Steve Chapman

Cain refused to disclose what policy he would follow in Afghanistan, on the ground that "there is obviously a lot of classified information to which I do not have access." That lack of information did not stop him from opposing this year's U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq -- though, in all fairness, he may not realize the pullout was agreed to by President George W. Bush.

His latest bit of inadvertent news making came when CNN's Piers Morgan asked him about abortion. Cain replied that "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."

It's a perfect expression of party sentiment on the subject of abortion -- Democratic Party sentiment. Cain doesn't seem to comprehend that this position would automatically disqualify him from the Republican nomination.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum did realize it, asserting that "Herman's pro-choice position is similar to those held by John Kerry, Barack Obama and many others on the liberal left."

But then, Cain doesn't seem to realize what his position on abortion is. In an earlier interview, he insisted, "I don't think government should make that decision," while saying, "I'm pro-life from conception" and "abortion should not be legal."

He says that two plus two equals four and then says it equals five and then says he is being perfectly consistent. What's more, he actually seems to believe it. At least until he is forced to backtrack in a fog of confusion.

Cain's big achievement up to now was serving as president and CEO of Godfather's Pizza. But at the rate he's going, Americans will soon start to wonder if he knows the difference between a thin-crust pie and the box it came in.

Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman is a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune.

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