Cain reportedly faced sexual harassment complaints

The big political news of the moment involves allegations that as president of the National Restaurant Association, Herman Cain was the subject of complaints of inappropriate sexual behavior by two separate female employees, both of whom received cash settlements and left employment from the association.

The story was broken by Politico, which reports:

In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association. They have also declined to address questions about specific reporting confirming that there were financial settlements in two cases in which women leveled complaints.

POLITICO has confirmed the identities of the two female restaurant association employees who complained about Cain but, for privacy concerns, is not publishing their names.

Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon told POLITICO the candidate indicated to campaign officials that he was “vaguely familiar” with the charges and that the restaurant association’s general counsel had resolved the matter.

The latest statement came from Cain himself. In a tense sidewalk encounter Sunday morning outside the Washington bureau of CBS News — where the Republican contender had just completed an interview on “Face the Nation” — Cain evaded a series of questions about sexual harassment allegations.

Cain said he has “had thousands of people working for me” at different businesses over the years and could not comment “until I see some facts or some concrete evidence.” His campaign staff was given the name of one woman who complained last week, and it was repeated to Cain on Sunday. He responded, “I am not going to comment on that.”

The story has several levels. On the most basic of facts — two women complained of harassment by Cain and received financial settlements — it seems solid. Cain’s supporters are nonetheless charging foul, with his campaign responding that “sadly, we’ve sadly, we’ve seen this movie played out before – a prominent conservative targeted by liberals simply because they disagree with his politics.”

As you’ll see in this clip from Fox News, however, the Cain campaign is having a hard time bringing itself to deny that the payments were made:

Assuming the payments in question were indeed made, Politico has a journalistic obligation to report them. Such a record is absolutely relevant in assessing a candidate for president of the United States, just as it would be relevant in assessing a candidate for a corporate executive job.

Furthermore, the claim of conservative victimization doesn’t seem accurate. Democrats Bill Clinton and Gary Hart, you may recall, also had to face allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior during their presidential primary runs. Clinton survived it; Hart did not.

From there, however, things get much murkier. It is difficult to impossible to assess the validity of complaints made well over a decade ago by women who continue to remain anonymous, especially since we still have with no idea how extensive or candid an investigation was mounted at the time.

Politically, it is entirely feasible that such charges can redound to Cain’s benefit, at least temporarily, depending on how he handles them and whether additional cases emerge. His supporters are already defined by a deep alienation and distrust of both the political system and the media; such allegations could do more to inflame those resentments than to cast doubt on Cain’s fitness for high office among his followers.

It’s certainly not how Cain hoped to spend this week.

– Jay Bookman

777 comments Add your comment

kayaker 71

October 31st, 2011
2:51 pm

Guess I might as well not run for the presidency of the US. About 55 yrs ago, while a bit wasted, I jumped off the roof of a sorority house into their swimming pool in a state of total undress, with a group of some rather wasted girls and boys, after an all night party. But if I was a Republican and running for our highest office, this would be front page news, even though it happened more than a half century ago. Can’t wait for the left to drag out hours of talk radio comments that Cain made on his radio show. This should make for good reading and should prove that once and for all, you can’t run for President in this country unless you have been wrapped in bubble and isolated from all of humanity until the campaign started. All of you on this blog step forward if you have ever made a mistake, done something that you would like to take back or wished that that one something that you did umpteen years ago really did not happen. We are all in the same boat, my friends, and even a president is not perfect.

scott

October 31st, 2011
2:55 pm

mm “Yeah, they’ve totally ignored those stories. What they HAVE ignored is outing the GOP for tanking the economy to oust Obama.”

Really? They have? The Rep-controlled House has passed bills to help grow jobs. They are waiting on the Dem-controlled Senate to take them up. The Obama “jobs bill” could not pass through the Dem-controlled senate and this was after Reid changed all of the Senate rules to ensure the original version of it never went to a vote. It’s not the Reps fault that the Dems cannot build a consensus. As far as it going through the House, has the bill even gotten a Co-sponsor yet? I stopped checking because the charade had gone on for so long.

