Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain appeared to break with his Republican rivals during an interview on CNN Wednesday evening, suggesting that decisions about whether to have an abortion should be left to families, not made by the government.
Cain seemed to contradict himself in the interview. He first said that he believes "that life begins at conception," telling Piers Morgan: "Abortion under no circumstances." Pressed on whether that includes cases of rape and incest, Cain seemed to say yes. (From the transcript: MORGAN: Rape and incest? CAIN: Rape and incest.)
But Cain then accused his interviewer of "mixing two things here" and seemed to reverse himself, saying, "it's not the government's role or anybody else's role to make that decision."
"So what I'm saying is it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make," said Cain. "Not me as president, not some politician, not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn't have to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that the capture of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi would be a significant development in Libya if it proves true, but she could not confirm a Reuters report saying rebels had captured and wounded him.
Clinton also said she did not expect his capture would end the fighting there in an interview in Afghanistan with CBS News correspondent Whit Johnson.
Herman Cain walked back comments on Muslims and an electrified border fence in television appearances Wednesday - and the Republican presidential contender named names when it came to whom he admires and doesn't among his rivals.
In an interview on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Cain expressed regret for saying earlier this year that he would not appoint Muslims to his Cabinet.
"This is an example of where I spoke too quick, because I'm thinking about extremists, not all Muslims," Cain said. "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."
LAS VEGAS - Herman Cain's now-famous 9-9-9 plan may have taken a beating during Tuesday night's Republican debate in Las Vegas. But on Wednesday, a crowd of people at the Western Republican Leadership Conference was having none of the criticism.
"I'm the only one who has a plan that throws [the tax code] out and put in what we call..." He raised a hand to his ear.
"9, 9, 9!" they chanted back .
"Oh, I love y'all," Cain told the crowd. "The American people get it."
But while the surging Republican presidential candidate dedicated a portion of his speech to promoting the virtues of his tax plan - "no hidden nines!" he said of its transparency - he has been playing some defense in light of the recent scrutiny of the plan.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - One day after delivering an uncharacteristically combative performance at the latest Republican presidential debate, Mitt Romney poured on the charm Wednesday for a packed house here.
The Republican presidential candidate drew a crowd of nearly 2,000 - including Gov. Dennis Daugaard - to the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner in this city of 153,000.
Surprised by the size of the crowd, Romney joked: "I didn't realize Sioux Falls was bigger than New York City!"
In contrast to his debate performance the night before, when he duked it out with Republican rivals on a stage in Las Vegas, Romney made President Obama and the city where he lives the focus of his attacks here. "This economy is having a hard time rebooting because Washington doesn't understand that Washington isn't the answer -- it's the problem," he said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Senate will take up and vote on a $35 billion teachers and first responders jobs bill this week.
"We are going to make sure there is a vote on our bill this week," Reid said. "To make sure that we do that I'll protect ourselves by filing cloture tonight unless we work something out and have a vote. "
At this point the vote would most likely occur on Friday unless Democrats could reach an agreement with Republicans to vote late Thursday.
Reid's remarks came at a boisterous jobs rally attended by several hundred teachers, fire fighters, police officers and union members on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon. Vice President Biden and Democratic Senators also addressed the crowd.
In yet another sign of the momentum behind Herman Cain's presidential campaign, the Republican businessman has a new super PAC backing him.
The independent group Americans for Herman Cain launched Tuesday night ahead of the Republican debate, Politico reports, with a fundraising solicitation sent to an email list of Tea Party supporters.
"It's our job to propel him to victory in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, Florida, Michigan and Arizona," the email said, promising the super PAC would fund "everything from TV ads, voter mail, advocacy phones identifying Herman's supporters, to get out the vote programs."
First Lady Michelle Obama has played a major and at times humorous role on the final day of her husband's three-day bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia.
Joining the president at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia, Mrs. Obama announced a new private sector commitment to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013. Improving the lives of the military is one of her causes.
Following the First Lady's introduction, the president went off-script as he commented on his wife. Looking out at a sea of military personnel in battle fatigues, Mr. Obama admitted, "I hate following Michelle. She's so good."
To the laughter of the service people he added, "See for you men out there who are not yet married, let me explain. The whole goal is to marry up--to try to improve your gene pool."
As Democratic leaders increasingly begin to lend their support to the "Occupy Wall Street" protests, the Republican National Committee (RNC) is targeting those who have supported the movement for a lack of "outrage" over a string of alleged anti-Semitic incidents that have recently been reported at the protests.
In a memo on Tuesday, the RNC's Sean Spicer writes that Democratic leaders who have come out for "Occupy Wall Street" (OWS) have "been silent" when it comes to "protestors' extreme anti-Semitic, anti-Israel comments."
"Where's the outrage?" he asks. "While protestors are seen spewing hate against Jewish Americans, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz have declared their support for the demonstrations. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Steve Israel even circulated a petition saying he's 'standing with' Occupy Wall Street."
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling for replacing the federal income tax with a flat tax, a conservative idea condemned by liberals as a regressive burden on lower- and middle-income taxpayers.
The Republican presidential hopeful previewed his economic plan for the country at the Western Republican Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, but offered few details.
He said he would unveil a proposal next week calling for creation of a flat tax, which would replace the present system of graduated tax rates based on income with a single rate for all taxpayers regardless of income.