The Herman Cain campaign has become a saga of charges and countercharges – we’ll try to tie some of the threads together, starting with advice offered last night by one of his rivals, Newt Gingrich. From my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin:
“My first advice is what he hasn’t done, which is say nothing until you sit down with your lawyers and with the people who know the facts,” Gingrich said. “You thoroughly and completely understand them and you go through a period where everybody asks you — in your team — every possible negative question so you thoroughly understand what will happen.”
Gingrich is to appear with Cain in Houston on Saturday evening. Some polls indicate the former U.S. House speaker from Georgia would be the one to benefit from a Cain collapse.
Late Wednesday, in an interview with Forbes, Herman Cain accused his political adviser from his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, Curt Anderson, of leaking details of the sexual harassment claims to the campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry – for whom Anderson now works.
Cain, a former radio talk show host from Georgia, says he told Anderson about the harassment claim in 2003, in a private conversation. In an interview on CNN this morning, Anderson said that conversation never happened. “I don’t know anything about this,” he said. Given that Cain is accusing others of a smear campaign, Anderson said, the last thing he ought to do is falsely accuse somebody else.”
Herman Cain gets his own say in an interview with Ginni Thomas, wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, posted by the Daily Caller:
In an interview with Erick Erickson of Redstate.com, Texas Gov. Rick Perry also denied having anything to do with Cain’s problems. Said Perry:
“I’m disappointed that there’s finger-pointing going on. The sooner we get back to talking about the issues that are important to people, the better. …There’s not anybody in my campaign that knew anything about this, that’s associated with my campaign in any form or fashion. End of story.”
Herman Cain’s consultant from 2004 uncovered it in 2004 and Cain launched a Presidential bid in 2011 without coming up with a damage control plan on a major issue that could destroy his campaign?
The question has been, and remains, whether any of Cain’s employees from his National Restaurant Association days will come forward. From the Washington Post:
One of those accusers, now a federal employee, said earlier that she wanted to tell her story and rebut Cain’s assertion that her claims were unfounded. Her attorney, Joel P. Bennett, had said she was considering asking the restaurant association to free her from the confidentiality agreement.
On Wednesday night, however, she told a Washington Post reporter that she had decided not to go public. Asked why, she replied: “I’m too tired to say why.”
According to someone familiar with the thinking of Bennett’s client, she doesn’t want to go public because she is concerned about her privacy and her job.
The lawyer, Joel P. Bennett, said he would instead ask the restaurant association on Thursday to allow him to release a statement on his client’s behalf that would make it clear, without violating a confidentiality agreement she signed, that her version of events is different from the account that Mr. Cain has offered.
In the midst of this, the Herman Cain campaign this morning announced a major fund-raising drive to gear up for the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses and formal beginning of the GOP presidential primary contest. From the campaign:
“The Iowa Fund begins this morning and culminates on Wednesday, November 9th. The campaign’s goal is to bolster the Iowa Fund with $999,000.
The Iowa Fund will allow Mr. Cain’s campaign to continue to hire additional staff in Iowa, place TV ads, and spread Mr. Cain’s ideas to put Americans back to work.
The hoopla over Herman Cain on Wednesday obscured what may be some important news in Washington. U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ Gang of Six pitch for a deficit deal is finally gaining some traction among House Republicans. From the Washington Post:
A group of 40 House Republicans for the first time Wednesday encouraged Congress’s deficit reduction committee to explore new revenue as part of a broad deal that would make a major dent in the nation’s debt, joining 60 Democrats in a rare bipartisan effort to urge the “supercommittee” to reach a big deal that could also include entitlement cuts.
The letter they sent represents a rare cross-party effort for the rancorous House, and its organizers said they hoped it would help nudge the 12-member panel to reach a deal that would far exceed the committee’s $1.5 trillion mandate.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider