Earlier this month, U.S Rep. Steve King, a Republican from the all-important state of Iowa, declared that the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment several weeks ago were probable “liberal activists” and “official hyperventilaters of the first order.”
My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy in Washington ran into King today – and he sounded much less certain. Said King:
”There’s been a series of these and by now it surely has to be shutting off or shutting down the fundraising that’s coming to Herman Cain. And whether or not the allegations are true, it looks to me like it’s going to be very hard for him to be able to breathe life back into this campaign. That is it. You like to think the facts on this can come out, and come out right away, and people can look at the truth and make an objective decision.
“They’re asking questions and just that, asking questions, has diminished the momentum of his campaign. I don’t want to give advice to a man who’s carried the race this far, and I’ll say this: Herman Cain went to the top of the polls out of his personal likability. The people that I know that like him – and I happen to be one of them – like him a lot personally. And when you get down to that point where you’re trying to select one person out of those 300 million Americans it’s a pretty tough hill to climb anyway. And now he’s got more luggage to tote than anybody else in the race right now and that’s really tough.”
Malloy asked King whether the number of women who have come forward gave him pause. Answered the Iowa congressman:
”Even if I thought they were of no consequence, others don’t. And I don’t know. I don’t know and I don’t want to be judgmental but I know there are a whole body of people out there that are making decisions, and it’s got to come together in just a little more than a month in Iowa — so the timing of it is such that, if this were a race that went on another six months or so, perhaps there’s a way to bring this all out and shine the light on everything and bring it out as the truth.
“But I don’t see how there’s time for that right now. So I just feel badly for Herman. And America is a strange animal, the politics of this all. And you watch the dynamics of this race. It doesn’t feel like any other. … The same time this is going on in the Cain campaign, you’ve got Mitt Romney making a commitment to try to win Iowa.
“So that changes – both of those two things change the dynamics in Iowa to some degree and I’ll say a significant degree in both of them. Things are not coming clear for a lot of conservatives in the state.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider