He said he was “taken out of context” when he told CNN’s Piers Morgan in October that abortion “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.” On Sunday, he said another part of that interview reflects his real position when he said abortion should be legal “under no circumstances.” He told Crowley, “I am pro-life from conception, period.”
On immigration, he tried to separate himself from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who called for a “humane” immigration policy in the last GOP debate. His policy, he said, “has been real clear.” And it includes letting individual states decide what to do with illegal immigrants. “Empower the states to deal with the illegals that are already there. Not some big grandiose, national, one-size-fits-all,” he said. When Crowley asked if that would allow states to put illegals “on a path toward legalization”, Cain said it “would be up to the states as long as they did not break the federal law.” But then seconds later he insisted he was not saying states could legalize the immigrants.
He was also asked to explain his call in the recent debate for the federal government to use “targeted identification” to root out airborne terrorists. “If you take a look at the people who have tried to kill us, it would be easy to figure out exactly what that identification profile looks like,” he said. But he insisted this is not profiling. He struggled to explain the difference. “If we go to the intelligence agencies and ask them to identify the people that have tried to hurt us, kill us, blow up our planes and things of this nature, they could do that,” he said. When Crowley persisted, he said, “You are trying to pull me into the rhetoric that gets people in trouble and what I’m trying to do is not be drawn into that. No. I am not trying to identify a particular religion, a particular color, a particular ethnicity.”
On other issues, Cain said he “could support” President Obama’s call for extending the payroll tax cut, though he called it “a thimble of water in the ocean.” But he opposed extending long-term unemployment compensation when it expires. “We’re spending money we do not have,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that people are unemployed.”
—George Condon Jr.
9:07. Huntsman: Newspaper's Backing of Gingrich Shows Race's Fluidiity
Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman deflected the New Hampshire Union-Leader's endorsement of Newt Gingrich as a sign of the "fluidity" of the Republican presidential primary campaign.
"It reflects more than anything the fluidity, the unpredictability of the race right now. We're in a solid position. You've got to have a message that resonates with the voters here," Huntsman said on Fox News Sunday.
The Gingrich endorsement is bruising for the Huntsman campaign, which has made winning New Hampshire the centerpiece of its campaign strategy.
Huntsman, rather than attack Gingrich, used the television interview to underline his differences with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has take criticism for changing his positions on key issues.
"I'm pro-life and I always have been. I'm pro-second amendment and I always have been," Huntsman said.