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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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?”

What a terrible terrible reaction. What is wrong with this guy? Are we gonna blame lack of sleep on that response too?

Sorry, but judging by his responses, he either has a terrible campaign team or isn’t ready to be Commander in Chief.

NoStoppingUs on October 31, 2011 at 11:41 AM

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

Knucklehead on October 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Pretty cut and dry….now we’ll wait for Politico and “the other pundits” on how they will proceed. Some one said earlier in this thread that if Politico was “stretching the context” they should be history. Stand by for some more spin.

Rovin on October 31, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Sue away. It works for “harassment” victims.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:38 AM

The dog would be a terrible witness. The cat might turn it against me.

katy the mean old lady on October 31, 2011 at 11:43 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

I’ve been falsely accused and did not know the association that I was president of paid off the accusers that falsely accused me of idiocy. If anything I am the victim here and I need your donation, BierMan.

I’ll take your donation in the form of you paying both my and your state and federal sales taxes. Oh wait, Herb said we wouldn’t have to pay both taxes since they’re apples and oranges, right? No one can tell me Herb Cain isn’t an honest man!

:-)

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 11:43 AM

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

Learn or die. This is the world we’re in. But Cain needs to learn that this can be flipped back on the media. The media must be made the issue. Once these people realize that the cudgel of objectivity they’ve been using to destroy lives, careers and characters can be turned against them, the world changes. Until then, nothing changes. Figure it out, Cain.

rrpjr on October 31, 2011 at 11:44 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

Did you wet your pants laughing?

Naturally Curly on October 31, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Pretty cut and dry….now we’ll wait for Politico and “the other pundits” on how they will proceed. Some one said earlier in this thread that if Politico was “stretching the context” they should be history. Stand by for some more spin.

Rovin on October 31, 2011 at 11:42 AM

I also said that Politico never will take a dive for its crappy reporting on this. It’s SOP for reporting against a conservative black man.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:44 AM

The dog would be a terrible witness. The cat might turn it against me.

katy the mean old lady on October 31, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Then it’s a good thing you don’t need credible witnesses if you’re willing to settle for five figures.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:45 AM

The media must be made the issue.

rrpjr on October 31, 2011 at 11:44 AM

THIS +1000

cmsinaz on October 31, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Has his web site been hacked? I tried to make a contribution and the dern thing won’t work.

petefrt on October 31, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Well, I’m sure that put this story to bed…

///

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Just watched CNN….

They played the tape of the FOX interview with Cain, but only the part of him talking about his family. They did not play the part of Cain denying the claims made against him. Then they had the gall to say Cain has not denied the allegations. I wish I could destroy CNN.

idesign on October 31, 2011 at 11:45 AM

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

Anyone who reads politico and takes them seriously has already made up their mind. This story was put out so everyone else would hear the accusations, nothing more.

Accusations of sexual harrassment have been so abused over the last couple decades that it now gets taken about as seriously as accusations of racism, to thinking people at least. The problem is that most people who vote aren’t necessarily thinking about it all that hard.

Also, since Cain is black, the race card is tough to play (not that politico won’t try it if he’s the eventual nominee). That’s why the sexual harrassment card gets played so often against black conservatives.

runawayyyy on October 31, 2011 at 11:45 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

Gryph,

Oh, I believe him and his “trustworhyness” would not be a consideration in the primaries (yes, I vote in the primaries). All I was trying to say was that he didn’t handle the initial blindside well and just wanted to see how he and the campaign regrouped and fired back.

WisRich on October 31, 2011 at 11:48 AM

LOL. Show me evidence that Herman Cain had or tried to have sex with a female staffer and I’ll shut up.

This is thin gruel and you know it is. I’m not a Cain supporter right now but I think this stinks.

rockmom on October 31, 2011 at 9:46 AM

They paid the accusers off. What more do you need to know? Innocent people aren’t afraid to testify, and innocent people don’t pay off “victims” to hush up.

NoStoppingUs on October 31, 2011 at 11:48 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

Obama’s election is reassurred? Is that how 2010 went?

People aren’t going to f***-up their lives with Obama again just because the press is for him.

You WAY underestimate people’s self-interest I think.

Conan on October 31, 2011 at 11:49 AM

I’ll just note that this “sexual harassment” thing was supposed to be one of the biggest reasons that America supposedly found that wily wascally Bill Clinton so gosh-darned lovable.

Heh.

Aitch748 on October 31, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Gryph,

Oh, I believe him and his “trustworhyness” would not be a consideration in the primaries (yes, I vote in the primaries). All I was trying to say was that he didn’t handle the initial blindside well and just wanted to see how he and the campaign regrouped and fired back.

