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Tags: The Primary Event

NRLC ‘Confident’ that Cain’s Pro-Life



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The National Right to Life Committee has no concerns about Herman Cain’s commitment to the pro-life position.

“Herman Cain’s pro-life,” says David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee, noting that Cain has “clarified” the comments he made on CNN earlier this week about abortion.

“He addressed our convention last June,” Steen adds. “We are quite confident in his pro-life position. When he ran in the primary for senate some years back … he ran as a pro-life candidate then in Georgia. We’ve known of him for a number of years, and he’s always taken a pro-life position.”

Georgia Right to Life endorsed both Cain and one of his opponents in the Georgia senate primary in 2004.

UPDATE: However, another pro-life organization, the Susan B. Anthony List, is questioning Cain’s pro-life credentials.

“A candidate’s view of women and the unborn must be crystal clear to the pro-life voter, and Herman Cain’s confusing and fluid position on pro-life policy is unsettling,” said SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser in a statement.

“When the lives of millions of the unborn are at stake, what a presidential candidate would do to advance pro-life priorities must be stated clearly and unequivocally,” Dannenfelser added. “Mr. Cain’s signature on our pledge would remove any doubts about his pro-life commitments as president.”

Cain, along with Mitt Romney, has not signed the SBA List’s pro-life pledge. In June, when Cain announced he would not sign the pledge, he issued this statement to explain why:

I support right-to-life issues unequivocally and I adamantly support the first three aspects of the Susan B. Anthony pledge involving appointing pro-life judges, choosing pro-life cabinet members, and ending taxpayer-funded abortions. 

However, the fourth requirement demands that I ‘advance’ the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. As president, I would sign it, but Congress must advance the legislation.

I have been a consistent and unwavering champion of pro life issues. 

In no way does this singular instance of clarification denote an abandonment of the pro-life movement, but instead, is a testament to my respect for the balance of power and the role of the presidency.

 

Candidates React to Iraq Withdrawal



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Mitt Romney’s statement:

President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women. The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government. The American people deserve to hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in Iraq.

Michele Bachmann’s statement:

Today’s announcement that we will remove all of our forces from Iraq is a political decision and not a military one; it represents the complete failure of President Obama to secure an agreement with Iraq for our troops to remain there to preserve the peace and demonstrates how far our foreign policy leadership has fallen. In every case where the United States has liberated a people from dictatorial rule, we have kept troops in that country to ensure a peaceful transition and to protect fragile growing democracies. We will now have fewer troops in Iraq than we have in Honduras – despite a costly and protracted war. 

President Obama’s decision represents the end of the era of America’s influence in Iraq and the strengthening of Iran’s influence in Iraq with no plan to counter that influence. We have been ejected from a country by the people that we liberated and that the United States paid for with precious blood and treasure. The administration claims that we got exactly what we needed, but today’s announcement demonstrates otherwise. The United States needed a working democratic partnership in Iraq and we should have demanded that Iraq repay the full cost of liberating them given their rich oil revenues. I call on the president to return to the negotiating table with Iraq and lead from the front and not from weakness in Iraq and in the world.

UPDATE: Jon Huntsman’s statement below the jump.

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Jon Huntsman’s statement:

On the occasion of the announcement that U.S. forces will withdraw completely from Iraq by the end of the year, we should take a moment to reflect on the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform.  We are forever grateful for their service to America, and are eager to welcome our troops home.

President Obama’s decision, however, to not leave a small, focused presence in Iraq is a mistake and the product of his administration’s failures. The president’s inability to reach a security agreement leaves Iraq vulnerable to backsliding, thus putting our interests in the region at risk. An ideal arrangement would have left a small troop presence that could have assisted with the training of Iraqi security forces and vital counter-terror efforts.

Bachmann: Campaign Not Aware of N.H. Staffers Quitting



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Michele Bachmann said today she found the report that her entire crew of staffers in New Hampshire had quit “shocking” and said it was not true.

“I don’t know where that came from,” Bachmann told Radio Iowa. “We have called staff in New Hampshire to find out where that came from and the staff have said that isn’t true, so I don’t know if this is just a bad story that’s being fed by a different candidate or campaign. I have no idea where this came from, but we’ve made calls and it’s certainly not true.”

