DOVER, N.H. — Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain declined to raise questions about fellow contender Michele Bachmann's health Thursday night, dismissing the Minnesota congresswoman's migraine headaches as a "non-issue" in the GOP contest.
"If she's showing up for her events, and she's doing what she needs to do as a United States congresswoman, people shouldn't worry about her migraines," Cain told The Associated Press after a fundraiser for the New Hampshire GOP. "My wife has migraine headaches. I understand migraines. So I just think it's a non-issue."
Bachmann's health has become the focus of intense scrutiny in recent days after a media report claimed she suffers from sometimes-incapacitating headaches.
Bachmann insists the health problem does not interfere with her ability to do her job. But other Republican presidential contenders, namely former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, suggested this week that the issue is a legitimate concern.
Cain did not follow suit Thursday night, although he and Bachmann are fighting to win over much the same bloc of tea party voters. A recent Iowa poll showed Cain in third place among likely caucus-goers, behind Bachmann and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Nationally, he remains relatively unknown, however.
Cain likened Bachmann's health problem to his own battles with liver and colon cancer.
He said he's been cancer-free for five years, but continues to monitor the situation closely. He had his latest round of test this week and reported having a clean bill of health.
"I get a written statement from my doctor tomorrow such that it won't be an issue," Cain said. "People sometimes are chasing shadows rather than, what you going to do about foreign affairs, economy? ... Let's focus on the big stuff."