Monday, October 31, 2011

Cain: Harassment claims "a witch hunt"

UPDATED, 7:41 PM:

After denying earlier in the day that he knew of any paid settlements to women claiming harassment at the National Restaurant Association, Herman Cain acknowledged to FOX New's Greta van Susteren that he remembered a payment made to one woman when he was CEO, according to the Washington Examiner's Byron York.

York provides the details, including Cain's recollection of what caused the sexual harassment accusation:
"She was in my office one day, and I made a gesture saying -- and I was standing close to her -- and I made a gesture saying you are the same height as my wife. And I brought my hand up to my chin saying, 'My wife comes up to my chin.'" At that point, Cain gestured with his flattened palm near his chin. "And that was put in there [the complaint] as something that made her uncomfortable," Cain said, "something that was in the sexual harassment charge."
The complaint involves more than one charge, according to Politico, but Cain did not remember any other incidents.

Expect the reporting on this to continue to unfold.


From 3:00 PM:


Herman Cain is forcefully denying a Politico report that two women said he harassed them when he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. Now he might have a potential campaign financing issue to confront, too.

From the original Politico report on the harassment allegations:
The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.
At an appearance before the National Press Club this afternoon, Cain called the accusations "a witch hunt" and said that he was unaware of any payments to accusers. Politico reports that those payments were in the five-figure range for each of the accusers - and adds these details about the allegations, from "a half-dozen sources":
The sources — including the recollections of close associates and other documentation — describe episodes that left the women upset and offended. These incidents include conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature, taking place at hotels during conferences, at other officially sanctioned restaurant association events and at the association’s offices. There were also descriptions of physical gestures that were not overtly sexual but that made women who experienced or witnessed them uncomfortable and that they regarded as improper in a professional relationship.

Cain, who initially told FOX News late this morning that the allegations were false - and that an investigation found them to be baseless.

Said Cain:
"I have never sexually harassed anyone, and yes, I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association. I say falsely because it turned out, after the investigation, to be baseless."
Also today, Cain told CBS News that he knew nothing about his campaign skirting campaign finance laws, as reported in Sunday's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. That report said two of Cain's top officials started a Wisconsin charity that helped pay $40,000 of expenses to get the Cain campaign off the ground.

All of which had Cain ... singing? Yep.

Our take, from this morning (it hasn't changed):

This story certainly has some playing out to do as other news organizations do their own reporting on it, and Cain will appear on FOX today to presumably rebut the allegations again. Cain's credibility is hurt by his initial non-denial, and his candidacy, which rose quickly to fill the Not-Mitt-Romney vacuum left by Rick Perry's poor debate performances, is fragile for a frontrunner. It won't take much to deflate Cain's rise.

Also, part of Cain's appeal has been his different-ness. He is blunt and quirky, and in a political era where we sometimes judge our candidates for persona as much as politics, that maverick sense has helped him shoot to the top of the polls. If true, these allegations steal most of that away. He'll be, simply, a bad boss who engaged in ugly behavior.

Also from earlier:

The Poynter Institute breaks down the factors that will determine whether the Cain allegations become a full-fledged scandal.

The Washington Post draws a parallel to the sexual harassment allegations surround Clarence Thomas before his confirmation hearing in 1991 and wonders if Cain will use a similar defense - that the allegations amount to what Thomas called a "high tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves."

Politico also asks political experts how this will impact Cain's campaign.

The Washington Post's Fix speculates that while Cain might combat the allegations with a detailed account of what happened, the story could go in directions Cain can't control.

MSNBC has video of Cain's chief of staff Mark Block denying the allegations with a somewhat wishful "Period. End of Story."

And a bad sign for Cain: Right-leaning Concerned Women for America wants an explanation.




26 comments:

BLACKSPEAK said...

Hey Cain, is this considered a "hi-tech lynching"?

BLACKSPEAK said...

Politico Reporter: Mr. Cain, have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?

Cain: Nein! Nein! Nein!

Stick - Zar dei colli rossi said...

High Tech Lynching indeed. Leading conservative, especially black, must be kept down. Find anything; even unsourced & rumored. Can't have him leaving the Democrat plantation.

It's predictable enough to be tedious.

BLACKSPEAK said...

@Stick - Zar dei colli rossi

But consider this. This "hi-tech lynching" is being carried out by the GOP swift boaters... Not the "liberal media"...

Skippy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skippy said...

This has zero to do with GOP swiftboaters, plantation voter. When the liberal media can't bring down the other side with the tag of racism, this is the other attack. Vile liberal cowardice once again rearing it's ugly head. Under terms of non-disclosure means no one gets to talk about the settlement, including Mr. Cain, nor the alleged victims, nor the attorneys. Meaning he can't defend himself. Settlements like this happen all the time. If Bill Clinton can survive being a confirmed serial woman abuser with at least one ra9e allegation against, then this will pass as well it should.

We need to focus on getting the current disaster out of the White House on the very same day that we just learned that yet another solar energy co just declared bankruptcy that this garbage newspaper will not mention one time.

Fred Flintstone said...

What appears to be tedious "Stick", is the entirely predictable response of the right-wing to this latest case of improper and inappropriate behavior by a high-profile conservative African-American.

They're so thrilled to have an Uncle Tom on their "team" that they can point to in order to persuade blacks to vote Republican (and to counter the above-reproach Obama) that they're willing to overlook things that would immediately scuttle the political career of any other man. Clarence Thomas is one of the worst Supreme Court justices in memory and the comparison is appropriate.

Thomas has YET to pose ANY question whatsoever in any case before the Court, and often appears to be asleep while lawyers are presenting their cases. He simply looks over at Roberts and Scalia and votes however they vote (ALWAYS conservative/corporate). Anyone who saw his disgusting behavior at his confirmation hearing where he attempted to "lynch" a good and upstanding woman in Anita Hill knew how awful he would be on the nation's highest court. And the right-wing propaganda machine defended him the same way they'll defend Cain. How pathetic; how sad.

Why, it's predictable enough to be tedious, wouldn't you say?

BLACKSPEAK said...

This is the work of the GOP/Foxnews sanctioned smear campaign... The democrats wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot poll... Cain is done...

kantstanzya said...

"Can Herman Cain survive allegations?"

I see the Democratic Party and their allies in the MSM have been hard at work again.

But to answer the question...I guess he can survive "allegations" from two women who accused him of nothing more than feeling uncomfortable with something he said. Afterall Dem superstar and idol William Jefferson Clinton did quite well despite two women's consensual and confirmed affairs (Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky) including a young white house intern. And three women who accused him of forcing himself on them (Jaunita Broaderick, Paula Jones and Kathlene Willy). Those are just the ones we know about.

However Cain does have a more moral and demanding voter base than Clinton...Republican voters.

jdshaw said...

Cain's sexual harassment problems won't be an issue with the white male Republican base. They consider women to be second class citizens!

BLACKSPEAK said...

If Herm Cain is still in the race by Xmas, consider it a "miracle" from the ghost of Xmas future...

Tim said...

The Observer was Clinton's biggest defender when he had a stable of women accusing of the same, in addition to perjury, and groping

BLACKSPEAK said...

yeah, but Clinton is a white man... You can't believe Cain will get a pass on this, especially if these women are white...

burtshabby said...

Hopefully, he makes a simple acknowledgement of his past accusers and then sticks to the issues our country is dealing with. Voters can take it from there.

Garth Vader said...

From POLITICO:

"Ron Paul's presidential campaign is the first to respond to POLITICO's story this evening detailing accusations of inappropriate behavior made against Herman Cain when he headed the National Restaurant Association.

Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton criticized Cain in an email for being soft on the Fed and supporting the 2008 bank bailouts — but didn't comment directly on the allegations against Cain.

"We plan to beat Herman Cain on the issues, like his support for TARP and his cozy relationship with the Federal Reserve, not by assaulting his character," Benton told POLITICO.

JayBird said...

