During an interview with Piers Morgan on Wednesday, Herman Cain ignited controversy by stating that homosexuality is a choice and presenting an incoherent view on abortion: that he is against abortion rights but that “it’s not the government’s role or anybody else’s role to make that decision.” In the same interview, Cain also repeated his claim that he never said he’d ban Muslims in his administration if elected president:
Morgan: You got into hot water about the whole issue of Muslims in a potential cabinet.
Morgan: And you have kind of flip-flopped a bit. I think you would concede, you’ve backtracked, haven’t you?
Cain: Well, you media people call it flip flopping.
Morgan: What would you call it?
Cain: I call it explaining the intent of my comment.
Morgan: Back tracking.
Cain: You either flip-flop or backtrack. It’s either all or nothing.
Morgan: Initially, it appeared to be that you were saying you wouldn’t feel comfortable, your words, with having a Muslim in a cabinet.
Cain: Exactly. And this is an example of where I spoke to quick because I’m thinking about extremists, not all Muslims. I do recognize there are peaceful Muslims and there are extremists. At the moment that I was asked that question, I wasn’t thinking about peaceful Muslims.
Cain was referring to an interview with Think Progress in which he first said that he “would not” be comfortable with appointing a Muslim to his Cabinet. But it wasn’t a one-time comment. Almost a month after the Think Progress interview, Cain doubled down, telling the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, “I wouldn’t have Muslims in my administration.” While Cain told Morgan that he regretted that he “spoke too quick” about Muslims, he took the exact opposite approach in his interview with Fischer, complimenting himself for not caring what the media and even his own campaign staff thought about his ban on Muslims:
Cain: I have been upfront, which ruffles some feathers, but remember Bryan, being politically correct is not one of my strong points; I come at it straight from the heart and straight from the way I see it. And the comment that I made the become controversial, and that my staff keeps hoping will die, is that I wouldn’t have Muslims in my administration. And it’s real simple: the Constitution does not have room for sharia law. I want people who are going to believe and enforce the Constitution of the United States of America. And so I don’t have time, as President of the United States, to try and screen people based upon their religious beliefs – I really don’t care what your religious beliefs are, but I do know that most of the people of the Muslim faith, they believe in sharia law. And to introduce that element as part of an administration when we have all of these other issues, I think I have a right to say that I won’t.