Cain denies sexual-harassment claims

posted at 8:45 am on October 31, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

There are many headlines that strike fear in the hearts of presidential campaigns — and this one from Politico is probably right near the worst of them.  Last night, they ran a story that the National Restaurant Association had to settle two sexual-harassment claims against Herman Cain when he chaired the trade group in the 1990s:

During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.

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.

Cain got challenged to respond to this earlier in the day, which led to an uncomfortable moment:

Cain said he has “had thousands of people working for me” at different businesses over the years and could not comment “until I see some facts or some concrete evidence.” His campaign staff was given the name of one woman who complained last week, and it was repeated to Cain on Sunday. He responded, “I am not going to comment on that.”

He was then asked, “Have you ever been accused, sir, in your life of harassment by a woman?”

He breathed audibly, glared at the reporter and stayed silent for several seconds. After the question was repeated three times, he responded by asking the reporter, “Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?”

By late evening, the Cain campaign had a more polished response in denying that Cain had ever engaged in sexual harassment, without denying the existence of the settlements:

Fearing the message of Herman Cain who is shaking up the political landscape in Washington, Inside the Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain.

Dredging up thinly sourced allegations stemming from Mr. Cain’s tenure as the Chief Executive Officer at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts.

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 in any way they can.engag

Sadly, we’ve seen this movie played out before – a prominent Conservative targeted by liberals simply because they disagree with his politics.

Mr. Cain — and all Americans, deserve better.

I’m not sure that Politico’s story about the settlements are “thinly sourced”; they appear to have made contact with the women involved, and Cain’s team pointedly did not deny that the settlements occurred.  Politico also claimed to have seen the actual settlement documents and have a half-dozen sources for the story.  Otherwise, this is a best-defense-is-a-good-offense response, blaming the media for reporting the story.

If the settlements exist, and if they pertain to sexual harassment, then it’s certainly fair game for the media.  This would differ from the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill allegations, as Hill never reported Thomas contemporaneous to the supposed harassment (and continued working for him after they supposedly occurred).  The two settlements would indicate that the women involved undertook action contemporaneous to the claims, which is more substantial than Hill’s behavior.  However, it’s not clear from the story whether the settlements themselves are settled legal complaints, or merely small golden parachutes that don’t make any reference to the reason for the departure of the two women.

Even if the settlements reference sexual-harassment complaints, it’s important to remember that settlements in and of themselves don’t necessarily mean guilt or innocence.  Anyone who has worked with high-ranking executives — especially those who have high public profiles — knows that they make pretty tasty targets for legal claims, whether warranted or not.  For most organizations, it’s easier and cheaper to settle harassment claims than to fight them.  The two women got five-figure settlements, which don’t seem particularly pricy, but that could also be deceptive — the women might not have had the resources to pursue the claims further than a smaller settlement, either.  Cain doesn’t appear to have been rushed out of his position at the NRA, and he has had a very long run of success as an executive with a number of companies, and so far there hasn’t been any other claims of impropriety.  That speaks in his favor, as long as that remains the case — and the Politico story indicates that may be the case:

Ron Magruder, Denise Marie Fugo and Joseph Fassler, the chair, vice chair and immediate past chairman of the National Restaurant Association board of directors at the time of Cain’s departure, said they hadn’t heard about any complaints regarding Cain making unwanted advances.

“I have never heard that. It would be news to me,” said Fugo, who runs a Cleveland, Ohio, catering company, adding such behavior would be totally out of character for the Cain she knew. “He’s very gracious.” …

Cain was “extremely professional” and “fair” to female staffers at the restaurant association, recalled Lee Ellen Hayes, who said she “worked fairly closely with” Cain in the late 1990s, when she was an executive at the National Restaurant Association Education Fund, a Chicago-based offshoot of the group.

Cain’s treatment of women was “the same as his treatment of men. Herman treated everyone great,” said Mary Ann Cricchio, who was elected to the board of the restaurant group in 1998. She said Cain left such a good impression on the organization that when he spoke at a group event in January of this year, as he was considering a presidential bid, “he had unanimous support in the room.”

Cain has certainly made his private-sector executive experience part of his resumé for President, including his leadership at the NRA.  If — and that’s a big if — Cain engaged in inappropriate conduct as an executive to the extent that it cost his employer cast to settle the issues, then that would speak to his judgment.  While no one should leap to the conclusion that Cain’s committed that kind of conduct, the existence of those settlements would require at least some explanation from Cain.

Update: We might need a little more explanation from Politico, too. Here’s Jonathan Martin on MSNBC, refusing to get specific about what exactly Cain said and did, out of sensitivity to the women involved, courtesy of Newsbusters:

WILLIE GEIST: Hey Jonathan, what are the allegations specifically as you understand them? There’s obviously a wide range in sexual harassment. What did he do?

JONATHAN MARTIN: We-, we-, well we have to be careful about that obviously, because we’re sensitive to –

GEIST: Of course –

MARTIN: — the sourcing involved here. And also, what also happened to these women as well–we want to be sensitive to that, too. It includes both verbal and physical gestures. These women felt uncomfortable, they were unhappy about their treatment, and they complained to both colleagues and senior officials. In one case it involved, I think, inviting a woman up to a hotel room of Cain’s on the road. Um, but, we-, we-, we’re just not going to get into the details of exactly what happened with these women beside what’s in the story.