WisRich on October 31, 2011 at 11:48 AM

That’s a done deal. But don’t believe for a second that it’s a done deal in the eyes of the LSM. When they run out of stuff to say about Herman Cain, they’ll make sh!t up out of whole cloth. Cause that’s what they do. And that’s why I consider my concern about Cain’s piss-poor campaigning skills to be legitimate. He hasn’t come this far because he’s a skilled campaigner. He’s come this far in spite of the fact that he’s not.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:50 AM

They paid the accusers off. What more do you need to know? Innocent people aren’t afraid to testify, and innocent people don’t pay off “victims” to hush up.

NoStoppingUs on October 31, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Exactly.

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Then they had the gall to say Cain has not denied the allegations. I wish I could destroy CNN.

idesign on October 31, 2011 at 11:45 AM

The only allegation anyone’s made is that two women filed complaints of sexual harassment.

Cain has admitted that this is true.

He now says the allegations are “baseless”. We’ll see. I think Politico may be playing Mr. Cain in the same way that Brietbart plays his targets – in other words, release a little info, make them think that’s all you’ve got so they go on record lying about it – and then hit them with the full shot after they’ve sealed their fate.

So Politico may come out soon with more to the story. Or maybe they’ll sit on it until the general, if Cain is the nominee – then use it against him then. Or maybe there is nothing to the story and nothing else will come out.

Whatever … Cain has now called the charges “completely baseless” – so he’s just opened the door on the court settlement “gag order”. Which means the women may now be free to talk about the charges. Maybe they talk now – or wait until the general – or don’t come out at all.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Pretty cut and dry….now we’ll wait for Politico and “the other pundits” on how they will proceed. Some one said earlier in this thread that if Politico was “stretching the context” they should be history. Stand by for some more spin.

Rovin on October 31, 2011 at 11:42 AM

I think I heard last Friday that Cain will be on BOR Tuesday night and he’s been brutal with his mocking of Cain and shilling for Romney.

But since we all know that BOR settled up for a harassment suit, I wonder if this changes anything?

BTW, Tony LaRussa is retiring. :(

Knucklehead on October 31, 2011 at 11:53 AM

They paid the accusers off. What more do you need to know? Innocent people aren’t afraid to testify, and innocent people don’t pay off “victims” to hush up.

NoStoppingUs on October 31, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Assuming that what Cain said on FNC was true, he didn’t pay off the “victims” in question. The NRA’s board did. That is a salient distinction.

And innocent people don’t settle because they’re “afraid” to testify. Their employers often settle because it’s considered more cost effective. Sounds cold? Welcome to corporate America.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:54 AM

They paid the accusers off. What more do you need to know? Innocent people aren’t afraid to testify, and innocent people don’t pay off “victims” to hush up.
NoStoppingUs on October 31, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Yes innocent people DO pay off in sexual harassment suits!!! You ever heard of “branding” or “advertising” It is this done in business for BILLIONS OF DOLLARS every year and you CAN’T reverse the damage to your reputation with”5-figures” from a high profile public sexual harassment lawsuit with some PR buys. SO YEA BUSINESSES OR INDIVIDUALS SETTLE EVEN IF THEY ARE INNOCENT all the time! Which is the most likely explanation in Cain’s situation BTW

Conan on October 31, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Did you wet your pants laughing?

Naturally Curly on October 31, 2011 at 11:44 AM

How did you know?

katy the mean old lady on October 31, 2011 at 11:55 AM

They paid the accusers off. What more do you need to know? Innocent people aren’t afraid to testify, and innocent people don’t pay off “victims” to hush up.

NoStoppingUs on October 31, 2011 at 11:48 AM

I would disagree with that since corporate America does this all the time, unfortunately. Someone files a complaint – and they just “settle” the issue because they consider it too much worry to deal with in court.

So Cain ** COULD BE ** totally innocent of this. He probably is.

However, having said that – do we want to take the chance that more of this story is going to come out in the general election AFTER Mr. Cain is our nominee? I would think not.

This needs to be completely vetted now. Republican voters have a right to know the specifics on this before selecting Mr. Cain as their nominee.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:56 AM

And innocent people don’t settle because they’re “afraid” to testify. Their employers often settle because it’s considered more cost effective. Sounds cold? Welcome to corporate America.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Yep. $10,000 to “settle” or $50,000 on up on lawyer fees. I have been there as accused of age discrimination.

VegasRick on October 31, 2011 at 11:57 AM

This needs to be completely vetted now. Republican voters have a right to know the specifics on this before selecting Mr. Cain as their nominee.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:56 AM

I’d say that burden is on Politico since they aired the dirty laundry in the first place. And I’m not holding my breath.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:57 AM

If these women had nothing to do with leaking this story to the media and all these facts were taken from the paperwork Politico received from someone else..

Would it change your opinions at all?

