can’t kill anyone with a knife, pouring gas on them and throwing a match, or run them over with a car. It’s only guns that kill people. There is no other way to kill someone, only with a gun. If my daughter was raped and ended up pregnant, it’s nice to know there is a federal government that will hold a gun to her head for nine months to force her to procreate for the state. No wonder Pro-Lifers never get any traction politically.

Abortion will never be illegal in America ever again. Get used to it…..No real Libertarian would ever agree to it. I believe life begins at birth, not conception. Maybe some pro-life bully can explain to me how their belief triumphs mine……

adamsmith on October 22, 2011 at 2:45 PM

You criticize Cain’s “inconsistency” Allah, but how is it relevant? Clearly the guy is (stupidly, in my view) trying to play politician and please his interviewers. In this he is imitating the polished liars that you would prefer we nominate. Or… are you contending that Cain is so ignorant and disinterested that he doesn’t actually have an opinion about abortion? That’s an incredible accusation.

joe_doufu on October 22, 2011 at 1:21 PM

The whole issue is how Herman Cain took a simple question and turned it into a multi-day conflaguration in the news media.

That’s really the issue. His Pro-Life position – isn’t the issue. Yeah – he’ll probably be a Pro-Life President and I don’t think there is any doubt on that. That’s NOT the problem though.

The problem is – we’re trying to choose who we are going to make our nominee for the office of leader of the Western world. That person needs to be at least a little articulate and be able to give clear answers.

As President – Cain would have to deal with a lot more complicated questions – and, based on his sorry performance this week – I fairly certain he’s not up to that task.

In two days he totally botched two of the easiest “softball” questions any candidate’s ever been given. First the “hey could release terrorists from Gitmo?” question – which he totally botched the answer on – and then the abortion question.

That, coupled with his many other flaws – such as not knowing what “right of return” was; not knowing that we don’t recognize Taiwan as the government of China; and acknowledging that he can’t debate Obama on foreign policy ….

Makes this guy, frankly – a very sorry nominee.

We don’t have to worry about that though – because he WILL NOT be the nominee.

HondaV65 on October 22, 2011 at 2:47 PM

The problem is – we’re trying to choose who we are going to make our nominee for the office of leader of the Western world. That person needs to be at least a little articulate and be able to give clear answers.
HondaV65 on October 22, 2011 at 2:47 PM

That’s certainly the reason voters give for having scratched Perry off their list, at least.

whatcat on October 22, 2011 at 2:59 PM

HondaV65 on October 22, 2011 at 2:47 PM

So who would you nominate? I get that you see “consistency in speech” as more important than actual competence or policy positions, and I’m not even going to ask why, but even using your own criteria: which of the candidates is more “consistent”? Santorum?

joe_doufu on October 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Of course Barry Cain is not winging it.

bayview on October 22, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Of course Barry Cain is not winging it.
bayview on October 22, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Cuz they all look alike, y’know.

whatcat on October 22, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Cuz they all look alike, y’know.

whatcat on October 22, 2011 at 4:43 PM

You did not see the similarities other than race? Herb Cain is the blank screen the rights are projecting all the imaginary qualities and hopes on. Both are all talk and little cattle. Both are beneficiaries of AA, how do you think Herb got his position at the Fed. You think he would be chosen with the kind of education, experience and accomplishment at that point had he been a white guy? And Herb’s policies and positions have expiration dates.

bayview on October 22, 2011 at 5:10 PM

I wonder what any of these idiots who are mouthing off about Herman Cain has ever done for the pro-life movement.

http://www.lifenews.com/2006/09/13/nat-2583/

African American Businessman Spends 1M to Urge Blacks to Vote Pro-Life

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 13, 2006

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — With the balance of power in Congress hanging in the air, a leading African American businessman says black voters in the United States should put their historical pro-life values above political party. That means voting for pro-life candidates rather than supporting Democratic candidates across the board.

Herman Cain is best known as the former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. He is a political commentator and was a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

“More and more African Americans are pro-life,” Cain said in a statement LifeNews.com obtained. “Our message to African Americans is simple — it’s time you vote for candidates who support our values.”