She added that as far as she knew, no one had quit.

“We’re trying to call everyone and find out if there’s any truth to the story,” Bachmann said. “Everyone that we’ve gotten a hold of has said that they were shocked as well.”

Calling the report a “rumor,” Bachmann denounced the media for going forward with the story. “It’s highly irresponsible media to spread stories and print stories that aren’t verified and aren’t true,” she remarked, saying that her campaign had not been called about the story. 

UPDATE: But another source, New Hampshire’s Union-Leader, is also reporting that most of Bachmann’s New Hampshire campaign staff has quit. So … stay tuned. 

Cain: ‘I Am Pro-Life From Conception, No Exceptions’



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In an interview this afternoon, Herman Cain stressed that he wanted abortions to be illegal.

“When he [Piers Morgan] then tried to pigeon hole me on my granddaughter being there as a victim of rape then what would I do, the only point I was trying to make, a lot of families will be in that position and will not be thinking well what would the government want me to do,” Cain told Fox News about why he answered CNN’s Morgan the way he did earlier this week. “My position is no abortion, my position is no abortion. But all I was trying to point out was take the typical family in this country and you don’t know what they might do in the heat of the moment, that’s what I was trying to say.”

“Abortion should not be legal, that is clear,” Cain added. “But if that family made a decision to break the law, that’s that family’s decision, that’s all I’m trying to say.”

He said he would be “sorry” if his remarks on abortion proved “problematic” to his campaign.

“Let me just state again, I am pro-life from conception, no exceptions,” Cain said. “I was trying to separate two situations here and if they won’t allow me to separate those two situations, they won’t allow me to separate those two situations, that’s unfortunate. I don’t know how much more I can say that if I am pro-life from conception no exceptions, I will not fund any abortions by the government, I will sign any legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and all of the other variations of this whole pro-life issue.”

Fox News to Host Two More Debates



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For those complaining that some of the GOP debates have been unfairly moderated, with a bias in the questions toward liberal assumptions, there is good news: Fox News will host two more debates this cycle, the channel announced yesterday. One, in conjunction with the Iowa GOP, will be in Sioux City, Iowa December 15. The second will be co-hosted with the South Carolina GOP on Jan. 16 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Bret Baier is slated to moderate both debates.

Romney’s Ethanol Position: Evolving?



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In a May visit to Iowa, Mitt Romney told a voter, “I support the subsidy of ethanol. I believe ethanol is an important part of our energy solution for this country,” according to the Wall Street Journal. He made the comments around the time Tim Pawlenty’s campaign was touting Pawlenty’s willingness to say he’d eliminate ethanol subsidies in Iowa.

But in remarks Romney made in Iowa yesterday, he seemed to be more ambiguous about what his ethanol position was. From Radio Iowa:

Republican candidate Mitt Romney says he’s “enough of a business guy” to want to review farm programs and federal price supports for corn and soybeans before saying what he would do as president.  

“I’m not running for office based on making promises of handing out money, all right?” Romney said in Iowa Thursday.

Romney sketched out a few more details on his position:

Romney said he supported federal subsidies for ethanol to help get the industry on its feet, but the subsidies shouldn’t continue forever, according to Romney.  …

The federal subsidy for ethanol production is set to expire at the end of the year.  Romney indicated he would like to see more a more gradual reduction in the tax break rather than an abrupt elimination.

UPDATE: “He supports ethanol but he doesn’t believe any subsidy is permanent,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul e-mails. The Romney campaign also sends along this passage from Romney’s No Apology book: “But we should acknowledge that subsidies for one form of energy also discourage investment in alternatives that don’t receive subsidies, which may undermine innovation … Once an industry is up and running, the disadvantages of subsidies outweigh their benefits.”

Bachmann’s N.H. Staffers All Quit



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Bad news for Michele Bachmann’s efforts to woo the Granite State: all her staffers in the state have quit, reports WMUR’s James Pindell. 

The RealClearPolitics average of New Hampshire polls has Bachmann in seventh place, polling at  an average of 3.8 percent. 

‘The Revival of American Competitiveness’



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Michele Bachmann delivered a speech today in San Francisco (no, that’s a not a typo) on how the U.S. could become more competitive. Text of the full speech, as provided by the campaign:

“In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, John Adams wrote, ‘You and I ought not to die before we have explained ourselves to each other.’ The challenges we face today have summoned a variety of opinions about the best course of action to solve them. As a former federal tax attorney and a creator of a small business, I can think of no better place than the Commonwealth Club to offer my ‘explanation’ into the crucible of public debate.

“I am honored to be here today at this time honored forum to speak with you about a subject that’s little discussed, but eminently important in this 2012 presidential campaign. Over the last several months all of us have been rightly concerned about high unemployment in the midst of an economy that continues to stumble. But little noticed by most Americans was a startling piece of news that is partially responsible for our grave economic times, the fact that America has slipped to fifth in the list of competitive nations.

“Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid summed up quite nicely the fantasy economic thinking that dominates Washington, DC today when he said, ‘It’s very clear that private sector jobs have been doing just fine; it’s the public sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is all about.’

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“That’s despite the fact that since 2007 private sector job losses have been three times greater than governments, and that federal employees took home $126,000 annually which is two and a half times the U.S. median wage. That statement qualifies for Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

“The United States of America, history’s most successful political and economic experiment, has proved that a nation rooted in free market competition has led the world in innovation in areas that have advanced the disciplines of medicine, science, technology and made our quality of life second to none.

“But when government gets in the business of picking winners and losers, as in the case of the Solyndra’s of this administration, it becomes our cash for government’s clunkers, and worse, American competitiveness in the world is badly damaged.

“For America to regain its competitive edge in the global economy, we must fundamentally restructure how Washington spends money, radically reform the tax code, educate more and better trained Americans, provide for more efficient movement of goods, encourage fair trade relationships, and reduce unilateral regulatory barriers for entry into the marketplace.

“The passing of Steve Jobs saddened us all. He was more than the co-founder of Apple. He was an icon who represented what is great about America, and he never settled constantly asking employees if they had produced their best product.

“We have always been about being on the cutting edge leading the world in new ideas and innovations. Steve Jobs represented that ideal at its best. Who could have imagined just a few years ago that you could have all of your music, a camera, video camera, your photos, your phone, an encyclopedia all connected to the world at your fingertips? Steve Jobs could. He and his team changed our world for the better.

“The Steve Jobs spirit still exists in the imaginations of young entrepreneurs today. A recent Wall Street Journal article indicates that 77 percent of all students surveyed by Gallup about their aspirations responded that they wanted to be their own boss. Forty-five percent of America’s youth want to start their own business and 42 percent said, ‘I will invent something that changes the world.’

“The next generation of ‘Steve Jobs’ is out there waiting to step up and drive the engine of American innovation and competition. Entrepreneurship is the fastest-growing course of study on campuses nationwide. So the desire to succeed remains. The challenge is that many of these students lack basic information and experience to enter the work force, much less start companies.

“Now take, by comparison, a government enterprise, the Post Office, which yearns to remain committed to paying higher labor costs that bear no comparison to wages paid in the private sector. The Wall Street Journal reported, the U.S. Post Office so desperate for self-preservation is considering selling hunting licenses, country music CD’s, and coffee to try and make ends meet.

“They have failed to innovate and keep up with the free market systems of delivering products to consumers and now are billions in the red and looking to the taxpayer for money. They have failed the tests of innovation. If these gimmicks fail to get them to break even, perhaps they’ll resort to bake sales.

“The Post Office proves why government shouldn’t displace propriety functions–that is what Steve Jobs practiced as one of his secrets to success –’simplicity and saying no to 1000 things.’ Instead, the oxymoron of government run businesses is that they say yes to everything and will spend anything because they’re not driven by the need for profit.

“Researchers, entrepreneurs and investors across America have been paralyzed by this president’s anti-business policies that have created severe uncertainty. As president, I will signal by way of leadership to innovators, that the time has come to once again unleash the genius of Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ working to create the wealth of the nation.

“What drives investment and the execution of innovative ideas is an environment that fosters it. A perfect example is Israel, which enjoys 2.5 times the venture investments than the United States, as a result of their culture embracing innovation.

“My American Jobs, Right Now solutions are aimed at fostering that culture, which will turn our economy around and create high paying jobs that come with increased competitiveness and innovation.