EricPWJohnson on October 31, 2011 at 10:19 AM

The opinion of what? What is he accused of? Since there are no facts, no names, you tell me, what did he do wrong?
If you say, like johngalt guy, I don’t know…then there is your answer, you don’t know.
It’s not a story until their are facts, now it’s just gossip and rumor…I guess good enough for you.

right2bright on October 31, 2011 at 11:58 AM

SO YEA BUSINESSES OR INDIVIDUALS SETTLE EVEN IF THEY ARE INNOCENT all the time! Which is the most likely explanation in Cain’s situation BTW

Conan on October 31, 2011 at 11:54 AM

You are right but what are the chances that there’s more to this story and the women have a valid complaint?

It’s too big a risk to take. This needs to be vetted now. If there’s nothing there – we need to know that now. If there’s something there – we certainly need to know that now.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Cain explained it perfectly. Calmly and assuredly giving facts. No fear, no franticness, still with appropriate good humor.

Key things Cain said. Totally denial of ANY sexual harassment EVER.

Said he was aware of false allegations only at the Restaurant Association. He has no idea if there ever was a settlement; he is not aware of any. Which would be why he and his campaign cannot deny if there ever was one and is directing people to the Association. Others at the highest levels of the Association at the time are not aware of any settlements and have gone on the record attesting to Cain’s integrity.

Cain said that apart from these false allegations at that time, he was never accused, even falsely, by anyone else EVER. So there will be no other stories that supporters need to worry about. He flatly said that anything else would be a total fabrication.

Finally, when his campaign was asked by the Politico reporter about anonymous allegations, Cain’s team wanted to know names to be able to address the issue. You can’t talk about a situation where there are NO FACTS. What if Politico’s anonymous source was making up an entirely different case. Should Cain have been forthcoming with the only false allegations he was aware of, thereby feeding Politico a story? No. Cain’s team did the right thing.

I like this man more and more. He is in for more attacks of every kind. But he has shown the strength to withstand it and not let anything distract him or fluster him or intimidate him or shut him up.

Elisa on October 31, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Yes innocent people DO pay off in sexual harassment suits!!! You ever heard of “branding” or “advertising”

Conan on October 31, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Some campanies and organizations will pay off the nuisance suits, I’ll grant you.

Many however, will not. They will fight every claim, because they don’t like setting themselves up for a protection racket by every con artist from here to Istanbul.

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 12:00 PM

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Cain should have laid it all out on the table and rip the band-aid off. Now there will be a slow bleed of new information and new questions to be answered. I’m sure we will be hearing from these women on ABC, CBS, and NBC in the not too distant future.

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 12:00 PM

I’d say that burden is on Politico since they aired the dirty laundry in the first place. And I’m not holding my breath.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:57 AM

with ya there, especially with the rest of the lsm protecting one of their own…

cmsinaz on October 31, 2011 at 12:01 PM

I’d say that burden is on Politico since they aired the dirty laundry in the first place. And I’m not holding my breath.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:57 AM

No – the burden really isn’t on Politico. And – even it was – they could simply “wait” to prove their burden until Mr. Cain is the nominee and use the information against him in the general.

I don’t know why people are attempting to “game” this thing and blow it off as nothing serious. This is very serious. Cain needs to come out and totally explain these charges – what they involved, the circumstances under which they took place – if they took place.

Or we can wait for Politico to release the other half of this story the day before Cain’s first debate with Obama in the general.

We cannot take this chance.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Not true. Unless there is something in the NDA that specifically addresses leaks,

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Any lawyer worth his license would have addressed this.

The downside I see for Cain is if he knew about the agreement. His latest statement inferred that he didn’t. If he was not a party to the agreement, he is not bound to it.

cozmo on October 31, 2011 at 12:02 PM

This needs to be completely vetted now. Republican voters have a right to know the specifics on this before selecting Mr. Cain as their nominee.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:56 AM

If the “settlement” had a non-disclosure, an a clause stating no culpability, than that is all you are going to get…it’s a non-issue.
How do you “vette” something that doesn’t legally exist?
You say you never molested a child…so prove it…you can’t prove you never did something.
So far, and I will ask you, what is he accused of? Give us the facts, and that is what he will respond to. Which he has.

right2bright on October 31, 2011 at 12:02 PM

If there’s nothing there – we need to know that now. If there’s something there – we certainly need to know that now.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Yep. But how do we know when we know everything about it worth knowing?

petefrt on October 31, 2011 at 12:02 PM

The downside I see for Cain is if he knew about the agreement. His latest statement inferred that he didn’t. If he was not a party to the agreement, he is not bound to it.

cozmo on October 31, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Bingo. If he was not a party to the agreement, he is not bound to it.

petefrt on October 31, 2011 at 12:04 PM

You are right but what are the chances that there’s more to this story and the women have a valid complaint?