Frankly, that’s not going to cut it. If the women have decided to start telling people about their claims, then they should identify themselves and tell the whole story. If it’s others who are talking about these claims and the women aren’t the sources for Politico, then that brings up a good question as to whether Politico has the details right in the first place. Either way, if Politico wants to run a piece accusing a presidential candidate of sexual harassment in his past, then its readers deserve all of the details so that they can make up their minds about whether the accusers and the accusations are credible.

Update II: Jazz Shaw has more thoughts, especially on the differences between this and the Anita Hill story.

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As a Romney fan (disclaimer), I hope it is NOT true and his best move would be to clear the matter up in whatever way he can legally and professionally. If it comes out or the women do actually come forward and it is shown he was covering up, even if it was inconsequential, then the coverup, as we know, is always worse than the actual facts.

g2825m on October 31, 2011 at 10:41 AM

It’s not a cover up if Cain and the women involved consider the matter closed and resolved. He doesn’t need to say anything except “there were some minor allegations made and I signed an agreement.” He is foolish for going any further. This will all blow over if he lets it.

rockmom on October 31, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Oh God…how I hate sexual harassment. You want to see examples of genuine sexual harassment, watch a few episodes of Mad Men. What we have now and what began to blossom out of control in the 90s is a stretch to the definition. What’s terrible is that what we have now is more of being “politically correct” than actually using power to get sexual favor. This stance makes genuine sexual harassment seem trite.

In the early 1990s I once told a female co-worker (a peer) something like “Why don’t we drop what we’re doing and go upstairs and get naked?” Her response was, “That’s never going to happen.” I know I must sound like some kind of sexed crazed animal, but the devil’s in the details. At the time I was 18 or 19 years old, I was working with a girl (that was my age) in a grocery store and we were stocking a cigarette rack. She was flirting with me and I was flirting with her. What’s really funny is that several years later I married this woman, so ultimately I got to see her naked. It’s doubly ironic that later in my career at the same company, I was put in charge of training all employees about he ins-and-outs of sexual harassment.

I’m not trying to defend Cain here. I don’t know what actually happened, so I can’t say if what occurred was right, wrong, misinterpreted or downright stupid. What I am saying is that we must see under what circumstances these charges were made. Context is key and we have no idea of the context.

ReaganWasRight on October 31, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Cain says he will address accusations on air.

andy85719 on October 31, 2011 at 10:38 AM

“America, these women, and alleged victims of sexual harrassment all just need to get a sense of humor. After all, it has to be the employers decision as to whterh to sexually harrass a woman.

End of story…”

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Let me share what I learned as an attorney.

In the 1990s , pre MonicaGate, the pendulum had swung so far in the women’s favor that it was common for threats of sexual harassment to be made against powerful men with dominant personalities running a business.

Such executives used talented females as consultants in accounting sales and marketing, and sometimes in consigliari roles to handle the female on the staff. That became multiple train wrecks waiting to happen.

When the female diva saw her influence slipping and termination a possibility, she usually took pre-emptive action to get the best severance she could. Gold digger wives have nothing on gold digger females in business careers…get what you can and start a new job.

It had become insider knowledge that the Federal Equal Rights Bureaucracies would process discrimination against women claims with only an allegation, and the entire burden of proof of innocence was on the Executive.

And Female Government bureaucrats in that system were not about to believe a man with a strong personality who was getting very rich in a private business. He would be put through their administrative gauntlet and then have to appeal to a real court.

So we lawyers would not advise him to spend 2 years awaiting a terrible result that then had to be appealed to get a fair hearing…or pay a small settlement 10% what the lawyer’s fees to win would probably amount to anyway.

The Executives made the right decisions every time and went on to real work.

Remember, a black man or a foreigner enters the realm of public opinion with 2 strikes against him on a women’s charge that he made a sexual advance or joked around and hurt her feelings.

Herman probably had that experience. Let the High Tech Lynching begin!

jimw on October 31, 2011 at 10:46 AM

I really don’t know the best way to respond. I imagine it would be a good idea to be clear and final about the facts but then I don’t know about violating any agreement. This is a nightmare for the Cain campaign.

Bill C on October 31, 2011 at 10:42 AM

This could be a nightmare for the Cain campaign. Or it could galvanize his support. Still too early to tell, IMO.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 10:46 AM

As I suspected, they are going to O’Donnell him, as they did to the political novices the last election. You all think that Cain’s blank slate is nice because you can project your hopes and dreams on him as the left and center did with Obama last time, but you forget that the media is not fawning over Cain like it did for Obama and the results will not be the same.

(Harsh criticism in the last cycle was deserved with O’Donnell because she is a nut and opportunist, but was not deserved with Angle, Buck, and Miller, IMO.)

besser tot als rot on October 31, 2011 at 10:47 AM

He doesn’t need to say anything except “there were some minor allegations made and I signed an agreement.” He is foolish for going any further. This will all blow over if he lets it.

rockmom on October 31, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Are you high?