“Our nation’s ability to compete in the global economy begins with education. We must demand strong schools so that young Americans enter the workforce with the math, science and problem-solving skills they need to succeed in the knowledge economy. Education has always been the gateway to a better life in this country, and our primary and secondary schools were long considered the world’s best. But on an international math test in 2003, U.S. high school students ranked 24th out of 29 industrialized nations surveyed.

“Our schools can do better. I got into politics because of education. As a mom I saw the politically correct, dumbing down of their curriculum and decided I needed to work to improve the education system for our kids. That’s why I would close the Department of Education and return the control of education resources and the decisions about how those resources are allocated to the local level where they are best made. Not only does the Department of Education not know what’s best for local schools, they have taken billions of dollars from the states to pay for their expensive bureaucracy. That sort of government behavior must end.

“Our competitiveness depends on well-educated people. American educated scientists and engineers have been the driving force behind our tech revolution but we’re not graduating enough of them. To keep our competitive edge and remain the world’s top tech innovator, we need to raise the math and science skills of our students.

“College tuitions are out of control while paradoxically the availability of information has never been greater. The nation’s young entrepreneurs are graduating with enormous debts that often steer them away from pursuing starting a new business, and instead toward stable jobs that increase their ability to pay down their loans.

“Every child deserves a quality education so they can succeed in life while keeping America strong economically and militarily.

“We must never ignore the power of human capital in our quest to be the leading force for innovation and competition. And we must never forget that education begins at home and that the family is the most important component of any child’s education–we must protect the integrity of the family in the life of a child.

“Part of producing an effective workforce means that we have to reform employment laws. Employees deserve the right to work, and the federal government’s National Labor Relations Board shouldn’t interfere with that right like they are doing with Boeing in South Carolina.

“Reforming employment law also means making it easier to reward good employees and to find bad ones a new line of work. This also means reforming our unemployment insurance system that was created 50 years ago to help workers through temporary layoffs. Under the model, after business picked up, they could go back to the same job, in the same factory, at the same company, selling to the same customers. That is not the world in which employees now live. Now when workers are laid off, the job is gone.

“Today unemployment insurance, even by the admission of the administration’s newest economic council member, Alan Krueger, is a disincentive to work and increases the length of joblessness.

“Another pillar for competitiveness is a healthy investment climate so our technology industry will continue to thrive. Hi-tech capital investments will flow to the country where Internet delivery is fast and efficient, where financial markets are strong, and where taxes are kept low.

“To promote innovation, we should make the research and development tax credit permanent to maximize the private sector innovation it encourages in our economy. That’s why I have serious concerns about government getting involved in regulation of the Internet, and about ambiguities in this legislation, which could lead to an explosion of destructive, innovation-stalling lawsuits.

“In the 1980′s Ronald Reagan enacted tax reform that created a period of unparalleled prosperity. I intend to increase our competitiveness by following his blueprint for tax reform, which had as its core principle to stop taxing investment and productivity.

“If America is to once again regain its footing as the world’s competitive leader, we must abolish the U.S. tax code and replace it with a fairer, flatter, more simple one that has at its core a corporate rate that is one of the lowest in the world.

“In addition to extending the capital gains exemption and modifying the code to promote investment, the corporate tax rate must be lowered substantially. I will.

“As part of this revision, I would address the problem of foreign earnings trapped abroad and enable these companies to bring those earnings home and invest in America, a practice known as repatriation of American dollars.

“Repatriation and a low corporate tax rate would incentivize American businesses to return to America’s shores and spur manufacturing in America. And most importantly repatriation is a stimulus to the U.S. economy not funded on the backs of taxpayers.

“Uniquely American values include the right and opportunity to work, and the right to keep the fruits of your labor—that it is your money and not the government’s to spend or waste. Without private property rights there can be no liberty, and without liberty there can be no America.

“Fourteen million of out of work Americans, most of whom were laid off through no fault of their own, have lost their economic liberty. And America’s job creators and small business owners like myself, have lost our economic liberty under the weight of $1.8 trillion annually in compliance costs with government regulations. “Together we sent $2.2 trillion in taxes to the federal government this year. By comparison, job creators spend nearly as much annually to comply with bureaucratic mandates.

“‘Entrepreneurs here are forced to test promising medical devices in costly animal studies for years before they can advance their products into clinical trials,’ Scott Gottlieb writes in The Wall Street Journal. ‘This is no way to run a regulatory process if the FDA is serious about promoting medical innovation and advancing the public health.’