It’s too big a risk to take. This needs to be vetted now. If there’s nothing there – we need to know that now. If there’s something there – we certainly need to know that now.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Oh it will be vetted. It will be vetted by a hostile media, and Cain’s supporters will take that into account in deciding whether to continue supporting him. After “these allegations are false,” there aren’t many details that will make the true believers change their minds.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:05 PM

If the “settlement” had a non-disclosure, an a clause stating no culpability, than that is all you are going to get…it’s a non-issue.

right2bright on October 31, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Well, there’s a plan to go forward with.

And if the Obama campaign trots these women out on Tuesday night of the Republican Convention poised to nominate Herman Cain, to call him a pervert and liar? Something, true or not, you and I both know is at least possible. What then?

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Elisa on October 31, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Good recap, thanks.

rrpjr on October 31, 2011 at 12:05 PM

If Cain is telling the truth, then he should use this opportunity to hit the media. He should point out the media’s hypocrisy over unproven allegations against him verses their almost total disregard for Obama’s relationship with Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers as well as the Solyndra and Fast and Furious scandals.

ReaganWasRight on October 31, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Elisa on October 31, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Sorry man – I know you want Herman Cain off the hook here – but his story alone isn’t going to stop the bleeding.

He may have sealed his fate by claiming he knew about the complaints but not about the settlements. Really? Someone told you about the complaints – and then those women were paid 5 figures to “walk away” – and you never asked how the situation was resolved?

We’ll see.

However – this isn’t one that Herman Cain can just make a statement on and then it goes away.

More is sure to follow on this.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Elisa on October 31, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Excellent report Elisa.

Rovin on October 31, 2011 at 12:06 PM

If these allegations did in fact happen, true or not, he should have assumed they would come out and already thought deeply about his response to them. The response he gave was not well thought out, unless it was purposefully done to setup the press for a future fall. If his plan is to let the partisan press string out some rope before he jerks it hard, coming back with something that shows how frivolous the suits were, how poor the character is of the accusers is, and how much the press is out to get conservatives, then perhaps he has a chance. Otherwise, he is politically dead as of this moment and will not be the nominee.

On a side note, I’d love to hear the story of how politico found out about this. I’m sure it is a very sorted tale.

ClanDerson on October 31, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Assuming that what Cain said on FNC was true, he didn’t pay off the “victims” in question. The NRA’s board did. That is a salient distinction.

And innocent people don’t settle because they’re “afraid” to testify. Their employers often settle because it’s considered more cost effective. Sounds cold? Welcome to corporate America.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Exactly. And he was not aware of any settlement and he signed no gag order or any agreement at all.

Elisa on October 31, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Said he was aware of false allegations only at the Restaurant Association. He has no idea if there ever was a settlement; he is not aware of any.

Elisa on October 31, 2011 at 11:59 AM

So the president of the National Restaurant Association was unaware that the association he is running made a payment to his accusers to get them to shut up and go away?

Oh my goodness.

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Elisa

Cain said it wasnt sexual harassment and was cleared – people are not cleared when monies are paid out.

We will find out in the next few days

EricPWJohnson on October 31, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Clarence Thomas vs. Anita Hill…
De’ja Moo (We’ve heard this bull before!).

Jonas Parker on October 31, 2011 at 12:08 PM

If the “settlement” had a non-disclosure, an a clause stating no culpability, than that is all you are going to get…it’s a non-issue.

right2bright on October 31, 2011 at 12:02 PM

No it’s not. These issues get opened all the time. Michael Jackson’s “gag orders” were certainly violated.

Cain may have opened the door to this himself because – HE JUST TALKED ABOUT IT when he said the allegations were “baseless”. Read that as – “Those women were lying”.

Well, those women may now have more to say and, if the court thinks Cain violated the gag order first – may allow them to get away with telling their side of the story.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Elisa on October 31, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Thank you…johngalt, erikjohnson (and others) should read your post, but they either won’t or they will ignore it.
It has been answered, they can ask all the questions they want, but if the allegations (whatever they are) do not exist, what is the purpose.
Until actual facts come out (and none have), they are buying into the MSM story, and they are so eager that they buy into the oldest trick.
For months I have been saying, it is so easy to dupe these guys, so easy to manipulate them…as shown by this one non-story.

right2bright on October 31, 2011 at 12:09 PM

People aren’t going to f***-up their lives with Obama again just because the press is for him.

You WAY underestimate people’s self-interest I think.

Conan on October 31, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Dude, they did that very thing the last time they were asked. The very last time. The most recent time.

You WAY overestimate people’s intelligence I think. I wish it weren’t so, but it is.

runawayyyy on October 31, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Cain might just be prez after all.

Look how Bill Clinton did it.

shades_of_gasden on October 31, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Any lawyer worth his license would have addressed this.