Speaking of killing the economy though….don’t you find it interesting that the economy started tubing right about when the Dems took control back after the ‘06 midterms? Hmmmm……….

Ayn Rand's Medicare

October 31st, 2011
2:55 pm

I see Herman has already unleashed the private sector.

HDB

October 31st, 2011
2:55 pm

Billybob
October 31st, 2011
2:47 pm
“…first step on the road to a socialist single payer healthcare system which hussein is on video saying he wants and will go for and which the leftist have been trying to install for decades…”

Not quite true; the first advocate for universal health care was Theodore Roosevelt…a REPUBLICAN!

Kamchak

October 31st, 2011
2:58 pm

Jm

October 31st, 2011
2:21 pm

Mick 2:17
Oooo. You were speaking metaphorically. Well. I wouldn’t blame it all on Bush. This has been building for a loooooong time.

Been building since before you were born, young padawan.

Kamchak

October 31st, 2011
3:02 pm

Can’t wait for the left to drag out hours of talk radio comments that Cain made on his radio show.

Did he choose to make those comments, or did someone hold a gun to his head and make him run off at the mouth?

Billybob

October 31st, 2011
3:03 pm

hdb,
TR was an extreme progressive for the record but i will accept your statement absolutely, and my thinking would be the same then as it is now…..also, i do realize who the rino’s in the repub party are(maybe TR could be defined as this today)……a lot of these guys will be shaking in their boots come next election cycle….i think there will be as much turnover in the republican seats with more conservatives as there will be with the dems losing many seats to republicans…..
adam,
not interested….

Billybob

October 31st, 2011
3:06 pm

must go to create more tax money for the occupy people to want to come and take from me……while not sharing with the homeless people in their midst…..haaaahaaaa…….classic liberalism…..do as i say, not as i do….enjoy the day

mm

October 31st, 2011
3:07 pm

“mandates slowly push private sector out and only leaves the gov’t beauracrats to be judge, jury, and executioner

Like the insurance companies are doing?

“They have? The Rep-controlled House has passed bills to help grow jobs. They are waiting on the Dem-controlled Senate to take them up. The Obama “jobs bill” could not pass through the Dem-controlled senate and this was after Reid changed all of the Senate rules to ensure the original version of it never went to a vote.

Have you seen the garbage in those bills? Repeal Obamacare. Elimnate SS, Medicare. Cut taxes for the rich, increase taxes on the poor. Why don’t you READ the bills?

Dem controlled Senate? It takes 60 votes to break the GOP filibusters. The Dems do not have 60 members in the Senate, so they do not have 60 votes. If they could break the filibuster, yes they could pass the bill. But you know it would die in the house.

You can lie to yourself, but stop lying to everyone else.

Normal

October 31st, 2011
3:08 pm

Back Seater

October 31st, 2011
3:08 pm

Anybody on the planet who is STILL trying to defend the utterly disgraced O’Bama administration as something other than a complete disaster, and arguably the very worst administration in modern history – if not ever – is so far off the charts, they probably contend that Bill did not have sex with that woman…or that Ried and Pelosi are smart honest people……

scott

October 31st, 2011
3:08 pm

Kayaker “This should make for good reading and should prove that once and for all, you can’t run for President in this country unless you have been wrapped in bubble and isolated from all of humanity until the campaign started.”

One other way that you are able to run for President regardless of your past….Run as a Democrat.

Adam

October 31st, 2011
3:08 pm

scott: The “I’m rubber and you’re glue” tu quoque defense won’t work with me. Try again.

Granny Godzilla

October 31st, 2011
3:09 pm

Interesting reading from Andrew Sullivan:

“Jennifer Rubin fisks Cain’s claim that he was unaware of any settlement agreement reached to resolve the sexual harassment charges:

For that to be true, many things would also have to be true: Herman Cain never asked the NRA how the claim got resolved; Cain never had to sign a settlement agreement or any other document; He trusted the NRA to obtain a complete release on his behalf, and the women never demanded that Cain release potential counterclaims (e.g., for defamation); He never agreed to keep the matter confidential — for example, after he left the NRA. (Arguably the association could bind him while he was still employed, but wouldn’t it have had to tell him to ensure compliance?); and in his role as CEO, Cain never had to approve a settlement, was never told the cost of the settlement and never saw a budget entry confirming a settlement. ”

Makes a person go….MMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Welcome to the Occupation

October 31st, 2011
3:11 pm

Talking Head:

“Yeah, I guess becoming a self made millionaire by taking on difficult challenges turning bankrupt organizations into profitable entities qualifies someone as not being bright.”

I don’t know, but come to think of it why hasn’t Donald Trump been running around making slimy insinuations about Herman Cain now showing us his school transcripts?

JamVet

October 31st, 2011
3:11 pm

Billybob, I’m particularly proud of you for seeking that clarification so as to decry Sallie’s scurrilous assertion.

Well done…

Adam

October 31st, 2011
3:11 pm

kayaker: You can run for President without having a ton of moral quandries in your past. I mean, have you caught Obama in any sort of sex scandal? Nope. The worst they have is a bunch of vague marxism kenyan anti-colonialist crap, more than half of which is made up and the rest doesn’t matter except to people who think capitalism is the greatest thing ever and government shouldn’t exist.

scott

October 31st, 2011
3:13 pm

Adam…Try again? What am I trying? Just stating the facts pal. Don’t really care about whether I prove you wrong or not. You guys do a good enough job of proving yourselves wrong as it is. No need for me to help.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

October 31st, 2011
3:15 pm

Kamchak

October 31st, 2011
3:19 pm

…the economy started tubing right about when the Dems took control back after the ‘06 midterms…

Not intended to be a factual statement.

scott

October 31st, 2011
3:19 pm

Kayaker, Adam is right. You can have your political career kicked off in the living room of Domestic terrorist too and never have to answer to anything from your past. All you have to do is write a book about all of the lines you snorted, then sit in a church for 20 years, listening to a pastor talk badly about America and agree with him until you actually decide to run. Then, when you win the nomination because the journalists bow down before you rather than actually hold you accountable for your past, your wife can finally say that she is proud to be an American for the first time in her life. All you gotta do is follow my first advice though. Run as a Democrat!!! If you are running as a Republican, no need to waste your time. You will just get skewered.

Billybob

October 31st, 2011
3:20 pm

JamVet,
some may never believe it here, but the truth is what i try to find…..and believe me when i say it hurts sometimes when i force myself to read and watch the liberal blogs, the NY Times, the msnbcs, the cnn’s(who a day or so ago had a puff piece on-line about karl marx, which was disgraceful!!!!) Then I make up my mind as to what the truth of the matter is……i may be wrong sometimes, but it is a hell of a lot more of an educated guess than what most people make now-a-days…..must go

Talking Head

October 31st, 2011
3:21 pm

scott,

now you are just ‘acting stupidly’

JamVet

October 31st, 2011
3:21 pm

Poor back seat dude, no options other than the Joe Biden technique?

L-a-m-e…

scott

October 31st, 2011
3:21 pm

Kamchak. You WOULD know a statement not based on facts. You put them out there all of the time. The facts are out there. Just look at pretty much every key economic stat around. We started tubing when the Dems came into play.

A dad

October 31st, 2011
3:22 pm

Even if one of the allegations is true, did it involve a cigar? Or is inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature permissible if you’re a democrat? Remind me Jay. Did you write a column about Clinton and Lewinsky when that scandal broke?

Billybob

October 31st, 2011
3:22 pm

nice scott…

Adam

October 31st, 2011
3:23 pm

scott: There’s plenty of scandal to go around. It’s not tied to any particular political party, as much as either side might wish that to be so.

Kamchak

October 31st, 2011
3:25 pm

The facts are out there. Just look at pretty much every key economic stat around.

The moment we adopted laissez-faire, trickle-on, supply-side, phlogiston alchemy Econ 101 was the moment we sealed our fate.

It always was just a matter of time.

Communists Unite

October 31st, 2011
3:26 pm

Back Seater @ 3:08pm – YES, ME ME ME. I THINK PRESIDENT O IS GRRRRRRRRRRRRRREAT AND AM HOPING FOR 4 MORE YEARS. SURE, NOT EVERYTHING’S GONE AS PLANNED BUT WHEN THE HISTORY IS WRITTEN HE’LL BE CONSIDERED ONE OF THE GREATEST EVER. OBAMA 2012!!!!!

JamVet

October 31st, 2011
3:26 pm

“We started tubing (?) when the Dems came into play in the early 1980s.”

moonbat betty

October 31st, 2011
3:27 pm

Republicans are held to a higher standard since they speak of things such as ethics, integrity and honesty.

Since the Democrats do not speak of such moral standards, they are free to look past their own short comings.

JamVet

October 31st, 2011
3:29 pm

betty, even you don’t believe that.

I’m not sure even a recently awakened Rip Van Winkle would!

It is sixth grade ludicrous…

Adam

October 31st, 2011
3:29 pm

moonbat betty: You’re close to being right. If you replace “ethics, integrity and honesty” with “family values,” you’d be right.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

October 31st, 2011
3:29 pm

Speaking of things such as ethics, integrity and honesty does not mean that the Republicans have any of the things they speak of. :lol:

scott

October 31st, 2011
3:30 pm

Adam, I agree with you. There is plenty of scandal. Politicians are scumbags…..Pretty much ALL of them. The problem is that the media seems to make big deals out of thing only when it is a Rep candidate. If this story was about Obama, do you think we would have even heard a peep from the media? Like I pointed out previously, Obama had his career launched in the living room of a Domestic TERRORIST and there was ZERO scrutiny. I mean really what is the difference between what Ayers did and what McVeigh did?

Communists Unite

October 31st, 2011
3:30 pm

moonbat BATTY; fixed your name for ‘ya; no need to thank me.

Back Seater

October 31st, 2011
3:31 pm

Is it true that O’Bama has a retainer of $105,000 for a dog trainer at taxpayer expense?

Bosch

October 31st, 2011
3:32 pm

“Did you write a column about Clinton and Lewinsky when that scandal broke?”

Yes, and asked President Clinton to resign.

Communists Unite

October 31st, 2011
3:33 pm

Back Seater – yes, it’s true; Ryan and Cantor don’t respond to normal human interaction; hence the need to treat them like the dogs they are; money well spent if you ask me.

Bosch

October 31st, 2011
3:34 pm

“The problem is that the media seems to make big deals out of thing only when it is a Rep candidate”

OMG, were you visiting another PLANET when the Weiner story broke? That’s the only way I can imagine you didn’t see or hear the 24/7 constant news about that.

Ayn Rand's Medicare

October 31st, 2011
3:36 pm

The intertubes are stone cold binging today on Cain’s awfulness

from All Over the googleland –

“Herman Cain’s goon squad captain Mark Block started a short-lived shell corporation ‘Prosperity USA’ to funnel $40,000 to Cain’s campaign early this year for fancy pants iPads and private jet trips, which the campaign then promptly “forgot” to report to the FEC, because it’s crazy illegal.”

Do you know how hard it is to do something illegal in the Days of Citizens’ United?
And the saddest thing is, this should have been the most important story, but the other story had teh sexytime, yknow

scott

October 31st, 2011
3:37 pm

Weiner was a candidate for President when his thing happened??? Must have missed that. I had NO IDEA that the Dems were having a primary. Somebody tell Obama. I know he has already been campaigning on the taxpayers dime but I think he needs to start directing his attention against Weiner instead of riding around blaming Reps for his Dem-controlled Senate’s inability to pass a jobs bill.

"Bishop Long"

October 31st, 2011
3:37 pm

Hang in there Brother Cain. I didn’t do what they accused me of either. My sheep are still defending my good name just as your supporters are doingon this blog.

Granny Godzilla

October 31st, 2011
3:39 pm

Scott

“ZERO scrutiny”

What planet are you really from.

If there truly was “ZERO scrutiny” who’s fault would that be????

you had the entire republican election apparatus looking at Barack Obama

Don’t gripe about the media, son…..

Blame the GOP

Communists Unite

October 31st, 2011
3:41 pm

GOP = great old poopyheads. there, i said it.

schnirtTM

scott

October 31st, 2011
3:43 pm

In other news that will gather more attention than what the media applied to Obama’s past during his 2008 campaign, did you see where Kim Kardashian is divorcing her husband after only 72 days!!!

josef

October 31st, 2011
3:44 pm

As that great commentator Roseanne Rosannadanna said, “it just goes to show ya, if it’s not one thing it’s another…”

Funny, though, the Imam left this one up all day and it IS Hallowe’en…

Democrat-Republican? Oh, please, these shennanigans no no such narrow bounds,,,which has the most, the biggest, etc? This is, indeed, Paracelsus’ “two wh-res discussing chastity…”

Adam

October 31st, 2011
3:44 pm

Oof. Lots of work to do. Seems that lately people are feeling like getting their computers fixed! I’m gonna have to get out of here so I’ll see you guys later.

scott

October 31st, 2011
3:45 pm

In more news that will gather more attention than Obama’s effort to cover up more important things like Fast and Furious, Solyndra, and Beacon Energy, did you see where a new Amy Winehouse album will be coming out in two months? They say she is high in one of them. I wonder if Obama joined her for a few lines…….of her song.

MightyRighty

October 31st, 2011
3:45 pm

It’s just about sex. If he would have exposed himself to a stranger like Paula Jones and then paid her $700,000 to shut up, or allegations of rape like Jennifer Flowers and others Jay and the rest of the leftwing conspirators would cheer. Perversion and lies is the lefts M.O.

JamVet

October 31st, 2011
3:45 pm

Herman Cain should resign his office effective midnight tonight.

josef, we’re just having fun watching the Cainiac heads explode…

godless heathen

October 31st, 2011
3:49 pm

sheets, all my kingdom for fresh sheets

Granny Godzilla

October 31st, 2011
3:49 pm

scott

bless your heart

scott

October 31st, 2011
3:51 pm

Alright….time to actually get something done today before the little kids come to my house looking for some of those “Obama-money” like handouts.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

October 31st, 2011
3:52 pm

Well, somebody let me know when they dig up the legal papers. I mean, I’m not intrusted in scandal, but I do like to keep in the know. I’d appreciate any details, the dirtier the better. One of them long Ken Whathisname reports—you know with the details about the cigar and stuff like that—would be just perfect to bring me up to date. I’ll just be doing my Christian duty to learn about Sin and shame the people that do it.

I bet the Rick Perry people are whooping and hollering right now.

josef

October 31st, 2011
3:52 pm

AmVet

Breederss is messy! :-)

scott

October 31st, 2011
3:52 pm

Granny….well, thank you. Have a nice Happy Halloween.

josef

October 31st, 2011
3:53 pm

heathen

My kingdom added to yours! Looks like this would be pretty much exhausted to me and I just got here…

That Black guy

October 31st, 2011
3:58 pm

JamVet

October 31st, 2011
3:45 pm
Herman Cain should resign his office effective midnight tonight.

Jam, what office does Cain hold?

JamVet

October 31st, 2011
4:00 pm

Dang, scott.

Dissin’ on all the little Republican kids in your neighborhood?

That’s cold…

Stan Smith

October 31st, 2011
4:00 pm

You know that Cain is for real when the libs pull out the age old tactic of the politics of personal destruction. I guess that Cain is for real if he’s the one getting attacked as opposed to Romney. With Obama’s approval ratings in the toilet and nothing positive to run on, destroying his opponent will be the only strategy that has a remote possibility of getting him re-elected. Ask yourselves, “Am I better off now than when Obama took office ?” For the greater population, regardless of whether you’re a 1%, 99%, or whatever %, the answer is definitively NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Communists Unite

October 31st, 2011
4:00 pm

That Black Guy – Cain is at present Idiot in Chief of the Regressive Party Beauty Kontest

TaxPayer

October 31st, 2011
4:01 pm

I think it was Michele Bachmann in the den on the phone to Politico while holding a candle stick.

JamVet

October 31st, 2011
4:04 pm

Exactly, Black Guy.

That’s the point.

(It’s called sarcasm…)

To date, the man has never even won an election for dogcatcher.

And these rubes think he’s qualified to have access to the nuclear football?

Given his embarrassing track record in this campaign, I personally doubt that he could run a town hall meeting…

Kamchak

October 31st, 2011
4:05 pm

For all of you playing blog BINGO — just got an order in to the printers for the new card with the “Kim Kardashian/72 days/media won’t talk about Obama” square. My order should be filled in the next few days.

Please be patient.

Communists Unite

October 31st, 2011
4:10 pm

JamVet – I think you’re being a little harsh; at a minimum, the Cainster could run a meeting for (i) smokers anonymous and (ii) a gather of pro-choicers.

Communists Unite

October 31st, 2011
4:10 pm

oops, meant “gathering of pro-choicers”; had a little too much vodka today to combat the cold.

Tom Middleton

October 31st, 2011
4:15 pm

Besides the hush-money payouts as proof of guilt, does anyone remember if Herman smoked afterwards? I mean, don’t some men smoke after sex or at least thinking about it?

Maybe that’s why Mark Block, Herman’s campaign manager, blew cigarette smoke into the camera last week: He’d just heard the story and wanted to smoke for Mr. Cain, since his cancer-prone boss wouldn’t have done it at the time.

I knew it, I knew it, Herman is guilty, guilty, guilty; and thank you, Mark, for your honest bad habit…LOL!

WOODSTOCK MIKE

October 31st, 2011
4:35 pm

“She was in my office one day, and I made a gesture saying — and I was standing close to her — and I made a gesture saying you are the same height as my wife. And I brought my hand up to my chin saying, ‘My wife comes up to my chin.’” At that point, Cain gestured with his flattened palm near his chin. “And that was put in there [the complaint] as something that made her uncomfortable,” Cain said, “something that was in the sexual harassment charge.”

Wow, that horrible man!! He said she was as tall as his wife!! You libs are so weak…

Communists Unite

October 31st, 2011
4:46 pm

Oh, Woodstock Mike, but you left out what he said next: “It will probably take about the same amount of effort to bend you over, then.” Facts, facts, inconvenient facts. Mike and I wrote it so it must be true, right?

Steve

October 31st, 2011
4:47 pm

Normal – saw your comment “Off topic, but an old canard from Sean Hannity…”Halloween…is teaching our kids to be liberals…because we’re teaching kids to knock on other people’s doors and ask for a handout”. I guess it would be better to be a republican and turn them away empty handed.

Communists Unite

October 31st, 2011
5:16 pm

steve: i’ll add – republican males will have to molest male kids for it to be a really authentic experience; and then for them to swindle the kids’ life savings. yup, your regressive party at work right thar.

Cain You Believe It! Heaven Help Us!

October 31st, 2011
5:18 pm

Stan Smith October 31st, 2011 4:00 pm

I am willing to bet that one of the GOP candidates leaked this information.

GT

October 31st, 2011
5:34 pm

I think it would be interesting to see who leaked this out to the public. I think you will find it was a Republican candidate. It does the Democrats no good to use this card now and since someone has held it for many years why now do you pull it out. I also think Cain is a little like the Democrats on this one. He has never been a person who takes himself too seriously which seems to bother the public more that the act itself. Hart had a lot of that self righteous act on the Democratic side people and got busted because of it.

Jay

October 31st, 2011
6:01 pm

Cain reportedly acknowledges in a Fox interview taped today for broadcast tonight that he DID know of a settlement in at least one case.

Adam

November 1st, 2011
8:05 am

He may have nullified the confidentiality agreement by talking about it.