Cain will underscore that message with a $1 million advertising campaign in key states and congressional districts targeting black radio programs and urban radio stations young African Americans enjoy. Some of the ads focus on abortion.

The campaign is a second go-round based on a highly successful Ohio campaign in 2004 that helped President Bush garner 17% of the African American vote in the Buckeye State – double his vote total from the 2000 presidential race.

The ads appeared in Dayton, Cleveland and Cincinnati Ohio, as well as in Colorado, Minnesota, Florida, Georgia and other states.

The ads are funded by Americas PAC, a Cain-backed organization, which former Al Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile said did a great job in turning out black pro-life votes.

Americas PAC’s African American radio strategy “hampered our ability to expand the off-year electorate in 2002,” Brazile said.

The new campaign should resonate again with black voters as polls show African Americans are more pro-life than Americans as a whole.

In an August 2004 poll sponsored by Pace University and Rock the Vote, 54 percent of all Americans declared themselves pro-life while just 44 percent said they supported legal abortion. However, African-American voters took a pro-life position by a larger 59 to 42 percent margin.

As a snapshot of that support, polls in Florida found that 77 percent of black Americans backed a measure on the 2004 ballot to notify parents before a minor teenager’s abortion. Some 65 percent of Florida voters in general voted for the measure that November.

With black voters so strongly pro-life, black commentator Star Parker says that the increasing desire to support pro-life candidates this election is the beginning of a trend.

“Black pastors and their congregants are waking up to the fact that the liberal agenda that they have been supporting all these years does not liberate but denigrates, dehumanizes, and enslaves,” Parker said.

Since the 1973 Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited abortions, 15 million abortions have been performed on black women. African-American women also have abortions hat much higher rates than do white women.

Chudi on October 22, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Both are beneficiaries of AA, how do you think Herb got his position at the Fed.
bayview on October 22, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Eh. Whatever you need for self-justification.

whatcat on October 22, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Is this worth reading? I am getting sick and tired of the foot–>mouth spasm. A hot topic as abortion is, candidates should be pretty cut and dry about it.

Now Cain is exposed as a flip-flopper, just like a couple more of the candidates.

God help us.

ProudPalinFan on October 22, 2011 at 6:47 PM

practitioners as punishment for what they’ve done.

You can’t make it illegal without punishment of some sort. Murder is illegal now and people make choices to do it anyways. If the goal of changing peoples minds to flip from normal and accepted to abnormal and taboo is not by nudge, shove, shot. It is though the heart and you will never get everyone to be and that should not be the goal of a free people that is if you want to be a free people.

Until Cain comes out as a socialist he really needs to be taken as on option, everything else will be minor to the spread the wealth.

tjexcite on October 22, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Is it not? Seems pretty clear that the criminal makes the decision to break the law.

Or do you suggest that criminals knowingly break the law through no fault of their own?

Jason Coleman on October 21, 2011 at 6:24 PM

No. I was parodying Cain’s statement about families and breaking a putative anti-abortion law.

Again, Mr. Cain, meet Ms. Anthony.

unclesmrgol on October 22, 2011 at 7:59 PM

If we use your analogy, Cain is saying the thief will make his choice, but we wont lock him up. There are no consequences.

JonPrichard on October 21, 2011 at 7:33 PM

If we use the proposed analogy, there is no crime. Abortion remains legal, and every child is a slave for some period of time to their mother — who holds the power of life and death — or, in other terms — humanity or inhumanity — over her progeny.

That’s why I made the point about Casey Anthony. If one looks at her situation properly through the Pro-Choice lens, Caylee merely suffered a post-natal abortion. Casey’s reasons for offing her daughter ape the reasons commonly given by those choosing an abortion for their children — inconvenience, economic burden, yada yada yada.

unclesmrgol on October 22, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Man, the fans of baby-killing sure are flogging the hell out of this issue, trying to be divisive and undercut Cain as much as possible.

rayra on October 22, 2011 at 9:36 PM

That’s certainly the reason voters give for having scratched Perry off their list, at least.

whatcat on October 22, 2011 at 2:59 PM

And there are those of us who actually don’t like some of Perry’s stated policy positions.

gryphon202 on October 22, 2011 at 10:08 PM

The first answer is the best one.