The downside I see for Cain is if he knew about the agreement. His latest statement inferred that he didn’t. If he was not a party to the agreement, he is not bound to it.

cozmo on October 31, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Conversely, if he was not a party to the agreement, he probably didn’t know about it. He said he didn’t, and I for one believe him. YMMV.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Still nothing about his explanation on Drudge.

pambi on October 31, 2011 at 12:10 PM

don’t know why people are attempting to “game” this thing and blow it off as nothing serious. This is very serious.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 12:01 PM

I think I know why they are doing it. They’re likely doing it because they know this candidate doesn’t have the necessary poise to spin this issue away from him, because he doesn’t have the chops that come with practice.

You want a rookie as your QB, because he isn’t poisoned by the steroid culture pervasive in the league? Fine. But be prepared for rookie mistakes.

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Did you wet your pants laughing?

Naturally Curly on October 31, 2011 at 11:44 AM

How did you know?

katy the mean old lady on October 31, 2011 at 11:55 AM

The claims that I made Katy wet her pants is completely baseless. If there was any harassment by me it was completely unintentional and I apologize if anyone felt offended.

BierManVA on October 31, 2011 at 12:10 PM

If Cain is telling the truth, then he should use this opportunity to hit the media. He should point out the media’s hypocrisy over unproven allegations against him verses their almost total disregard for Obama’s relationship with Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers as well as the Solyndra and Fast and Furious scandals.

ReaganWasRight on October 31, 2011 at 12:05 PM

I think we will see Cain loading a good sized cannon pointed directly at Politico (and every media outlet that linked and repeated this story). And I would suggest Mr. Martin hire a good attorney.

Rovin on October 31, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Cain said it wasnt sexual harassment and was cleared – people are not cleared when monies are paid out.

EricPWJohnson on October 31, 2011 at 12:07 PM

But Cain didn’t know that the association he was president of was paying out said monies to his accusers.

This guy is totally ready to be POTUS. :-)

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Well, those women may now have more to say and, if the court thinks Cain violated the gag order first – may allow them to get away with telling their side of the story.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Like I stated you guys are so easy for the MSM to manipulate, like little puppets, pull a string and you dance…read Elisa’s at 11:59, and you have the explanation most any conservative would need.
So now you tell us, with all of your faux wisdom, what is he accused of and by whom?
Until you have those answers, you are just repeating what others want you to say…it’s so easy for them, and you are so predictable.

right2bright on October 31, 2011 at 12:12 PM

So the president of the National Restaurant Association was unaware that the association he is running made a payment to his accusers to get them to shut up and go away?

Oh my goodness.

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 12:06 PM

That’s why I’m saying that Cain may have sealed his fate by claiming that he knew about the charges – but not about the settlement.

That’s really an impossible story to believe. The organization he runs informs him that he’s got two SH complaints on him – then they pay these women off to the tune of 5 figures – and Herman Cain doesn’t ask … “What was done about the complaints?”

What kind of a manager was he – if that was true?

One that didn’t take complaints of sexual harassment very seriously – that’s for sure – seeing as how he claims he never asked how this situation was disposed of.

I mean really – WTF?

Politico is pulling a Brietbart on him. The coverup is always worse than the crime.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 12:12 PM

You want a rookie as your QB, because he isn’t poisoned by the steroid culture pervasive in the league? Fine. But be prepared for rookie mistakes.

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 12:10 PM

They haven’t hurt Cain that badly so far. But I’m weary and wary. There’s still time for Cain to sink himself.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Elisa on October 31, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Up twinkles !
(couldn’t help it .. agree, totally)

pambi on October 31, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Like I stated you guys are so easy for the MSM to manipulate, like little puppets, pull a string and you dance…read Elisa’s at 11:59, and you have the explanation most any conservative would need.
So now you tell us, with all of your faux wisdom, what is he accused of and by whom?
Until you have those answers, you are just repeating what others want you to say…it’s so easy for them, and you are so predictable.

right2bright on October 31, 2011 at 12:12 PM

What do you want us to do? Pronounce the complaints invalid and then nominate Mr. Cain – with no further vetting on this issue – and then allow Politico to possibly come out with MORE damning information on this story in the general?

You take that risk with your vote – the rest of us … no.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Cain is an overcomer. Just look at his life. From the back of the bus…to owning the bus…with his face on the bus.

CAIN IS GOING TO WIN!!! They want to bring him down so bad. He is a major threat.

balkanmom on October 31, 2011 at 12:16 PM

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Fear not, plenty of time for this to be completely vetted.
Heading for Rush, now.

pambi on October 31, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Politico just changed their headline from Exclusive: 2 Women accused Cain of Sexual Harrassment” to “Exclusive: 2 Women accused Cain of Inappropriate Behavior” No explanation given for the change, of course.