Minor allegations??? Do you really think that is going to suffice?

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 10:47 AM

huckleberryfriend on October 31, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Excellent, solid post.

Something that bothers me though:

Ron Magruder, Denise Marie Fugo and Joseph Fassler, the chair, vice chair and immediate past chairman of the National Restaurant Association board of directors at the time of Cain’s departure, said they hadn’t heard about any complaints regarding Cain making unwanted advances.

If there were a settlement that featured an NDA, I’d assume the Board would know about it. This makes me wonder just what is going on and if allegations are being made up out of whole cloth.

JohnTant on October 31, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Context is key and we have no idea of the context.

ReaganWasRight on October 31, 2011 at 10:46 AM

But to some, context won’t matter. Sad.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 10:49 AM

If there were a settlement that featured an NDA, I’d assume the Board would know about it. This makes me wonder just what is going on and if allegations are being made up out of whole cloth.

JohnTant on October 31, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Or if there was some fast-and-loose being played without the board’s knowledge/approval.

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 10:49 AM

It’s not a cover up if Cain and the women involved consider the matter closed and resolved. He doesn’t need to say anything except “there were some minor allegations made and I signed an agreement.” He is foolish for going any further. This will all blow over if he lets it.

rockmom on October 31, 2011 at 10:45 AM

I think this is a hit piece, but I think that he is in a no-win situation with how to respond to it. If he responds at all, I don’t think that he will be able to do so simply as you suggest (the media, who hate him, will not allow it).

besser tot als rot on October 31, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Minor allegations??? Do you really think that is going to suffice?

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 10:47 AM

What are the specific allegations?

idesign on October 31, 2011 at 10:51 AM

That is the problem for Cain. This story is pretty weak right now so it doesn’t deserve much of a response. If more details come out then Cain might be forced to give a definitive statement.

Bill C,
Like I saw JohnGalt just beat me to it…I would say come out early and tell the whole story is the best way to “put this to bed” ;o)

It may hurt him initially in the polls and violate some agreement he may have signed but otherwise this will stew for weeks and months with voters always wondering if the women will come forward say in February with proof!

g2825m on October 31, 2011 at 10:51 AM

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 10:49 AM

So who would have paid the settlement, then? If there were a complaint it would have been lodged against the Association in addition to Cain.

It’s kind of hard to believe a suggestion that a settlement would have been paid without the Board’s knowledge. The external audit alone would have picked it up.

JohnTant on October 31, 2011 at 10:51 AM

As a Romney fan (disclaimer), I hope it is NOT true and his best move would be to clear the matter up in whatever way he can legally and professionally. If it comes out or the women do actually come forward and it is shown he was covering up, even if it was inconsequential, then the coverup, as we know, is always worse than the actual facts.

g2825m on October 31, 2011 at 10:41 AM

As a Perry fan and a MRA I never want to see a man’s career destroyed by a weak sexual harassment charge. Unfortunately for Mr. Cain the important part of this story for most people will be his response.

Bill C on October 31, 2011 at 10:52 AM

It does sound like Politico has seen the papers but doesn’t have them in its possession. The person who showed them the papers may have exacted an agreement limiting what Politico could write about. But I still think if there were really serious allegations they would have been in the story. This is a classic trumped-up story and sleazy journalism.

rockmom on October 31, 2011 at 10:33 AM

I agree about the sleazy journalism and didn’t mean to skip over that I am just addressing why Cain’s response was what it was when he hummed and hawed about ever being ACCUSED of sexual harassment. Which of course I believed the women DID accuse him so he can’t say no honestly but he doesn’t answer because then he has to go into a full-fledge defense of the incident which obviously was avoided at the time by the out-of-court settlement that apparently was sealed. If he fights this as it is now he has to fight anonymous sources and Politico’s innuendo. Probably what the Politico intended. There answer and release of info is by design to be what it is.

Conan on October 31, 2011 at 10:52 AM

What are the specific allegations?

idesign on October 31, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Suggesting that sexual harassment, whatever the specifics, is “minor” is a sure loser.

besser tot als rot on October 31, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Minor allegations??? Do you really think that is going to suffice?

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 10:47 AM

What are the specific allegations?

idesign on October 31, 2011 at 10:51 AM

He can’t say because he doesn’t know.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Until I actually see two women on TV making actual claims this story is horsesh*t.

A person has a right to face their accuser.

tetriskid on October 31, 2011 at 10:53 AM

From Team HC: Be sure to watch Mr. Cain on FOX News Happening Now today at 11:15am Eastern!

Just cuz this is a new page.

pambi on October 31, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Suggesting that sexual harassment, whatever the specifics, is “minor” is a sure loser.

besser tot als rot on October 31, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I don’t believe Cain has made that assertion — although some of his supporters have. What that says to me is that Cain may not lose as many votes over this as his detractors seem to think he will.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 10:55 AM

It’s not a cover up if Cain and the women involved consider the matter closed and resolved. He doesn’t need to say anything except “there were some minor allegations made and I signed an agreement.” He is foolish for going any further. This will all blow over if he lets it.

rockmom on October 31, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Though I agree that … IF the women consider this to be a closed case – then it is. However, Politico’s been talking to someone – and as Ed mentions – it even appears they have a copy of the “settlement”. The women would have had to have given it to them if that’s the case.

