It took Cain less than a minute to come out against "torture," but in favor of torture during the GOP debate in South Carolina Saturday night.
"I do not agree with torture, period," Cain said, in response to a reader question. But asked about waterboarding in particular, Cain elaborated, "I agree that it was an enhanced interrogation technique. I would return to that policy. I don't see it as torture, I see it as an enhanced interrogation technique."
Michele Bachmann Bachmann explicitly supported Cain's position, saying that if she were president, "I would be willing to use waterboarding."
Cain later said that he "would keep Gitmo open" and that he would allow enhanced interrogation techniques to be used on the detainees there "because they are terrorists."
Cain said on Friday that if he loses the presidential bid, he would happily settle for the role of Secretary of Defense. But upon being asked how he will know when to overrule his generals as president, Cain dodged the question and said his strategy will be to surround himself "with the right people" and "ask them for alternatives."
"I feel that I'll be able to make that assessment when we put together the cabinet and all the people from the military, et cetera," he said. "Because I'll have a multiple group of people offering different recommendations, this gives me the best opportunity to select the one that makes the most amount of sense."