How did you know?

katy the mean old lady on October 31, 2011 at 11:55 AM

I’m no Spring Chicken myself.

Naturally Curly on October 31, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Elisa

Cain said it wasnt sexual harassment and was cleared – people are not cleared when monies are paid out.

We will find out in the next few days

EricPWJohnson on October 31, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Probably one of the most naive statements ever made on HA…”monies” paid out has nothing to do with who is “cleared” and who is not.
It can be to pay off, or to tell them to shove off…or that it isn’t worth the effort, since insurance often handles these things.
The insurance company pays off claims all the time because the effort to fight is not worth it.

right2bright on October 31, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Conversely, if he was not a party to the agreement, he probably didn’t know about it. He said he didn’t, and I for one believe him. YMMV.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Not conversely, a tangent is as close as you got. Cain was the target of the claim. He would know a bout the charge even if he didn’t know about the settlement. With his statement, he absolved himself from having to keep quiet.

cozmo on October 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Elisa

Cain said it wasnt sexual harassment and was cleared – people are not cleared when monies are paid out.

We will find out in the next few days

EricPWJohnson on October 31, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Citation please? Or, are you quoting what Politico said? Because this is not what he just said on Fox a few moments ago.

Rovin on October 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM

What do you want us to do? Pronounce the complaints invalid and then nominate Mr. Cain – with no further vetting on this issue – and then allow Politico to possibly come out with MORE damning information on this story in the general?

You take that risk with your vote – the rest of us … no.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Since you weren’t really on the Cain Train to begin with, I’d expect you to have so little faith in him. You seem to be assuming, as happens so often, that there is a chance that the LSM won’t smear a Republican candidate under certain circumstances.

I can tell you with 100% certainty that Herman Cain WILL be smeared if he is the nominee. I am not normally comfortable prognosticating, but I can say with absolute and unequivocal positivity that accusations, probably even worse than this, WILL surface. Because Cain is conservative and black.

The only safe Republican candidate is a non-conservative Republican candidate. And I’m not casting my lost with the Mitt-wits. Not this early.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Latest Herman Tweet:

My appearance at the National Press Club will be televised today on C-Span at 1pm ET. Tune in!

pambi on October 31, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Elisa

Cain said it wasnt sexual harassment and was cleared – people are not cleared when monies are paid out.

We will find out in the next few days

EricPWJohnson on October 31, 2011 at 12:07 PM

He didn’t say he was cleared. He said the allegations were false and he had no knowledge of any payment that might have been made. You really need to get your facts straight before you continue pushing your agenda.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:20 PM

What do you want us to do? Pronounce the complaints invalid and then nominate Mr. Cain – with no further vetting on this issue – and then allow Politico to possibly come out with MORE damning information on this story in the general?

You take that risk with your vote – the rest of us … no.

HondaV65 on October 31, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Rather than dancing to the MSM, wait they will change their accusations…oh look, they already are backing away.

Politico just changed their headline from Exclusive: 2 Women accused Cain of Sexual Harrassment” to “Exclusive: 2 Women accused Cain of Inappropriate Behavior” No explanation given for the change, of course.
Naturally Curly on October 31, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Of course the problem with that, is that makes you look even more like a puppet…or you could claim, “I was just saying they should investigate it further”…sorry pal, you and others hopped on the bandwagon to fry him.
Now you have to either pretend you weren’t, or back away and apologize…gee, I wonder which way you and others will go…

right2bright on October 31, 2011 at 12:21 PM

So the president of the National Restaurant Association was unaware that the association he is running made a payment to his accusers to get them to shut up and go away?

Oh my goodness.

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 12:06 PM

IF there was a real investigation into a harassment claim, then indeed, the President of the corporation would not be allowed in the room during board discussions and or discussion of payments, etc. No lawyer would allow that and it would be inappropriate to say the least. This is how things work.

BierManVA on October 31, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Citation please? Or, are you quoting what Politico said? Because this is not what he just said on Fox a few moments ago.

Rovin on October 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM

He said he didn’t know about monies being paid out… a claim I find questionable by itself, that a CEO of an organization doesn’t know about monies being paid out to quiet claims made against him. I realizae there are overzealous underlings, but that goes to the next level…

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 12:22 PM

I’ve been wondering if these two women got a minimal payoff to get lost and, when Cain became the frontrunner, decided to see if they could get more now. I wonder if someone, NRA perhaps, was approached by them, said “Get lost” again and then the women shopped the story with the disclaimer “We can’t be personally identified or we will be breaking a contract. We need anonymity.”
.
What if the women could now be accused of blackmail and Cain and his organization plans to flush them out using the media and its incessant ‘Destroy Republicans’ operations?