He cannot sweep this under the rug. This is something that needs a complete vetting now. If we don’t get it – you can damn well bet these women will surface, in person – during the general if Cain’s the nominee.

It’s too great of a risk to take. And you know Obama will exploit this for all it’s worth.

It needs to be put to bed NOW. Everything out in the open.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Cain can and will get through this.

Watch out for the Ron Paul trolls.
Cain’s news is exciting news for them!!!

balkanmom on October 31, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Until I actually see two women on TV making actual claims this story is horsesh*t.

A person has a right to face their accuser.

tetriskid on October 31, 2011 at 10:53 AM

In a court of law, yes. Not always in the court of public opinion though, Tet.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 10:56 AM

I hope it’s not true. If a company did pay money to a woman because of something Cain (or any of our candidates) did, you KNOW Obama will find it and bring it up, so we’d better get it all out in the open now.

kerrhome on October 31, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Bill C,
Like I saw JohnGalt just beat me to it…I would say come out early and tell the whole story is the best way to “put this to bed” ;o)

g2825m on October 31, 2011 at 10:51 AM

He won’t put this to bed by talking. He will open round 2 of a war with Politico who is waiting to see him acknowledge it and then start filling the air with doubts about HIS story with NO WAY for anyone to check their claims with the protected women. They can claim anything they want on behalf of these women and NO ONE can challenge Politico’s smears.

Conan on October 31, 2011 at 10:56 AM

In a court of law, yes. Not always in the court of public opinion though, Tet.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Do these women even exist?

tetriskid on October 31, 2011 at 10:56 AM

so we’d better get it all out in the open now.

kerrhome on October 31, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Get ready then for a series of “How long ago did you quit beating your wife?” questions.

Don’t expect the media to be fair because you are an “honest” Republican candidate.

Conan on October 31, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Do these women even exist?

tetriskid on October 31, 2011 at 10:56 AM

It doesn’t matter. This story was floated for the optics. It’s a bad deal made even worse by Cain’s piss-poor campaigning skills. But you have to play the hand you’re dealt; not the one you wish you had.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 10:58 AM

This whole thing is bad for Cain. These women were paid a settlement. This does not look good for Herb.

Did he think this revelation would never come out? He’s a Republican running for the White House!!!

He didn’t have a response ready or a strategy ready for when this was revealed?????

Come on Herb.

Really????

portlandon on October 31, 2011 at 10:58 AM

I was once laid off when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant. I made a little noise about it and got double the severance they gave everyone else. It was a “five figure settlement” if I wanted to be sensational about it. Never hired an attorney.

rockmom on October 31, 2011 at 10:30 AM

I hope you are ashamed of yourself for this. Seriously, you essentially stole money from a business with the veiled threat of legal action.

Remember, a black man or a foreigner enters the realm of public opinion with 2 strikes against him on a women’s charge that he made a sexual advance or joked around and hurt her feelings.

Herman probably had that experience. Let the High Tech Lynching begin!

jimw on October 31, 2011 at 10:46 AM

This is one of the reasons that the Men’s rights movement came into existence. Women’s rights went too far towards legal harassment of men.

Bill C on October 31, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Don’t expect the media to be fair because you are an “honest” Republican candidate.

Conan on October 31, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Amen.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Cain’s news is exciting news for them!!!

balkanmom on October 31, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Woo! Another Pile on Cain paaar-taaay! I’ll pop the champagne. :-)

Seriously, though — Romney is going to get Iowa after this if we don’t derail the Cain Train soon and find another Not-Romney. There is only so much Cain shenanigans the country is willing to tolerate.

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM

However, Politico’s been talking to someone – and as Ed mentions – it even appears they have a copy of the “settlement”. The women would have had to have given it to them if that’s the case.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 10:55 AM

You do not know that.

It could be anyone who had access to either NRA files, or files of the attorney’s involved.

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Hey, why not. It in somebody’s playbook.

-Destroy Palin…check
-Destroy Perry…check
-Destroy Cain…
-Destroy Gingrich…

cozmo on October 31, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Until I actually see two women on TV making actual claims this story is horsesh*t.

A person has a right to face their accuser.

tetriskid on October 31, 2011 at 10:53 AM

In a just world this would be true but this is the Liberal MSM complex defending its turf and right to dominate our thinking so we can all forget that!

Conan on October 31, 2011 at 11:01 AM

It doesn’t matter. This story was floated for the optics. It’s a bad deal made even worse by Cain’s piss-poor campaigning skills. But you have to play the hand you’re dealt; not the one you wish you had.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 10:58 AM

I am not trying to cover for Cain…

I’m just reluctant to jump headfirst & believe Politico.

tetriskid on October 31, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Until I actually see two women on TV making actual claims this story is horsesh*t.

A person has a right to face their accuser.

tetriskid on October 31, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Okay – and when those two women do exactly that – during the general, and this turns out to be something really bad – and we’re stuck with Herman Cain as the nominee?

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Cain him! He made two women angry and uncormfortable. All men should be so lucky. If he handles it well, with honesty, within the contraints of the alledged settlement, he will be fine. And he will. Watch his fund raising go thru the ceiling. Pay Pal-ing him now. Enjoy a good smoke.

I am not a racist on October 31, 2011 at 11:02 AM

I’m just reluctant to jump headfirst & believe Politico.

tetriskid on October 31, 2011 at 11:01 AM

As am I. I think you and I are mostly on the same page in how we view this. For better or for worse though, how Cain handles this will have an impact on his campaign. I’m just not quite ready to prognosticate on exactly what kind of impact that will be.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM

You do not know that.

It could be anyone who had access to either NRA files, or files of the attorney’s involved.

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Lol.

Regardless of all of this… nobody is voting for Mitt Romney so settle down.

tetriskid on October 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM

A portion of Cain’s statement coming up on FOX.

RepubChica on October 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM

This is Palinization, staight up. I just wonder whether or not Palin will come out and rake the MSM over the coals over this.

I suspect she will.

WisRich on October 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM

It needs to be put to bed NOW. Everything out in the open.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Now, Honda, let me play Devil’s Advocate against my own position.

Let us assume a hypothetical: Let’s say there’s something to this claim… something not outright disqualifying, but something really ugly… a drunken pass, serious physical contact… something not illegal, but embarassing.

Do you still hold to that same advice?

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM

You do not know that.

It could be anyone who had access to either NRA files, or files of the attorney’s involved.

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM

It’s a reasonable assumption – and even Ed has made it in his writing above. I’m not the only one thinking this is a real possiblity.

This needs to be vetted. It needs to be aired. Cainlusionals are being completely irresponsible in saying that we should ignore this – and make Cain the nominee anyway.

If there’s even a 5% chance that there’s something to these charges, we can’t take a chance. Because the DIMS WILL put these women on the news in the general and it will be too late for us.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Hey, why not. It in somebody’s playbook.

-Destroy Palin…check
-Destroy Perry…check
-Destroy Cain…
-Destroy Gingrich…

cozmo on October 31, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Rush made a similar point about people who said Palin was unelectable when he said, “Do you think any Republican isn’t going to be destroyed by the Mainstream media once they become a threat to Obama and them?”

Rush is dead on again. It doesn’t matter if it is Palin or Cain or whomever…There is no “safe” candidate from the MSM. Just look at the MSM’s buddy McCain AFTER he got the nomination.

Conan on October 31, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Now, Honda, let me play Devil’s Advocate against my own position.

Let us assume a hypothetical: Let’s say there’s something to this claim… something not outright disqualifying, but something really ugly… a drunken pass, serious physical contact… something not illegal, but embarassing.

Do you still hold to that same advice?

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Yes I do because the Republican voters have a right to know about it before they choose a nominee.

You cannot escape this – you cannot. If the Cainiacs are successful in sweeping this under the rug for the primaries – bet your ass that Obama will drag it out in living color during the general.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:06 AM

What was he supposed to do. Still beating your wife???

DanaSmiles on October 31, 2011 at 11:06 AM

If there’s even a 5% chance that there’s something to these charges, we can’t take a chance. Because the DIMS WILL put these women on the news in the general and it will be too late for us.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Of course, it could be the Democrats behind this whole thing to begin with. After all, it’s not like Team Obama hasn’t ever floated confidential legal documents to the press in order to win an election….

JohnTant on October 31, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Conan on October 31, 2011 at 10:58 AM

At least most if not all conservatives never expect the media to be fair. Heck, we don’t even expect FNC to be fair these days.

kerrhome on October 31, 2011 at 11:08 AM

At least most if not all conservatives never expect the media to be fair. Heck, we don’t even expect FNC to be fair these days.

kerrhome on October 31, 2011 at 11:08 AM

But somehow, some people seem to think it will all be well with Herman Cain if he violates an NDA and fesses up to the truth of essentially unsourced allegations. Gimme a freakin break!

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:10 AM

It’s a reasonable assumption – and even Ed has made it in his writing above. I’m not the only one thinking this is a real possiblity.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:04 AM

It’s a reasonable possibility to present as an argument. I think making that assumption requires a little long of a leap.

This is presidential politics. Everyone has an ax to grind, and everyone sees the next big payday. That some junior partner at a law firm might back Barack Obama and thinks to eliminate a competitor, or some staffer at the NRA might have felt slighted by a sometimes imperious Herman Cain at some point, is certainly well within the range of likelihood.

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Like I saw JohnGalt just beat me to it…I would say come out early and tell the whole story is the best way to “put this to bed” ;o)

It may hurt him initially in the polls and violate some agreement he may have signed but otherwise this will stew for weeks and months with voters always wondering if the women will come forward say in February with proof!

g2825m on October 31, 2011 at 10:51 AM

What is good for Herman Cain and what is good for the Republican party are at odds. I don’t want a week candidate so for that reason I want full disclosure. However, then we set a precedent that all of our candidates have to live up to an almost impossible standard. This is why I am of two minds on this.

This is my dilemma:

He cannot sweep this under the rug. This is something that needs a complete vetting now. If we don’t get it – you can damn well bet these women will surface, in person – during the general if Cain’s the nominee.

It’s too great of a risk to take. And you know Obama will exploit this for all it’s worth.

It needs to be put to bed NOW. Everything out in the open.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 10:55 AM

No one wants this dribbling out over the course of a presidential campaign. I see a Breitbart strategy being played by Politico. Release a little info, get a denial, release more proving the denial was false, rinse, repeat. I do not envy Cain’s political team because responding to this is a very tricky business.

Bill C on October 31, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Yes I do because the Republican voters have a right to know about it before they choose a nominee.

You cannot escape this – you cannot. If the Cainiacs are successful in sweeping this under the rug for the primaries – bet your ass that Obama will drag it out in living color during the general.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Fair enough. And I agree 100% btw.

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 11:12 AM

No one wants this dribbling out over the course of a presidential campaign. I see a Breitbart strategy being played by Politico. Release a little info, get a denial, release more proving the denial was false, rinse, repeat. I do not envy Cain’s political team because responding to this is a very tricky business.

Bill C on October 31, 2011 at 11:11 AM

But it’s not “tricky” at all. Any response by Cain will invite reprisal in the form of a lawsuit for violating a non-disclosure agreement. There’s nothing “tricky” about it. It’s the worst possible kind of skeezy politics — on the part of whoever leaked this to Politico, of course. Cain can’t say sh!t without violating his contractual obligation to remain utterly and totally silent on the matter.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:13 AM

What is good for Herman Cain and what is good for the Republican party are at odds.

Bill C on October 31, 2011 at 11:11 AM

He is running to be the de facto head of this party.

He doesn’t get to use that excuse.

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Okay – and when those two women do exactly that – during the general, and this turns out to be something really bad – and we’re stuck with Herman Cain as the nominee?

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:02 AM

How about taking it an hour at a time.

And look at how we’re all dancing to the MSM tune. Look at how they’ve got us all “Pavloved.” They’ve nearly won already.

Why do we always give the benefit of the doubt to the media? What’s their batting average for truth and fairness? Yet every time we all wring our hands and fret about hypotheticals and worst cases. And they flaunt their felons and adulterers and liars in our faces.

rrpjr on October 31, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Why do we always give the benefit of the doubt to the media? What’s their batting average for truth and fairness? Yet every time we all wring our hands and fret about hypotheticals and worst cases. And they flaunt their felons and adulterers and liars in our faces.

rrpjr on October 31, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Near as I can tell, it’s reflexive.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:16 AM

And they flaunt their felons and adulterers and liars in our faces.

rrpjr on October 31, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Don’t forget about the credibly accused rapists and money launderers.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Cain says he will address accusations on air.

andy85719 on October 31, 2011 at 10:38 AM

“America, these women, and alleged victims of sexual harrassment all just need to get a sense of humor. After all, it has to be the employers decision as to whterh to sexually harrass a woman.

End of story…”

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 10:46 AM

You were making perfectly decent and valid arguments before this poor attempt of a joke, and have therefore diminished what little credibility you might have possessed. You are now free to apply for a position at Politico.

Rovin on October 31, 2011 at 11:18 AM

If someone wants to ‘get you’ a sexual harassment suit is a great way to do it.

My uncle is a truck driver. A new driver (male) came on board and decided he wanted my uncle’s job.

Within 2 months of this guy being hired, my uncle had a sexual harassment complaint against him for inappropriate humor. He’d been with the company for 30+ years with no issues and suddenly he’s sexually harassing his male co-workers?

His boss explained that he couldn’t risk not following up on the complaint because they would be extremely liable as a company if they ignored it. So, my uncle gets an official reprimand.

A few weeks later, he’s back in the office for another reprimand for the way he said good morning to this guy.

A month after that, he’s back in the office getting reprimanded for refusing to speak to the guy (mind you, he had been told to stop speaking to the guy after the complaint about how he said hello to the guy). Apparently not speaking to someone made it a hostile work environment because he said hello to everyone else but the guy that complained about my uncle saying hello to him in the first place.

The company had to downsize due the economy and, since they had a last in, first out policy, this guy was one of the people that got cut.

Had he stayed, it’s entirely likely that my uncle would have lost his job due to sexual harassment.

If someone wants to get you, the sexual harassment laws make it easy as it’s nearly impossible to prove a negative. It’s further complicated by the fact that it’s harassment if it makes someone feel harrassed, not just if the intention was to harass, so, even if you honestly meant no harm, their feelings alone could get you in trouble.

JadeNYU on October 31, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Why do we always give the benefit of the doubt to the media? What’s their batting average for truth and fairness? Yet every time we all wring our hands and fret about hypotheticals and worst cases. And they flaunt their felons and adulterers and liars in our faces.

rrpjr on October 31, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Because most of the people here doing that are Mitt Romney supporters.

I don’t support Herman Cain… but I am willing to give him a fair shot.

I don’t advocate throwing him overboard just because some unsourced Policito report came out.

tetriskid on October 31, 2011 at 11:19 AM

As someone that is married to a man in a managerial position, who was at one time falsely accused of sexual harassment by a very unstable secretary, I am not hesitant at all to say that these charges may have been trumped up at the get go. There are many dishonest people out there just waiting for someone to say or do something that can be misconstrued, and then taking advantage of the situation, regardless of how trivial or even true the comment or gesture was. This was probably the case in Mr. Cain’s situation.

That being said, I hope the other Republican candidates handle these accusations towards Mr. Cain better than he handled the accusations of false racism leveled at Governor Perry.

Susanboo on October 31, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Yes I do because the Republican voters have a right to know about it before they choose a nominee.

You cannot escape this – you cannot. If the Cainiacs are successful in sweeping this under the rug for the primaries – bet your ass that Obama will drag it out in living color during the general.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Hold the phone there, sure we have the right to know. We need to know. I don’t see anyone trying to sweep this under the rug though. If anyone is, with almost no information, they are a nutball. Now that the news is out there, all confidentiality agreements are moot (except for the leaker, there could be something there). The whole thing ought to be out soon. The longer it takes to get the whole thing out, the worse it looks for Cain. No matter how low we regard the press.

cozmo on October 31, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Cain can and will get through this.

Watch out for the Ron Paul trolls.
Cain’s news is exciting news for them!!!

balkanmom on October 31, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Snort. They’ve been drooling all over the place since this came up.

katy the mean old lady on October 31, 2011 at 11:21 AM

This is Palinization, staight up. I just wonder whether or not Palin will come out and rake the MSM over the coals over this.

I suspect she will.

WisRich on October 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM

No, this goes beyond “Palinization”. Herman is in a league of his own with his unforced errors, shoddy explanations, and the now infamous walk-back joke/non-joke/joke again defense. Then you have the Cain faithful who will cook up fanciful explanations for either Cain’s obvious ignorance, misstatements, or his inability to be forthright (as is the case now with these accusations.)The mental gymnastics goes beyond “cult-like” and is now in the realm of the Orwellian 2+2=5.

Cain’s candidacy will make the history books. Cain’s whole election strategy is one of those truly breathtaking moments in American politics.

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Now that the news is out there, all confidentiality agreements are moot (except for the leaker, there could be something there).

cozmo on October 31, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Not true. Unless there is something in the NDA that specifically addresses leaks, it is still in full force as far as Herman Cain is concerned. Cain’s silence may in fact by due to his legal team trying to assess whether the NDA was violated in the first place; if it wasn’t leaked by a party to the agreement (but rather some other party), Cain could be in muy much trouble for commenting.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:24 AM

He’s doing an interview on Fox right now.

Knucklehead on October 31, 2011 at 11:24 AM

So let’s say this is true, are they just arguing then that he’s only qualified to be a senator?

IMHO… it’s a Rorschach test until more facts are known.

krl on October 31, 2011 at 11:25 AM

He’s doing an interview on Fox right now.

Knucklehead on October 31, 2011 at 11:24 AM

And he’s calling out the allegations as absolutely false. What say you, Cain detractors?

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:25 AM

He says, YES, he was accused, and falsely.
Says he wasn’t even aware that they’d paid anyone, and he hopes it wasn’t for MUCH $$. Made me giggle, that.

pambi on October 31, 2011 at 11:27 AM

He also denies any settlement or payment by himself or knowledge of one by the Restaurant Assoc.

BierManVA on October 31, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Snort. They’ve been drooling all over the place since this came up.

katy the mean old lady on October 31, 2011 at 11:21 AM

I needed a bib when I heard this story break! I was a real mess. :-)

Luckily for us, Cain is now denying the whole thing on Fox News after not denying it for the last ten days, last night, and when confronted about it by Jonathan Martin.

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 11:27 AM

My niece was sexually harassed at work and her case was eventually settled through EEOC. A monetary settlement would not have appeased her, she wanted justice. The fact that these women caved for 5 figures tells a lot. They would have held out for more $$ if they had a valid case that the NRA didn’t want to go to court.

GrannySunni on October 31, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Just now on Fox

Cain: “I was aware of the false accusations, but they were false and I have never sexually harassed anyone.”

Cain also said if the restaurant association produced a settlement, he was not aware of it.

Rovin on October 31, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Cain says accused falsely
Says he doesn’t know about the settlement because it may have been done without his knowledge.

Knucklehead on October 31, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Luckily for us, Cain is now denying the whole thing on Fox News after not denying it for the last ten days, last night, and when confronted about it by Jonathan Martin.

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 11:27 AM

It figures. Now that he’s addressed the accusations like his detractors said they wanted him to, Cain’s not doing it in the right manner or according to the right timeline. “Welcome to the big leagues, Herb.”

/eyeroll

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Just now on Fox

Cain: “I was aware of the false accusations, but they were false and I have never sexually harassed anyone.”

Cain also said if the restaurant association produced a settlement, he was not aware of it.

Rovin on October 31, 2011 at 11:29 AM

I think he handled it really well, what say you?

Knucklehead on October 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Indeed. The goalposts were ready to be moved even before the guy was on the air.

JohnTant on October 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM

after not denying it for the last ten days, last night, and when confronted about it by Jonathan Martin.

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Funny, people here call you an idiot all the time (much longer than 10 days) but I have never seen you actually deny it!

BierManVA on October 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Okay, I watched him on FNC. Now I’m going to his web site to make another modest contribution.