“FDA overregulation is killing the medical device and drug innovation sectors in the United States, and this is but one example of how government regulation is stifling American innovation and competition.

“I will repeal massive government overregulation, beginning with the Environmental Protection Agency that is killing thousands of United States jobs. That is the first step in legalizing American Energy Production and creating 1.4 million jobs. We already have an EPA in each state today.

“This past week I returned to Washington to vote for one of the components of my American Jobs, Right Now economic recovery plan, finalizing free trade agreements that the president could have passed years ago, but chose not to.

“The benefits of American leadership to open global markets in the past half-century have been enormous – a total of $1 trillion higher income every year or nearly $3,500 for every man, women and child in America. The advocates of bigger government could try to spend twice that much and not accomplish one-half the good.

“I have always believed in the power of the American people, and the importance of keeping marginal tax rates low. I’ve observed first hand the tax reform the economic geniuses in Washington can dream up doesn’t begin to match the prosperity generated by pursuing private opportunities. The failure to seek new markets is a tax on the American dream.

“We can look around and see the fruits of bringing down barriers to trade – it has helped keep inflation under control, interest rates low, and made many goods more affordable to lower- and middle-income consumers.

“My American Jobs, Right Now solutions call for repatriating over 1.2 trillion American dollars from overseas; massively cutting federal spending by eliminating government agencies and the size of government; repealing Obamacare in its totality—the government takeover of our healthcare system; cutting taxes on investment and productivity, including corporate taxes; repealing the Job and Housing Destruction Act, better known as Dodd-Frank in its totality; repealing $1.8 trillion in annual job killing regulations; increasing exports by finalizing free trade agreements; spurring new investment in America; inspiring innovation; and legalizing American energy production, including decreased regulations on developing new energy supplies from our abundant domestic energy resources; and finally enforce America’s immigration laws—ending taxpayer benefits and magnets to illegal aliens and their children.

“When the government borrows 43 cents of every dollar it spends you know we’re choosing an economic train wreck. Which is why Admiral Mullen said, our national debt has profound national security implications.

“John Adams recognized that at critical times in history, a generation is required to set aside its preferred pursuits and embrace the sacrifices needed to secure the blessings of liberty for the next generation.

“We saw it happen with Adams’ own generation, the founders who put everything on the line and everything they owned to form a new kind of government, one founded on the consent of the people, and one dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. This is our nation’s creed.

“Americans have always looked forward to new opportunities, and embraced new challenges, and we can do so again to leave a better country for our posterity.

“We can restore United States’ competitiveness, but to do so we must constrain the reach of government and protect the rights our founders gave their last full measure of devotion to ensure. May each one of us as true servants of the people and most assuredly of our blessed constitution go, and do likewise.

“Bill Gates said, ‘During the past 30 years, U.S. innovation has been the catalyst for the digital information revolution. If the United States is to remain a global economic leader, we must foster an environment that enables a new generation to dream up innovations. Talent in this country is not the problem – the issue is political will.’

“Answering great challenges is nothing new to America. It’s what we do. We created the technology that landed man safely on the moon not because it was easy but because it was hard. We’ve sent space probes to explore the distant reaches of the universe. We harnessed nuclear energy, mapped the human genome, created the Internet and pioneered integrated circuits that possess the computing power of Apollo spacecraft on a single silicon chip you can barely see.

“We can once again be the leader in global competitiveness. America’s time has not passed, only the baton of responsibility has passed to the next generation of ‘Steve Jobs’ and the next generation of leaders needed to create the competitive economic culture they need to flourish. I am ready to meet those challenges and do the hard work necessary to restore America to the economic leader it can be for America’s children—your children, my children.

“God bless you and God bless the United States of America.”

Romney: Flat Tax Could Hurt Middle Class



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Herman Cain is already under a lot of fire concerning whether his 9-9-9 plan would unduly impact low-income Americans. (Example A: Ron Paul at the debate this week arguing that 9-9-9 was too regressive. If you’ve lost Paul …) Rick Perry is about to announce a tax plan centered on a flat tax, and is likely to face similar criticism. So it’s interesting that Mitt Romney, never a big fan of the flat tax, warned today during an Iowa town hall that a flat tax could hurt the middle class. “The flat tax has positive features,” Romney said, “but then again, you’ve got to make sure that it doesn’t raise taxes on middle-income Americans.”

