Appearing on CNN this afternoon with Wolf “Blitz” Blitzer, presidential candidate Herman Cain, whose campaign only recently emerged from the stormy waters of sexual harassment allegations, warned that another woman was about to accuse him of inappropriate behavior. He said this woman is “an acquaintance that I thought was a friend”:
Cain got the heads-up from his attorneys, who are mentioned profusely in his CNN appearance. The Cain legal team, in turn, was contacted by Fox 5 in Atlanta, which has now gone live with the story:
An Atlanta businesswoman is breaking her silence, claiming she has been involved in a 13-year-long affair with Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, FOX 5 senior I-Team reporter Dale Russell sat down with Ginger White, who had an amazing story to tell.
“It was pretty simple,” White said. “It wasn’t complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.”
Cain’s attorney, Lin Wood, responded with a denial that will not sound good in the business-class car of the Cain Train:
Mr. Cain has been informed today that your television station plans to broadcast a story this evening in which a female will make an accusation that she engaged in a 13-year long physical relationship with Mr. Cain. 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.
Mr. Cain has alerted his wife to this new accusation and discussed it with her. He has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media.
Not to jump to any conclusions – both the full news report and Cain’s full, official response await us later this evening, and we should await further developments with an open mind – but if Cain’s going to respond to this by saying, “Hey, I denied ever sexually harassing anyone, I didn’t say anything about long-term consensual affairs! Those are nobody’s business but mine!” then his campaign is over.
Update: Fox 5 in Atlanta has published more details of White’s interview. Here’s how the story begins:
Ginger White says she met Herman Cain in the late 90s in Louisville, Kentucky, when as president of the National Restaurant Association, he made a presentation. She was impressed. She says they shared drinks afterwards and he invited her back to his hotel room.
“’I’d like to see you again,’” White said Cain told her. “’You are beautiful to me, and I would love for us to continue this friendship.’”
She says in his hotel room, he pulled out a calendar and invited her to meet him in Palm Springs. She accepted, and she says the affair began.
“He made it very intriguing,” White told FOX 5. “It was fun. It was something that took me away from my humdrum life at the time. And it was exciting.”