Mon, Oct 24, 2011 - Page 7 News List

Perry, Bachmann take swipes at surging rival Cain

Reuters, DES MOINES, IOWA

Texas governor Rick Perry and Representative Michele Bachmann took veiled swipes at surging presidential rival Herman Cain on Saturday as six of the Republicans’ White House hopefuls courted social conservatives at an Iowa forum.

Appearing separately before about 1,000 conservative activists, the Republican candidates all pledged to protect the unborn, defend traditional marriage, limit government and bring an end to the presidency of Democrat US President Barack Obama.

However Cain, the former pizza executive, came under indirect fire for seeming to suggest last week that while he opposed abortion, government should not be trying to tell a woman what to do about it.

“It is a liberal canard to say I am personally pro-life, but government should stay out of that decision,” Perry told the Iowa forum, held in an exhibition hall at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

“If that is your view, you are not pro-life,” he said, without mentioning Cain by name. “You are pro having your cake and eating it too.”

Bachmann also criticized Cain’s abortion comments without naming him, saying she believed government must intervene to protect the unborn and she would support a constitutional amendment on the issue.

Bachmann also said she would never consider negotiating the release of detainees at Guantanamo Bay — a direct rebuttal of Cain’s recent comment that he would consider trading them for a US hostage.

Cain, who has struggled in the past week as his views come under more scrutiny, has tried to backtrack on both of those comments.

At the forum he was direct when asked about his stance on abortion.

“No abortions, no exceptions,” he said.

The forum was heavy on social issues, and all of the candidates were asked by the forum sponsors, the Faith and Freedom Coalition, what they would do to end abortion on demand.

Former US House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich drew some of the biggest cheers of the evening.

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