AshleyTKing on October 22, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Some of you are ignoring that in Cain’s example, it’s illegal. Even if the family still sought out an abortion it would still be illegal. Whatever the law said the consequences would be they would be.

If you are trying to suggest that Cain’s use of the word choice to describe decision, you are making an argument by slogan and that is a false and invalid argument. Cain is 100% pro-life. Simple as that.

No flip-flop here, his position is consistent throughout his public life. If you have evidence to the contrary, present it.

Jason Coleman on October 22, 2011 at 10:28 PM

That’s certainly the reason voters give for having scratched Perry off their list, at least.

whatcat on October 22, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Amongst many other reasons yes.

Santorum?

joe_doufu on October 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Also yes. Or Romney sadly, but that’s where we are since True Conservatives had to have Pawlenty’s scalp.

jarodea on October 22, 2011 at 10:28 PM

that’s where we are since True Conservatives had to have Pawlenty’s scalp.
jarodea on October 22, 2011 at 10:28 PM

If memory serves, he removed his scalp from the race all by himself due to a near total lack of interest by the voting public.

whatcat on October 22, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Cain is a true conservative in all areas. I know some detractors are trying to paint him as pro-choice, but we all know that’s not true.

Does any honest, clear thinking mature conservative (of any age) sincerely think that Cain won’t appoint the right judges, sign any anti-abortion legislation given him and change back the Mexican policy?

Elisa on October 22, 2011 at 11:46 PM

Roger that. My sincere apologies. Kinda embarrassed now. Really glad now that, I deleted the screed I’d originally banged out.

LOL I wish I had seen it! :)

btw, there’s no need to apologize to me.

It started:

Ok, that’s it why bother anymore, lemme show ya’ll how to really make some false arguments. . . .

Then it went into an ad hom on Romney, affirm the consequent on Newt, amazing familiarity on Perry, ambig assert on Bachmann, AAA on Paul, AA on Santorum, A to C on Huntsman, back to the top with A to C2 on Romney, A to FA on Newt and so on.

Got all the way down to Argument by Bafflement before I just gave up and decided I’d never be able to hit submit.

Salut!

Jason Coleman on October 22, 2011 at 2:47 AM

lol

Bizarro No. 1 on October 23, 2011 at 2:51 AM

Thanks for the compliment.

Y/w! :)

As far as mocking/ridicule, I can battle in the trenches with the best of them. I just don’t relish the idea of friendly fire.

Jason Coleman on October 22, 2011 at 3:07 AM

I noticed, which is why I gave complimented you as I did.

As a general rule of thumb, following Reagan’s 11th Commandment is the best course of action. I see us on the Right as Team USA, and the Left is Team USSR. We should remember this, and eliminate the sniping on our side.

Of course, some on our side act like John McCain towards other Righties (here at HA even – these people stick out like the sore losers they are). They should be marginalized until they learn how to be good teammates…

Bizarro No. 1 on October 23, 2011 at 3:06 AM

Are we really going to elect a man who has never won an election before? Do people within the GOP really think his first election success will be the Presidency?

Is the GOP going to apply it’s Delaware strategy to the Presidency? Really??!!

That just seems plain dumb to me…

RedSoxNation on October 23, 2011 at 7:43 AM

And how many within the GOP want him to win so they can combat any claim that he or she is racist? I have seen that response from some people, especially Tea Party members who are sensitive to the racist charge?

That is a bad reason to support Cain; but people are doing it…

RedSoxNation on October 23, 2011 at 7:46 AM

Um, what?

Look, robbery shouldn’t be legal, but if someone decides to do it, that’s their decision.

Look, murder shouldn’t be legal, but if someone decides to do it, that’s their decision.

Look…

What?

