The art of Kevin Blythe Sampson

THE ART OF
KEVIN BLYTHE SAMPSON

10/31/11

Cain: I've been 'falsely accused' - The Hill's Video

Cain: I've been 'falsely accused'

By Justin Sink - 10/31/11 12:05 PM ET

Herman Cain said Monday he has been “falsely accused” of sexual harassment.

Cain told Fox News that he has never sexually harassed anyone and that he is unaware of any settlements reached between two women and a Washington trade group he headed in the 1990s.

“I have never sexually harassed anyone – anyone. And absolutely these are false allegations,” Cain said Monday in an interview with Fox News.

“I have 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. The people mentioned in that article were the ones who would be aware of any misdoings and they have attested to my integrity and my character. It is totally baseless and totally false. Never have I committed any sort of sexual harassment.”

The Cain camp has come under intense scrutiny since publication Sunday of an article by Politico that said two women left the National Restaurant Association after complaining of sexually inappropriate behavior by Cain. The report said the women received financial settlements to leave the trade group, and that as a part of those deals they agreed not to discuss their complaints.

Cain told Fox, however, that he was unaware of any settlement made by the restaurant group.

“If the restaurant did a settle I wasn’t even aware of it. And I hope it wasn’t for much because nothing happened,” he said when asked about a financial deal.

"So if there was a settlement it was handled by some of the other officers that worked for me at the Association," Cain said.

The comments by Cain continue a furious push back by his campaign that started Sunday night.

Mark Block, Cain’s chief of staff, said Monday he was not personally aware that Cain agreed to any settlements with women at the trade group, which Cain headed from 1996 to 1999. He also said Cain had never sexually harassed anyone.

“Herman Cain has never sexual harassed anybody. Period. End of story,” Block said on MSNBC. “Every negative word and accusation in the article is sourced to unnamed or anonymous sources and this is questionable at best,” Block said.

On Sunday, the campaign released a statement blaming "inside the Beltway media" and "Washington establishment critics" for what it said were unsubstantiated claims.

The charges come as Cain finds himself at the top of some polls of GOP voters. The former president of the National Restaurant Association and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza has jumped to the top of the Republican contest on the strength of several debate performances and his 9-9-9 tax plan, which would impose 9 percent income, sales and corporate taxes in place of the current tax system.

The Republican front-runner acknowledged that the charges would give some voters pause and could damage his campaign.

“Obviously some people are going to be turned off by this cloud that some people wanted to put over this campaign,” Cain said. But he insisted that he had never acted in a harassing way, and that he had never been accused of acting improperly other than in these instances.

“The only other allegations will be trumped up allegations, there's nothing else,” Cain said.

This story was posted at 11:44 a.m. and updated at 12:05 p.m.




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Cain: I've been 'falsely accused' - The Hill's Video