ExpressoBold on October 31, 2011 at 12:23 PM

IF there was a real investigation into a harassment claim, then indeed, the President of the corporation would not be allowed in the room during board discussions and or discussion of payments, etc. No lawyer would allow that and it would be inappropriate to say the least. This is how things work.

BierManVA on October 31, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Except board members have already come out and said they didn’t know about any payments. That hardly sounds like the board was in on it, at least not in toto.

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Not conversely, a tangent is as close as you got. Cain was the target of the claim. He would know a bout the charge even if he didn’t know about the settlement. With his statement, he absolved himself from having to keep quiet.

cozmo on October 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Which is why he’s not keeping quiet anymore. Unless you’re one of these people calling for more details. I personally think he’s said all he needs to. Again, ymmv.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I can tell you with 100% certainty that Herman Cain WILL be smeared if he is the nominee. I am not normally comfortable prognosticating, but I can say with absolute and unequivocal positivity that accusations, probably even worse than this, WILL surface. Because Cain is conservative and black.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:19 PM

TRUTH!
And the little puppets, as they have been, will dance with the MSM…now that even Politico is changing their attack, they won’t.
It’s so predictable, and they are so easy to manipulate…and the scary part, they can vote with that putty like mind controlling the vote.

right2bright on October 31, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Except board members have already come out and said they didn’t know about any payments. That hardly sounds like the board was in on it, at least not in toto.

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 12:24 PM

A third possibility: I was right, and considering that this hasn’t seen the inside of a courtroom, there was no “settlement” at all beyond routine (albeit possibly inflated) severance packages.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Rush is right, once again.
Says that, as proven by recent history, if these claims were against a Dem, the press would be demonizing the females !!

So, who are these women ??
*crickets*

pambi on October 31, 2011 at 12:26 PM

A third possibility: I was right, and considering that this hasn’t seen the inside of a courtroom, there was no “settlement” at all beyond routine (albeit possibly inflated) severance packages.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Fair enough. But then why an NDA?

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Wow.. Romney must really be laughing his A** off ! first Cain flubbed on abortion and now this… he is being defensive here and it tells me that he does not have the confidence to assert himself.

Cain seems to be a perfect example of why a non career politician has no business running for POTUS – he should have very forcefully denied all these allegations if he wants people to believe his innocence and should have done so immediately…. it is almost like him jogging his mind ” let me see have i ever done this before ??”

Romney is the biggest gainer here. Perry gains somewhat too.

nagee76 on October 31, 2011 at 12:27 PM

So, who are these women ??
*crickets*

pambi on October 31, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Another prognostication from ol’ Gryph:

We’ll never know a single personal detail about them. Ever. “Out of respect for the accusers’ privacy.”

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:28 PM

So the president of the National Restaurant Association was unaware that the association he is running made a payment to his accusers to get them to shut up and go away?

Oh my goodness.

Punchenko on October 31, 2011 at 12:06 PM

If you read the end of the Politico article, all the other heads and leaders at the Association at the time also didn’t know about any settlement and they all praised Cain’s integrity. He is held in very high esteem still by the Association.

Either there was no settlement or some lower level agent of the association on his own settled this and since there was nothing to it, didn’t inform anyone in the leadership.

Cain signed nothing and paid nothing.

Get it? No story. Except for people who are desperate for one. Like the liberal media or Obama and the Dems or SOME Republicans who want someone else.

Elisa on October 31, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Politico just changed their headline from Exclusive: 2 Women accused Cain of Sexual Harrassment” to “Exclusive: 2 Women accused Cain of Inappropriate Behavior”No explanation given for the change, of course.

How did you know?

katy the mean old lady on October 31, 2011 at 11:55 AM

I’m no Spring Chicken myself.

Naturally Curly on October 31, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Anyone get a screen capture of the original title?

Rovin on October 31, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Fair enough. But then why an NDA?

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 12:27 PM

SOP in the case of internal corporate investigations. It may or may not have been actually been contractually linked to the severance packages in-question.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:30 PM

ExpressoBold on October 31, 2011 at 12:23 PM

No, Politico got hold of some rumor, they ran with it, and are now backing off…but the damage has been done, the mindless, easily manipulated, putty brained commentators have picked up on it and are wetting their pants with excitement…
So as Politico is backing off…the attack dogs are still on full attack, not quite understanding how they are being used…rather pathetic.
Attack dogs, your owner is backing away, that should be a hint…duhhhhh!!!!

right2bright on October 31, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Except board members have already come out and said they didn’t know about any payments. That hardly sounds like the board was in on it, at least not in toto.

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2011 at 12:24 PM

So it sounds like the whole Politico story is full of s#it then!

The media can come out in this day and age and say absolutely anything they want. With or without facts to back them up and immediately, people everywhere have an opinion. There is no slander anymore in this country because politicians and famous people are “fair game”. I don’t understand that. It seems to violate the equal protection clause. But of course, the Constitution is violated daily and no one seems to care.

Sad times.

BierManVA on October 31, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Get it? No story. Except for people who are desperate for one. Like the liberal media or Obama and the Dems or SOME Republicans who want someone else.

Elisa on October 31, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Even as Politico is backing away, the little ankle biting attack dogs won’t understand…if they did, they would have to admit at being a pawn…
“Mongo, just a pawn in the game of life”….

right2bright on October 31, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Sad times.

BierManVA on October 31, 2011 at 12:31 PM

They’re just getting started.

I find it somewhat amusing and disenheartening all at once that some people are asking, “What if more comes out?” It’s as if there’s a chance that Herman Cain won’t be smeared any further if he’s clean as the wind-driven snow. Are you freaking kidding me?! No way is Cain going to emerge from a presidential campaign unscathed. He’s conservative!

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Exclusive: 2 Women accused Cain of Sexual Harrassment” to “Exclusive: 2 Women accused Cain of Inappropriate Behavior” No explanation given for the change, of course.

katy the mean old lady on October 31, 2011 at 11:55 AM

And so the backtracking begins…

You know, if you Journalist frauds would just stick to the facts, instead of sensational headlines and descriptions, you wouldn’t continue to have these fraud problems. 4 JournoList types at Politico collaborated on this fail, and there still are no actual facts.

So what were the facts, again?

MNHawk on October 31, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Which is why he’s not keeping quiet anymore. Unless you’re one of these people calling for more details. I personally think he’s said all he needs to. Again, ymmv.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Just above, you stated that he may still be bound by an agreement, and that’s why he couldn’t talk. Now you are saying he has said enough. Its not going to reduce my desire to vote for the guy. But it will to others. He stated he didn’t know about the agreement, he can speak out on it at length. The only way to defeat his enemies is to give full disclosure. Leave them with egg on their faces and warn them he will do it again if they try the same crap again.

Like it, or not, the ball is in his court and he has as many free throws as he wants.

cozmo on October 31, 2011 at 12:36 PM

So what were the facts, again?

MNHawk on October 31, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Herman Cain was accused of sexual harassment and there was some sort of payment (not necessarily a settlement) made to the accusers. That’s all I can really say for certain at this point.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:36 PM

No way is Cain going to emerge from a presidential campaign unscathed. He’s conservative!

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:34 PM

And they have plenty of help from “conservative” bloggers on HotAir, they are so easy to manipulate.

right2bright on October 31, 2011 at 12:37 PM

The only way to defeat his enemies is to give full disclosure. Leave them with egg on their faces and warn them he will do it again if they try the same crap again.

Like it, or not, the ball is in his court and he has as many free throws as he wants.

cozmo on October 31, 2011 at 12:36 PM

IMNSHO, “the allegations are false” constitutes full disclosure. Anyone demanding more details than that is probably the kind of person that finds Snooki and The Situation entertaining.

gryphon202 on October 31, 2011 at 12:38 PM

So, who are these women ??
*crickets*

pambi on October 31, 2011 at 12:26 PM

It’s been mere minutes since Cain made his statement. This is real life, not your average television show.

cozmo on October 31, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Politico just changed their headline from Exclusive: 2 Women accused Cain of Sexual Harrassment” to “Exclusive: 2 Women accused Cain of Inappropriate Behavior” No explanation given for the change, of course.

Naturally Curly on October 31, 2011 at 12:17 PM

“Inappropriate behavior.”

Mr. Cain is a very warm and gregarious man. Some women who have issues might take a pat on the shoulder or back or quick hug as sexual advances.

Here are 2 pictures of Herman being Herman with Michele Bachmann. A decent, warm, jovial man. This is a crazy world we live in. I like people who are real like Herman.

http://bossip.com/487685/does-the-gop-support-herman-cain-because-they-see-him-as-a-black-man-who30346/herman-cain-michele-bachmann-composite/

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=images+michele+bachmann+herman+cain&hl=en&biw=1280&bih=685&tbm=isch&tbnid=eq0sYhYZrMrtHM:&imgrefurl=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38450984/ns/politics%3Fq%3DMichele%2520Bachmann&docid=i0d2Pgn9PjXLsM&imgurl=http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Components/Slideshows/_production/ss-111011-herman-cain/ss-111011-herman-cain-13.jpg&w=1217&h=1500&ei=ob-uTs-rKsPq0gGAmbHPBQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=599&vpy=148&dur=335&hovh=249&hovw=202&tx=123&ty=150&sig=115292581625021920552&page=2&tbnh=143&tbnw=147&start=15&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:15

Elisa on October 31, 2011 at 12:39 PM

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