Cain: Voters won’t be ‘turned off’ by sexual harassment claims

By David Edwards
Monday, October 31, 2011 12:32 EDT
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Herman Cain responds to sexual harassment charges
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Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain on Monday repeatedly denied reports that he sexually harassed two women in the 1990s.

Politico reported Sunday that “at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior” by Cain while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association from 1996 to 1999.

“What is the truth about these allegations of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct?” Fox News host Jenna Lee asked Cain Monday. “Have you ever been accused at any time of either?”

“Yes,” Cain admitted. “I have never sexually harassed anyone, let’s say that. Secondly, I’ve never sexually harassed anyone and, yes, I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association. And I say ‘falsely’ because it turned out after the investigation to be baseless. … It is totally baseless and totally false. Never have I committed and sort of sexual harassment.”

Cain added that he had never agreed to settlement in a sexual harassment case, and he had not been aware that the National Restaurant Association had agreed to a settlement in this case.

“Are we going to hear about any other allegations in the future?” Lee pressed. “Are there more allegations to come like this?”

“Absolutely not,” Cain replied. “If more allegations come, I assure you, people will simply make them up. I was aware of the false accusations that took place at the restaurant association, and then when we were asked for me to comment, they wanted for this to be from two anonymous sources. We weren’t going to go and chase anonymous sources.”

“Obviously, some people are going to be turned off by this cloud that someone wanted to put over my campaign, but a lot of people aren’t going to be turned off. We will just have to wait and see what happens. But let me say one more time, Jenna, I have never sexually harassed anyone, anyone, and absolutely, these are false accusations.”

The candidate also claimed he wasn’t aware of a recent report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that suggested his campaign may have broken campaign finance laws by accepting donations from a private corporation owned by two top aides.

“I didn’t know about the report until you brought it up on the show,” Cain insisted.

Watch this video from Fox News’s Happening Now, broadcast Oct. 31, 2011.

Watch this video on iPhone/iPad

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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