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Cain Regrets Saying Bachmann Pandered to Religious Right

6:14 PM, Jun 13, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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As the Republican presidential race begins to take shape, a few sharp elbows have been thrown: Pawlenty vs. Romney and Bachmann vs. Palin, for example. And it seemed that during a recent interview with the liberal blog Talking Points Memo that Herman Cain took a shot at Michele Bachmann. "Well, that sounds like the ultimate pander," Cain said when told of Bachmann's prayer at the end of her speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference. 

But in a followup phone interview late last week with THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Cain said that in retrospect he shouldn't have said Bachmann pandered. 

"I regret using that word," Cain told me. 

"Because it was a faith-based audience, it was perfectly appropriate for her to pray," he said. "It was just a quick reaction in the midst of an interview, that became the headline, which quite frankly pissed me off."

Cain, an associate Baptist minister, is not stranger to prayer and quoted a number of Bible verses during his address to the conference that week. 

I also tried to get Cain's take on the rest of the Republican field.

What does he think of Tim Pawlenty? "Nice guy. Very, you know, good track record," he said, but then declined to talk about the rest of the candidates. "I think most of the people in the field bring different things to this race, but I'm not going to do a dissection of each one of them."

When asked who he'd vote for if he weren't running himself, Cain told me that he has a favorite among his fellow candidates but won't say who.

"I have a second choice, but it's going to say secret on my secret ballot," he said.

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