Businessman Herman Cain went on FOX News last night and again emphatically emphasized that charges of “inappropriate behavior” against him were overblown. Cain said that when a woman accused him of ‘inappropriate behavior,’ an investigation deemed it baseless and implied the charges were so insignificant that a settlement that amounted to about three months pay of an approximately $50,000 a year salary was handled by lower level officials within the National Restaurant Association.
If the facts do not change, there may be a possibility that conservative primary voters will not disqualify and may even rally around Cain given the current situation.
Cain’s newly hired chief in Iowa, Steve Grubbs, tweeted last night, “Friday the Iowa Cain team signed 25 precinct captains. Today, 40. Iowa Cain campaign has been energized by today’s events.”
The Cain campaign, also on Twitter, tweeted, “I am blessed to have such great supporters! Thank you all for your support & prayers today & throughout my campaign!”
And the Des Moines Register reported that they had spoken by “phone with more than 20 likely Republican [caucus attendees] who participated in the Oct. 23-26 Iowa Poll, and none said the allegations had moved them to reject Cain as a potential pick.”
Here are some of Cain’s relevant words on FOX News.
Concerning the charges:
The one that I am familiar with worked here in the Washington office. And I can’t even remember her name because she had not been a long-term employee. But I do remember the formal allegations she made in terms of sexual harassment.
I have never sexually harassed anybody in my life. And this formal charge was made. And then once it was made, I recused myself and turned it over to my general counsel and one of the other executives that worked for me, the lady in charge of human resources, and asked them to investigate. And they did.
The charge was filed. They did investigate. It was found to be baseless. And yes, there was some sort of settlement or termination, and I don’t even know what the contents of that was. Since it was found baseless, there was no big settlement or it would have had to have come to me.
I remember one that was in the claim, and that is, in my office — and this has come about just during the day as I have tried to recollect what happened back then. Now, let me first make sure — I recused myself and it was handled by two of my staff members. And they were — one of them is an officer level. So once it was resolved, I wasn’t involved, don’t recall what, quote, unquote, “settlement,” termination — I don’t know what it was.
Why Cain believes the charges are coming up now:
I believe this is coming up now because I’m doing so well in this Republican presidential campaign. I’m in the top tier. I’m statistically tied with Mitt Romney, and in some of the polls, I’m actually in first place.
I have no idea who’s egging this on, who’s on this witch hunt, but I am convinced, and my staff and I are convinced, that it is intended to, one, distract us — and it is a distraction. Secondly, a lot of people have a problem with the fact that I’m doing so well and I’m so likable. Third, since they cannot shoot holes in my proposals, my plans, they’re going to try to shoot holes in me, the candidate. So that’s the reason it is coming up now.
On how there was never a claim of “inappropriate behavior” in Cain’s past jobs:
I believe I have a good sense for where you cross the line relative to sexual harassment. But you have to know the lady, the individual. And if you look at my entire 40-year career and you look at the fact that I worked for the Department of the Navy, Coca-Cola, the Pillsbury Company, managed organizations, ran a region for Burger King, ran Godfather’s Pizza, and I get to the National Restaurant Association.
Up to that point, not one accusation of sexual harassment, which meant that I did a pretty good job of knowing where to draw the line. I thought I had drawn the line and not infringed upon what was obviously perceived as sexual harassment on her part when I made that little gesture about her height, and I can’t honestly remember what else was even in the accusation.