The Corner

Cain: Abortion Comments ‘Misconstrued’

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.

UPDATE: Here is a statement Cain issued today that clarifies a little more what he meant: 

Yesterday in an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, I was asked questions about abortion policy and the role of the President.

I understood the thrust of the question to ask whether that I, as president, would simply “order” people to not seek an abortion.

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.

As to my political policy view on abortion, I am 100 percent pro-life. End of story.

I will appoint judges who understand the original intent of the Constitution. Judges who are committed to the rule of law know that the Constitution contains no right to take the life of unborn children.

I will oppose government funding of abortion. I will veto any legislation that contains funds for Planned Parenthood. I will do everything that a President can do, consistent with his constitutional role, to advance the culture of life.

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...