Midas on October 23, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Wow…Cain looked like a deer caught in the headlights on two important issues. this was the week when he lost what ever little chance of becoming the Republican nominee

Mitt Romney must be laughing is a** off – his competition have all but immolated themselves..

At this point Gary Johnson looks like the most decent choice conservatives have – granted he is libertarian but at least he will not be offering such laughable explanations of his position on abortion.

Can the Republicans ever get a minority candidate who does not make a fool of himself in front of his own supporters ?

nagee76 on October 23, 2011 at 9:19 AM

As a general rule of thumb, following Reagan’s 11th Commandment is the best course of action. I see us on the Right as Team USA, and the Left is Team USSR. We should remember this, and eliminate the sniping on our side.

Sniping/in fighting is all a part of the political process – you cannot wish it away.

Herman Cain made a fool of himself – abortion is a sensitive issue still in conservative politics and to give such a laughable response that lacks logic, coherence and a lack of thinking is to disqualify himself as a serious candidate.

There are GOP voters out there who will not suffer such foolishness gladly simply because Cain calls himself a Republican.. and they have every right to speak their mind.. if that breaks Reagan’s 11th Amendment, so be it.

nagee76 on October 23, 2011 at 9:31 AM

I wonder what any of these idiots who are mouthing off about Herman Cain has ever done for the pro-life movement.

http://www.lifenews.com/2006/09/13/nat-2583/

Well, that was nothing but Herman Cain posturing… if he truly believed that there are too many abortions and African Americans were more affected by this than any one else he would not be saying that this is a “family decision” that families make. At least he cannot say that and still continue to call himself pro-life.

Ask yourself this question – what exactly has changed between 2006 and 2011 when it comes to the question of abortion ? Is he claiming that some how in 2006, African American families were not making decisions on abortion and AA women were some how “forced” into abortions?

As some one pointed out this is so fallacious – if a family decides to steal because it is starving, does that make theft less of a crime?

The most damaging thing that you can do for the pro-life movement is to call yourself pro-life and be totally clueless about what it means.

If this is the guy you want to be a standard bearer for the GOP, have it your way

nagee76 on October 23, 2011 at 9:48 AM

he would not be saying that this is a “family decision” that families make.
nagee76 on October 23, 2011 at 9:48 AM

You’re getting yourself confused because you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about or of what Cain said. Read the title of this blog post for a clue. He simply said that some people will choose to break the law. That’s just an obvious fact, the same as robbery or rape is against the law – but some people decide to break the law anyway and they will commit those crimes.

whatcat on October 23, 2011 at 10:05 AM

The man slides deeper and deeper into Dope-Land. What are we to do now? Remember the old saw, “You can’t beat someone with no one”.

Mason on October 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Midas.

Yes people do make decisions and choose to break the law everyday.

And when they are caught they must face the.proscribed consequences.

Do you disagree?

Jason Coleman on October 23, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Midas.

Yes people do make decisions and choose to break the law everyday.

And when they are caught they must face the.proscribed consequences.

Do you disagree?

Jason Coleman on October 23, 2011 at 12:00 PM

No, I don’t disagree, but that’s not how what he said reads.

Tell me; what other law would you even begin to describe this way? If you say “something should be illegal”, well – that’s enough said. You don’t feel the need to go further and describe that if a family decides to break the law, that’s their decision (and then leave unsaid what the penalty would be).

By going that extra step “it’s their decision”, he’s using the ‘choice’ language of the pro-abortion folks for some reason. IMO, he’s trying to split the issue and have it both ways – to throw the pro-life folks a bone and say “it should be illegal”, and to thro the pro-abortion folks a bone and say “but it’s their choice if they decide to do it anyway”.

Meh.

Midas on October 23, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Midas.

Yes people do make decisions and choose to break the law everyday.

And when they are caught they must face the.proscribed consequences.

Do you disagree?

Jason Coleman on October 23, 2011 at 12:00 PM

No, I don’t disagree, but that’s not how what he said reads

That speaks more to a problem of your reading things into what someone said rather than what the person actually said, Midas.

