Opinion Brief

Herman Cain's latest 'flip-flop': A federal gay-marriage ban

Just six days after asserting that same-sex marriage is an issue best left to the states, the GOP hopeful argues that the feds should ban it

Just last week, GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain faced substantial ridicule over his confusing back-and-forth explanation of a "pro-life-but-actually-kind-of-pro-choice position on abortion." Now the businessman is under fire again for reversing his stance on another hot-button social issue. Speaking Saturday with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Cain said that he supports a federal ban on gay marriage. "There's a movement going on to basically take the teeth of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act," he said, "And that can cause an unraveling, so we do need some protection at the federal level because of that." Cain also acknowledged that he "used to" believe that gay marriage was a state issue, but that he's since changed his mind. Turns out that "used to" was less than a week ago, when Cain told Meet the Press' David Gregory that he "wouldn't seek a constitutional ban for same-sex marriage." Will Cain's latest "flip-flop" harm his campaign?

He's just trying to cozy up to the Right: This whiplash-inducing turnaround means Cain has either "had a complete change of heart or is simply pandering to conservatives," says Andrew Belonsky at Death + Taxes. Considering Cain's similarly abrupt 180 on abortion, and the heat he took from the GOP base for suggesting the feds should stay out of same-sex marriage, it's clear that Cain will do or say anything to keep conservatives on his side."Herman Cain changes tune: Amend constitution to ban gay marriage, abortion"

But this makes him look like a shape-shifting opportunist: This is bad news for Cain, says Dan Amira at New York. He's revealing that all of his policy positions "are soft and malleable, and liable to transform from one day to the next." That's a trait that's not likely to reflect well on a presidential candidate."Herman Cain still figuring out where he stands on this 'gay marriage' thing"

Cain's not a flip-flopper — he's just an inexperienced campaigner: Cain has a "truth problem," says Jazz Shaw at Hot Air. The businessman is unabashedly honest when answering almost any question, realizing "only after the fallout from his answers begins" that he's done damage to his campaign. "If there's a flaw here, it's that he can't just stick by his original assertion and defend it boldly." He needs to find a way to win the nomination while espousing these unpopular positions authoritatively, or "he should have figured out how to lie about it more convincingly in the first place.""Herman Cain's truth problem"

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