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WASHINGTON, October 14, 2011 ( – Speaking at this year’s Values Voter Summit, surging Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain stressed his “no exceptions” anti-abortion position and his commitment to traditional marriage to cheering crowds. (See LSN video of excerpts from Cain’s talk)

Cain prefaced his remarks on life and marriage as a preemptive move against detractors nettled by his rise in the polls ever since his surprise victory in a Florida straw poll in September.

“When you run for president and you move into the top tier, I’m just saying—you get this bull’s-eye on your back,” said Cain. “And people take pot shots left and right. But I don’t want you to be unclear about where I stand on certain things. …

“So let me just set the record straight. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  I believe in life from conception, period, no exceptions,” he said . Cain also reaffirmed that “marriage is between one man and one woman,” and that he supports the Defense of Marriage Act. The businessman in August labeled President Obama’s failure to uphold the law “an impeachable offense.”

“So I happen to believe that the Founding Fathers put it in that order—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—for a reason. You can pursue happiness all you want to, as long as you don’t tread on somebody else’s liberty,” said Cain to cheers. “You can pursue liberty all you want to, as long as you don’t tread on somebody else’s life.

“And that includes the life of the unborn.”

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The former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Godfather’s Pizza, who entered the 2012 primaries an extreme long shot, has not been one to mince words on abortion in the past.

During a question-and-answer session with reporters at an event in March hosted by the Heritage Foundation, Cain said abortion provider Planned Parenthood should be renamed “Planned Genocide” for targeting the unborn babies of the black community.

A Tea Party supporter, Cain in September shook up the Republican presidential landscape by winning a Florida straw poll. The poll of Florida Republican activists found 37% favoring Cain, while only 15% voted for Texas Governor Rick Perry and 14% for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Now Cain occupies first place in an October 6-10 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

Cain in June refused to sign a pro-life pledge authored by the Susan B. Anthony List, saying that the pledge’s wording was untenable for technical reasons.

Also, Cain refused to sign a pledge proposed by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). In addition to Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Representative Ron Paul have not signed the NOM pledge.

Unlike other candidates like former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, Cain’s stance on social issues has taken a backseat to his fiscal policy, the centerpiece of his campaign. Cain’s extensive business experience – he has served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, a trade group – has given him credentials as a possible candidate to help restore the economy to health.

See another LifeSiteNews video report:
Excerpts from Speech by Herman Cain at the 2011 Faith and Freedom conference