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First abortion, now 9-9-9. Is Herman Cain waffling?

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was forced to defend comments on abortion that angered conservatives. Now, he's introducing exceptions to his 9-9-9 tax plan. This week, at least, Herman Cain appears to be struggling in the spotlight.

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On Thursday, Cain sought to clarify his views, issuing a statement indicating that he was merely addressing the role of a president on the matter. “The president has not constitutional authority to order any such action by anyone,” he said. “That was the point I was trying to convey.”

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He also asserted that he is “100 percent pro-life” and would appoint judges who oppose abortion.

Cain’s abortion gaffe came just a day after he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he would consider releasing all the prisoners from the US’s Guantánamo Bay camp in exchange for a US hostage. He later retracted that comment, saying he misunderstood the question.

Cain’s habit of misspeaking is a sign of his inexperience in politics. He has never held elective office and only ran for office once before, unsuccessfully. Suddenly, recent major polls show him, on average, in a statistical dead heat for the GOP presidential nomination with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Cain’s success in the business world, his charisma, and compelling life story as the son of working-class African Americans from Georgia have made him into the latest political sensation.

But with just over two months to go before the Iowa caucuses, it’s not clear Cain can hold up. He barely has a campaign infrastructure and has spent more time lately promoting his new book than slogging through Iowa, New Hampshire, and the other early nominating states.

In July, much of Cain’s Iowa staff resigned over his apparent lack of interest in competing in the early states. But on Thursday, Cain announced that Steve Grubbs, former chairman of the Iowa GOP, had joined the campaign as his Iowa chairman and strategist.

Cain is also getting outside help from a new "super political action committee," called Americans for Herman Cain and dubbed the “9-9-9 PAC.” In an e-mail Friday, organizer Jordan Gehrke wrote that in just 72 hours, the group has raised “well into six figures” and has more individual donors than super PACs for Mr. Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry combined.

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