If these allegations are reason to bar someone from being President, shouldn't Bill Clinton have been impeached?? Just sayin...

FarRight said...

More political crap from the liberal media. You know Cain must know his place, according to MSNBC spokesperson. Obama can not run on his terrible record, so it is on to the attack mode. Go Herman, Go!

cmsparent2010 said...

Silly man - you have to be a Dem to get away with this - hell, a good dem can even kill a young girl - spend hours trying to cover it up before "waking up at his hotel" - and still be a revered Senator for 40 more years..

cmsparent2010 said...

.....or as a dem you can be a sitting preside an use the oval office as an adultry den - lie to America and Congress (under Oath) and still be called Great by your party.

Tandemfusion said...

Interesting that the poster calling himself Fred Flintstone offers an opinion on the quality of Justice Thomas' tenure on the Court while appearing utterly ignorant of Thomas's actual history with the Court. For example, while he is less than talkative, it is simply not true that he has never asked a question during oral arguments. Nor is it true that he votes in lockstep with any other Justice or Justices. He has been quite independent from his very earliest days and has in fact, by all informed accounts been a force in shaping the modern Court.

Those are facts and are not at all in dispute among Court historians. So why does Flintstone lie about him? Most probably because he is both ignorant of reality, and sympathetic to the needs of the race hustlers in our society who insist that society MUST be divided along the lines of race, and MUST have racial conflict. A highly successful black man who is simply a very influential Justice -who does not see himself as "the black justice" but rather as simple another of the none- is threatening to them and must be denigrated however possible.

Such behavior would be shameful if the acolytes of the race hustlers knew any better, but I suspect that they are, instead, simply pathetic.

Stuart said...

Will the CO drop the story after one day, similar to how they handled Obama and Bill Ayers (kicked off campaign at a terrorist house), "improper" land deal with Tony Rezko (a campaign contributor who is in jail for fraud), or the numerous loans to failing green companies with ties to the administration?

Probably not. But much like many members of the "mainstream media", they are too busy painting Obama as an anti-Wall Street guy, while burying the fact he has been the largest beneficiary of those evil people's political contributions the last four years.

Fred Flintstone said...

Tamdenfusion, your knowledge of Judge Clarence Thomas is woefully lacking, or perhaps you get all of your "information" from Fox News or Clearchannel radio talk shows.

It is in fact true that Justice Thomas has never once asked a single question of any petitioner to the Supreme Court. He is widely regarded to be the least intellectually disciplined member of the court, as well as the least knowledgeable of the cases brought before it. After all, since he will always reliable take the conservative position indicated by the other right-wing judges, why should he bother? And he lied like a dog about Anita Hill during his confirmation hearing; she was but one of his harassment victims. None of which concerns you, obviously.

Republicans try to rewrite history to suit their narrative every day. Clearly today is no exception on this board.

UNCDubb said...

Flintstone,

I believe you have heard or read so many liberal commentators bashing Thomas for so long, you believe their opinions to be facts.

You have the right to an opinion, but that does not make them factually correct.

Try citing some sources. Thanks.

AUDIOMIND said...

MSM predictably going after a black conservative, just as they did with Clarence Thomas. Minorities are supposed to vote, think, support and be democrat afterall, right?

Fred Flintstone said...

Look, it wasn't the "liberal media" that caused Cain, or Thomas, to act like a misogynous creeps. That's just part of who they are.

Republicans don't have a problem with creeps, as long as he's THEIR creep. Thus, their willingness to exclude creepy behavior from their own politicians while flogging poor ol' Bill Clinton - who happened to preside over the last sustained period of American prosperity, lest we forget - as unmercifully as they AND the mainstream media did back in the 90's. They trot him out every time something like this comes to light, presumably to make everyone forget the current creep is a Republican presidental candidate.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Conservative.

Fedup_senior said...

I believe Cain is the best Republican running, so of course they are going to do all they (whoever) can to destroy him like all other candidates.
Personally I believe Cain is the best chance we have to get Obama out of there.
No doubt - Obama, and the dems are doing all they can to get rid of Cain.