A local Atlanta businesswoman went on local television this evening to declare that she had had a 13-year, “off-and-on” relationship with GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain.
“It was pretty simple. It wasn’t complicated. I was aware that he was married. I was also aware that I was involved in a very inappropriate situation,” Ginger White said in a televised interview with Fox 5 Atlanta reporter Dale Russell.
In a move to pre-empt the report, Cain went to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer an hour before the Fox 5 broadcast, where he pointed to the report as the latest attempt to smear his candidacy.
Earlier this month, Cain’s rocketing candidacy was hit with accusations of inappropriate behavior toward three women while he was president of the National Restaurant Association. Cain denied any suggestions that he had harassed or made unwanted passes at the women.
“Here we go again,” Cain said Monday to Blitzer. “We will basically show, when the details become available, that I didn’t do anything wrong.”
But Cain, an ordained Baptist minister, said he couldn’t rule out any other accusations:
”Think about it, Wolf. You go through life and you believe that you have some people that are friends. And when someone that appears to be a friend, turns around and concocts this story, you’ve got to question – the hundreds of thousands of people that I have met in my life, a hundred thousand people could possibly come out. Do I know of any that might come out? Not off the top of my head.”
Cain pointed to his Atlanta attorney, Linn Wood, for further details. But in a letter to Fox 5, Wood didn’t repeat Cain’s denials:
This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace – this is not an accusation of an assault – which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate.
Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults – a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life. The public’s right to know and the media’s right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one’s bedroom door.
In the Fox 5 interview, White said she was pressured to confess the affair by inquiries from other media outlets. “I wanted to give my side, before it was thrown out there and made out to be something, you know, filthy,” she said.
The two met in the late 1990s in Louisville, Ky., where Cain had given a presentation. Drinks led to an invitation to his hotel room, she said. Afterwards, Cain would fly her to locations where he was speaking.
“He made it very intriguing. It was fun. It was something that took me away from my humdrum life at the time. And it was exciting,” White said. She provided Russell with copies of her cell phone bill, showing text messages and phone calls from a number that White said was Cain’s private cell phone number.
“We never worked together. I can’t imagine anyone phoning or texting me for the last two and a half years just because,” White said.
Russell said he texted the cell number that White provided, and that Cain replied. The GOP candidate said White had the number because he had provided financial assistance to her.
White said the physical relationship ended eight months ago, not long before Cain announced his candidacy.
In his CNN interview, Cain said neither his wife nor any member of his family knew the woman in question. He insisted he would not leave the contest – unless the pressure became too great on his wife and family.
“I am sick and tired of the hurt and harm that somebody out there is doing to my family, more so [than] to me, with these baseless charges. What this says is, somebody is awfully afraid I’m doing too well in this Republican nomination,” Cain said.
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- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider