Moral Low Ground

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After Denial, Herman Cain Acknowledges Sexual Harassment Accusations, Settlement

GOP presidential front runner Herman Cain has found himself in hot water over the revelation of multiple sexual harassment claims lodged against him in the 1990s. Cain made matters worse for himself by lying about the existence of those claims; he’s now acknowledged that there was a financial settlement with one of the women who accused him of the offense.

Flip-flopping like a Romney… (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

According to Politico, two women at the National Restaurant Association “complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain” while he was head of the group. The Cain campaign denied the report, claiming it was concocted by “inside the Beltway media.” Campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon accused the media of “dredging up thinly-sourced allegations,” slamming “unsubstantiated personal attacks” against the presidential candidate.

“Since Washington establishment critics haven’t had much luck in attacking Mr. Cain’s ideas to fix a bad economy and create jobs, they are trying to attack him any way they can,” a statement from Gordon said.

After appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, Cain was cornered by Politico’s Jonathan Martin in Washington, DC. When asked about the delicate matter, Cain seemed to stumble a bit.

“I’m not gonna comment about two people that you won’t tell me who they are. That’s like negotiating–” he said, cutting himself off before he could say anything he might regret. “I’m not gonna comment on that, because you know, I think that is one of those kinds of things that, until you look—” he continued, cutting his sentence off once again. Martin kept up the questions, pressing Cain on whether or not he’d ever been accused of sexual harassment.

“Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?” Cain shot back.

That was yesterday. Today, Cain acknowledged the existence of the allegations against him, claiming he was “falsely accused” of sexual harassment.

“I can’t even remember her name, but I do remember the formal allegation she made in terms of sexual harassment,” Cain told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.  “I turned it over to my general counsel and one of the ladies that worked for me, the woman in charge of human resources.  They did investigate…and it was found to be baseless,” he added.

“I might see her in the office because her office was on the same floor as my office,” Cain said of the unidentified woman.

Van Susteren pressed Cain to give details of the harassment allegations against him.  “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,'” he explained. “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 former Godfather’s Pizza CEO adamantly denies that he ever committed any crime.

“In all of my over 40 years of running businesses and corporations, I have never sexually harassed anyone,” he told the National Press Club. When asked if his GOP rivals were behind this story, Cain said:  “I have no idea. We have no idea the source of this witch hunt, which is really what it is.”


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