Tell me; what other law would you even begin to describe this way?
Midas on October 23, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Every time the left demands gun ownership be banned/outlawed to stop gun crime, conservative folks point out that a law banning guns won’t stop some people from committing gun crimes. A law can make an act illegal, but it can’t stop someone from committing the act. Consider sodomy, pot smoking and such. (Or, for that matter, jaywalking or speeding.)

whatcat on October 23, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Are we really going to elect a man who has never won an election before?

That just seems plain dumb to me…

RedSoxNation on October 23, 2011 at 7:43 AM

You may think it’s dumb, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you’ve never bothered to look at the record of those who we HAVE elected POTUS that never won an election before. Some great, some quite good, couple of not so goods, but it’s by no means a rare event in the history of the office.

Washington
Adams
Jefferson
Taylor
Grant
Arthur
Taft
Hoover
Eisenhower

That works out to 20% of U.S. Presidents never winning a national election prior to their winning Presidential runs.

I think it’s about time for us to elect another President who is not part of the aristocratic political class.

Jason Coleman on October 23, 2011 at 6:19 PM

No, I don’t disagree, but that’s not how what he said reads.

Tell me; what other law would you even begin to describe this way?

Well Midas, it’s fairly obvious that you didn’t read anything in context.

He was responding to stupid questions and hypotheticals, and if you read those questions and hypotheticals along with the answers, it makes a lot more sense.

As for what laws do we look at this way. . .pretty much every time there is a pre-meditated crime. Prosecutors make that very case every single day.

I usually goes something like this:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, X is illegal, this person here choose to break that law, the prosecution intends to show that this person that person choose to break this law by choosing to A,B, and C and that this person did so with forethought and malice against Y and we ask you to evaluated the evidence we will present and pass your judgement.

Happens every single day.

Jason Coleman on October 23, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, X is illegal, this person here choose to break that law, the prosecution intends to show that this person that person choose to break this law by choosing to A,B, and C and that this person did so with forethought and malice against Y and we ask you to evaluated the evidence we will present and pass your judgement.
Happens every single day.
Jason Coleman on October 23, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Indeed. It’s part and parcel of a prosecutor’s daily work to the show intent, planning and commission involved in any given crime.

whatcat on October 23, 2011 at 7:50 PM

I think it’s about time for us to elect another President who is not part of the aristocratic political class.

Jason Coleman on October 23, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Lets not compare Cain to 3 founding fathers and the guy who led us to win WWII.

csdeven on October 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Lets not compare Cain to 3 founding fathers and the guy who led us to win WWII.

csdeven on October 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Let’s not read more into my comparison than that which I compared.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 2:04 AM

Let’s not read more into my comparison than that which I compared.
Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 2:04 AM

That kinda sums up AP’s and some others problem with the topic this blog entry was originally about; fantasizing about what was said rather than what was actually said.

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 5:49 AM

Sniping/in fighting is all a part of the political process – you cannot wish it away.

Herman Cain made a fool of himself – abortion is a sensitive issue still in conservative politics and to give such a laughable response that lacks logic, coherence and a lack of thinking is to disqualify himself as a serious candidate.

There are GOP voters out there who will not suffer such foolishness gladly simply because Cain calls himself a Republican.. and they have every right to speak their mind.. if that breaks Reagan’s 11th Amendment, so be it.

nagee76 on October 23, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Yep, you can’t wish sniping away, and it’s ok to give your criticisms about another’s statements/behavior, as long as you actually listen to his defense, and keep your criticisms from being arrogant and/or personal.

We can and should point out when people who are supposed to be allied with us don’t have the awareness to refrain from acting childishly – no one should tolerate obnoxious, counterproductive behavior.

Those who don’t choose shape up after having their bad behavior pointed out to them should be ignored until they figure out how to get along properly with people they disagree with.

Bizarro No. 1 on October 24, 2011 at 1:10 PM

So “Hot Air” doesn’t like Herman Cain. We know already. The nit picky hit pieces are getting tiresome though.

Herman is not a professional politician.

Good.

Old eagle on October 24, 2011 at 4:20 PM

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