Cain: No, abortion should not be a part of the political discussion. After ending Hank Williams, Jr.‘s two-decade-decade Monday Night Football tradition three weeks ago with a softball on partisan politics, has Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson killed Herman Cain’s campaign today with a similarly sympathetic question on abortion?
Today, in an F&F segment entitled “Cain’s Clarifications: Spelling Out Stances on Abortion & GITMO” segment, Gretchen and her F&F co-hosts, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, offered Cain an opportunity to rehabilitate himself with his socially conservative supporters still reeling after his Piers Morgan Tonight appearance. But, before their interview of Cain began, they ran an edited Piers Morgan clip of him saying, “It’s not the government’s role or anybody else’s role to make that decision: it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make not me as President, not some politician, [and] not a bureaucrat.” Then, they aired Cain apparently recanting in an address, three days later, the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition, declaring, “I would not sign any legislation that in any way allowed the government to be involved in it. I would strengthen all of our current laws that prevent abortion. I believe that abortion should be clearly stated and illegal across this country.”
Subsequently, an apparently supportive and similarly equivocal Carlson posited, “I know you’ve had some difficulty with the abortion issue. Here’s my question for you this morning: Should abortion be a part of the political discussion?” Perhaps, lulled into a false sense of security on friendly territory like Williams, Cain confidently asserted, “No, it should not, quite frankly.” Risibly, he added, “But, my position is real clear, Gretchen, and it’s been consistent: I am pro-life. That first clip that you payed [sic], played was taken out of context.”
Doubtlessly, Cain may wish that abortion were not a “part of the political discussion” after receiving strong blowback from social conservatives. For example, fellow 2012 GOP Presidential contestant Rick Perry blasted Cain, saying, “Pro-life is not a matter of campaign convenience: it is a core conviction….It is a liberal canard to say I am personally pro-life but government should stay out of that decision. More acerbically, Santorum remarked, “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.”
Ouch. Cain could learn from another unscripted Presidential contender CEO without political experience. Instead of hobnobbing with the Donald in New York, he may want to consult with H. Ross in Texas. Otherwise, his rocket-like rise may well be aborted before it really even gets off the ground.