When Herman Cain started his presidential campaign, very few people took notice. They are certainly noticing now. The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza is now polling in the top three of GOP candidates, beating more established names. Let's see how he stands on the issues:
Cain is pro-life. "I believe that life begins at conception, period," he said on the Bryan Fisher radio show in January 2011, according to On the Issues.
On the same show he said he wants to defund Planned Parenthood.
"I absolutely would defund Planned Parenthood -- not because I don't believe in planning parenthood, [but because] Planned Parenthood as an organization is an absolute farce on the American people. People who know the history of Margaret Sanger, who started Planned Parenthood, they know that the intention was not to help young women who get pregnant to plan their parenthood. No -- it was a sham to be able to kill black babies."
Cain came under fire for saying he would not appoint a Muslim to his cabinet or as a federal judge. He was asked again during an interview with Think Progress in January 2011:
"No. I will not, and here's why. There is this creeping attempt to gradually ease Shariah law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. This is what happened in Europe. And to try to be politically correct, they made this little change and that little change, and now they have a social problem that they don't know what to do with... I get upset when some Muslims in America try to force their Shariah law on the rest of us."
Cain said the Obama administration's decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act was "a breach of presidential duty bordering on treason." He explained himself during a GOP debate in May 2011:
"The Defense of Marriage Act is the law of the land, signed in 1996 by President Bill Clinton. In his oath of office the president says he is supposed to protect and uphold the laws of the USA. To me that is asking the Justice Department to not uphold the law."
Cain has changed his mind on whether he favors a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. According to On the Issues in 2002 he wrote "Congress needs to enact a constitutional amendment to protect the sacred institution of marriage."
But during a June 2011 debate when asked about it, he said, "State's decision," meaning it should not be a decision made at the federal level.
Cain supports the 2nd Amendment, as well as the right to carry a concealed gun. When he was asked during a Q&A in New Hampshire in April 2011 if he would support a national concealed weapons bill, Cain responded, "Here's how I'd like that done: Let each state pass a concealed weapon bill. Empower the states -- some states already have it -- and not have a federal mandate. I believe in the Second Amendment."
Like most of his fellow GOP candidates, Cain thinks Obamacare should be repealed. He wrote on his website in May 2011:
President Obama and the liberals in Congress have dismantled the free market health care system and replaced it with health care "deform." Under the guise of making health care a "right" for all people, President Obama and the liberals in Congress instead extended the tentacles of government, expanding their control and diminishing patients' rights. They have also made it more difficult and more expensive for doctors to practice medicine, including specialized practitioners who are desperately needed to save lives. In reality, their attempts at reforming the system have actually deformed it. The majority of Americans agree: it's time to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered, free market reforms.