Video of his remarks from GOP12:

Cain Makes Big Iowa Hire



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From NBC News:

 

Herman Cain’s campaign has hired a longtime Iowa political consultant to lead its efforts in the Hawkeye State, the campaign announced today.

Steve Grubbs, former Iowa Republican Party chair and CEO of Victory Enterprises, will now serves as Cain’s Iowa state chair and oversee the campaign’s strategy here. …

“I am convinced now they have the plan and the resources to make it happen so I agreed to come on board to help them be successful,” Grubbs told NBC News by phone this afternoon. “We need to make sure we have a strong Iowa presence…but I support the national campaign’s efforts.”

Cain: Abortion Comments ‘Misconstrued’



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Referring to the flap over his comments on abortion during a CNN interview last night, Herman Cain said his remarks were “misconstrued.”

Noting that the president was limited in what he could do to change abortion laws, Cain emphasized in an interview with Sean Hannity today that he intended to only appoint judges who would be true to the original intent of the Constitution.  He said he opposed government funding of abortion and Planned Parenthood. “I am 100 percent pro-life,” he said.

He expanded a little on his 9-9-9 plan and how it would impact low-income Americans. When Hannity asked if even the poor would have to pay a 9 percent tax on cars, Cain said they would if they bought new cars, but not used cars. He said the same standard applied to houses: newly-constructed ones would be slapped with a 9 percent tax, but not “used” homes being sold again.

Cain also made it clear he won’t be switching his 9 percent federal sales tax to any other kind of tax (Steve Moore has recommended making that a payroll tax) anytime soon. He stressed that people needed to become comfortable with a federal sales tax if the country was eventually going to switch over to say, a 23 percent sales tax. Cain plans to eventually replace his 9-9-9 plan with a fair tax plan.

Talking about the spat over immigration that occurred between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, Cain criticized Perry for talking over Romney, an action that Cain said meant Perry had “shot himself in the foot.”

“I think it reflected negatively on Perry. … I think Mitt handled himself well,” Cain said, commenting that Romney was trying to have a “civil conversation.”

But he also said he was not offended by the fact that Perry had called him “brother,” noting that he’d often been called “brother” before.

Cain: ‘I’m 100 Percent Pro-Life’



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Reacting to the flurry of stories about his abortion position, Herman Cain just tweeted, “I’m 100% pro-life. End of story.”

A well-connected Georgia Republican and social conservative e-mails that “To my knowledge he [Cain] is strongly pro-life. Not sure about the statement he made in the John Stossel interview, but my understanding is he [only supports exceptions for the] life of the mother only.”

I’ve looked a little more into Cain’s past statements about abortion and found a couple more things. One, he served as spokesperson for a group called America’s PAC. That group aired a radio ad with this narrative, “Today, one-third of African-American pregnancies end in abortion. Black babies are terminated at triple the rate of white babies. The Democrat Party supports these liberal abortion laws that are decimating our people. Democrats say they want our votes. Why don`t they want our lives?” in 2006. In an interview at the time with Fox News host Neil Cavuto, Cain defended the ads against criticism, saying, “It is designed to be a wakeup call for people to not just look at the party, but look at the candidates and the values they stand for. And that is what this is intended to do.”

But back in 1999, Cain still wasn’t comfortable with publicly discussing his views on abortion. Check out this excerpt from a National Journal article:

If he runs, Cain says he will advocate market-oriented reforms of health care and Social Security, plus a ‘’simpler and fairer’’ tax system. Each of these issues ranks high on the GOP’s economic agenda. But unlike many in his party, Cain opposes school vouchers for private schools and backs efforts only to ’'revisit,’’ not eliminate, affirmative action. He declined to give his position on abortion rights.

In the primaries, Cain’s moderate social stances could pose problems. 

 

Romney, Perry React to Qaddafi Death



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Rick Perry’s statement:

The death of Muammar el-Qaddafi is good news for the people of Libya. It should bring the end of conflict there, and help them move closer to elections and a real democracy. The United States should work closely with Libya to ensure the transition is successful, and that a stable, peaceful nation emerges. The U.S. must also take an active role in ensuring the security of any remaining stockpiles of Qaddafi’s weapons. These weapons pose a real danger to the United States and our allies, and we cannot help secure them through simple observation.

