(Nati Harnik/AP)DES MOINES, IOWA--Herman Cain told an audience of social conservatives in Iowa that he believes abortion should be outlawed.
"I believe abortion should be clearly stated as illegal across this country," Cain declared at a presidential forum sponsored by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition.
The former Godfather's Pizza executive made the statement after he was asked by a questioner what he would do about "abortion on demand" if elected president.
His statement comes after days of scrutiny over Cain's position on abortion.
As The Ticket previously reported, Cain said in an interview with CNN this week he did not believe a woman should be able to have an abortion because of rape or incest. But he also added that the government should not be the one making that decision.
In his remarks tonight, Cain made scant mention of the issue, saying only that he believes life begins at conception. "No exceptions," he said.
He was later asked about the issue in a q-and-a session after his remarks. Asked after his appearance if he felt he had cleared up the controversy over his position, Cain told reporters, "I think so."
But Rick Perry used his speech at the event to take a shot at Cain--even as he didn't specifically use his rival's name.
"It is a liberal canard to say I am personally pro-life, but government should stay out of that decision. If that is your view, you are not pro-life," Perry declared. "You are pro-having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too."
Sitting atop early polls in Iowa, Cain was the clear celebrity at the forum tonight. As Michele Bachmann spoke, the former pizza executive was swarmed in the back of the room as he made his exit from the event. A woman squealed loudly when Cain hugged her, while another man yelled for Cain to disclose his favorite movie.
With Bachmann still on stage, Cain motioned for those surrounding him to quiet down, and then he loudly whispered, 'The Godfather."
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