I haven’t decided on my favorite candidate yet, but I have decided I don’t want Politico et al. get away with lynching Herman Cain.

Get ‘em, Herman!

petefrt on October 31, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Has the trash that is today’s journalism profession even brought forth specific charges yet?

You know, like, “Hi, I’m Juanita Broaddrick, and I accuse Bill Clinton of raping me, in 1978.”

That’s generally how it works.

MNHawk on October 31, 2011 at 11:33 AM

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Got that right.. sheesh.
Strong statement, today; well done.

pambi on October 31, 2011 at 11:34 AM

The goalposts were ready to be moved even before the guy was on the air.

JohnTant on October 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM

In the next couple of weeks, if this doesn’t cause Cain’s numbers to dip, I think Mitt Romney might actually have some credible competition this cycle.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Has the trash that is today’s journalism profession even brought forth specific charges yet?

You know, like, “Hi, I’m Juanita Broaddrick, and I accuse Bill Clinton of raping me, in 1978.”

That’s generally how it works.

MNHawk on October 31, 2011 at 11:33 AM

No.

Because people are too effing stupid

tetriskid on October 31, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Cain is going to ride this out.
Just watched the Fox interview.

Herman Cain…Herman Cain…Herman Cain!!!!

balkanmom on October 31, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Funny, people here call you an idiot all the time (much longer than 10 days) but I have never seen you actually deny it!

BierManVA on October 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Ohgoddamm! I just fell off the chair laughing.

Can I sue?

No injury, just a severe loss of dignity.

katy the mean old lady on October 31, 2011 at 11:35 AM

It figures. Now that he’s addressed the accusations like his detractors said they wanted him to, Cain’s not doing it in the right manner or according to the right timeline. “Welcome to the big leagues, Herb.”

/eyeroll

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Heh.

DaydreamBeliever on October 31, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Funny, people here call you an idiot all the time (much longer than 10 days) but I have never seen you actually deny it!

BierManVA on October 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM

/up twinkles

MNHawk on October 31, 2011 at 11:36 AM

I think he handled it really well, what say you?

Knucklehead on October 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Very well indeed.

katy the mean old lady on October 31, 2011 at 11:36 AM

This election should be about the media. We should make it about them. They are the most serious and destructive force in American politics and life today. From a vital social antibody they have mutagenically transformed into an anti-social and anti-American virus. They must be stopped or at least confronted. The candidate who proves he can do this will win my support.

rrpjr on October 31, 2011 at 11:37 AM

No, this goes beyond “Palinization”. Herman is in a league of his own with his unforced errors, shoddy explanations, and the now infamous walk-back joke/non-joke/joke again defense. Then you have the Cain faithful who will cook up fanciful explanations for either Cain’s obvious ignorance, misstatements, or his inability to be forthright (as is the case now with these accusations.)The mental gymnastics goes beyond “cult-like” and is now in the realm of the Orwellian 2+2=5.

Cain’s candidacy will make the history books. Cain’s whole election strategy is one of those truly breathtaking moments in American politics.

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 11:23 AM

I don’t disagree with anything you said regarding Cain’s campaign. But there is a bigger picture at stake. These kind of tactics by the MSM, where the “seriouness of the charge” is more important than the substance of the charge along with blatant double standard by the MSM regarding coverage of Democrats vs Republians is where she should speek out. Let’s get some further details from the Cain campaign.

WisRich on October 31, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Can I sue?

No injury, just a severe loss of dignity.

katy the mean old lady on October 31, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Sue away. It works for “harassment” victims.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Let’s get some further details from the Cain campaign.

WisRich on October 31, 2011 at 11:38 AM

After “these allegations are false,” what sort of further details would sate you? Either you believe Herman Cain is trustworthy enough to get your vote, or you don’t. Or maybe you’re not the kind of person that votes in primaries. But Cain didn’t leave himself any wiggle room here.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:39 AM

His guilt or innocence is irrelevant. The press will shine a spotlight on this for months because it sustains negative headlines about a Republican.

Clinton was proven guilty as hell. But the press managed to spin him as the true victim and Kenneth Starr as the real villain so successfully that Clinton’s approval ratings actually went up.

Cain and his supporters are about to get slammed with a year’s worth of what Palin and her folks were subjected to for three years. Obama’s re-election is already assured. The press is too corrupt and the American voters are too stupid.

Crusty on October 31, 2011 at 11:39 AM

I just sorta wished he’d tossed in:
“Just like millions of other men, I was falsely accused”
LOL

pambi on October 31, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Obama’s re-election is already assured. The press is too corrupt and the American voters are too stupid.

Crusty on October 31, 2011 at 11:39 AM

If you’re so sure of that, go find a bomb shelter to hole up in while we adults do the heavy lifting of trying to save what’s left of America. We don’t need any eeyores here before the primaries have even started.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:41 AM

If the settlements exist, and if they pertain to sexual harassment, then it’s certainly fair game for the media.

No, not really. Wasn’t it just about 13 years ago that the media told us it was OK for a sitting President (or standing?) to have a Staff (sorry) Intern perform an IS on his IS? And I think we all know what the meaning of IS is.

TugboatPhil on October 31, 2011 at 11:41 AM

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