Mitt Romney’s response, made in a radio interview today on Iowa station KSAC:

I have seen those reports [that Qaddafi is dead] and if accurate I think the response is ‘About time.’ This was a tyrant who has been killing his own people and of course is responsible for the lives of American citizens lost in the Lockerbie attack. And I think people across the world recognize that the world is a better place without Muammar Qaddafi.

 

Cain Rejects Race and Sexual Orientation Comparison



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In addition to abortion, Herman Cain also talked about the difference between race and sexual orientation in his interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan last night. Transcript:

MORGAN: My gut instinct, Herman, tells me it [being gay] 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.

CAIN: Well, maybe that’s — maybe you are right. I’m just simply saying –

MORGAN: You concede I might be right?

CAIN: That’s my — you might be right, but what I’m saying is this is just my opinion.

Paul Camp Makes Multi-Million TV Ad Buy



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Ron Paul’s campaign is going all out, announcing today that the campaign is spending multi-millions to run TV ads for two weeks in Nevada, Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire. The campaign will also run the ads on radio stations. 

Here are the two TV ads:

Santorum Slams Cain as ‘Pro-Choice’



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Referencing Herman Cain’s interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan last night (in which he made ambiguous remarks about abortion), Rick Santorum denounced Cain’s abortion position in a statement issued today.

“Herman Cain said that he believes life begins at conception, but that it’s up to the individual to decide whether or not to terminate that life,” Santorum said. “And I find it gravely troubling that Herman believes it’s a life, but that he doesn’t consider it a life worth fighting for. As the author of the partial birth abortion ban and other pro-life pieces of legislation, this is the exact mentality myself and other true pro-life advocates fought against.”

“In fact, Herman’s pro-choice position is similar to those held by John Kerry, Barack Obama and many others on the liberal left,” Santorum added. “No, Herman, it is not ‘whatever they decide,’this is an innocent human life.  It is unconscionable for Herman to run for the nomination of the Party that stands in defense of Life while showing disregard for the sanctity of Life.  You cannot be both personally against abortion while condoning it – you can’t have it both ways.  We must defend the defenseless, period.”

Cain has said previously he does not support abortion, including in cases of rape and incest. He does support allowing the mother to decide whether to have an abortion if her life is at risk. 

Cain Leads in Iowa



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Results from new Rasmussen poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers: Herman Cain (28 percent), Mitt Romney (21 percent), Ron Paul (10 percent), Newt Gingrich (9 percent), Michele Bachmann (8 percent), and Rick Perry (7 percent). 

 

Romney Camp Launches Anti-Perry Website



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The Romney campaign has launched a new website, CareerPolitician.com, that targets Rick Perry’s record.

“Rick Perry has proven time and again that he will resort to dishonest tactics in order to prop up his flailing campaign,” said Romney communications director Gail Gitcho in a statement. “Whether deflecting attention from his own record through personal attacks, utter fabrications, or intentional distortions, it’s hard to know how much lower Perry will go. He’s taken a page from the Al Gore playbook on fabrications and distortions. We are introducing CareerPolitician.com to help voters learn about the real Rick Perry and the lengths to which he will say or do anything to get elected.”

Perry Backs Flat Tax



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Rick Perry revealed some details from his forthcoming tax plan in a speech in Las Vegas today, and said he would replace the current tax code with a flat tax. From the Weekly Standard:

The plan will involve major tax reform, entitlement reform, a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, an abolishment of earmarks, and a recommitment to energy exploration in the United States.

“Our long term growth requires a fundamental tax reform,” Perry said. Therefore, his plan “starts with scrapping the three million words of the current tax code—starting over with something simple: a flat tax.”

“I want to make the tax code so simple that even Timothy Geithner can file his taxes on time,” the Texas governor said, taking a jab at the treasury secretary who had major errors in his tax returns that were revealed after he was nominated by President Barack Obama for his present job.

Another Fla. Endorsement for Romney



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Florida CFO Jeff Atwater endorsed Mitt Romney today, the campaign announced. 

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