AP: Third woman comes forward to accuse Cain of harassment; Update: “Positive development” coming? Update: Cain blames Perry camp; Update: Iowa radio host accuses Cain too?

posted at 4:20 pm on November 2, 2011 by Allahpundit

She didn’t file a complaint, but she considered it.

She worked for the National Restaurant Association when he was its head. She told The Associated Press that Cain made sexually suggestive remarks or gestures about the same time that two co-workers had settled separate harassment complaints against him.

The employee described situations in which she said Cain told her he had confided to colleagues how attractive she was and invited her to his corporate apartment outside work. She spoke on condition of anonymity, saying she feared retaliation.

Remember, Cain explained away the incident with one woman as confusion over a gesture he made when showing her how tall his wife is. Not much room for confusion in this third woman’s allegations, though. And here’s something new from the pollster (and Perry supporter) who said earlier today that he saw Cain behave questionably:

Wilson declined to say specifically what Cain said or did to the woman, but that the CEO’s actions made other individuals at the table uneasy.

“It was very uncomfortable,” said the pollster, recalling that other individuals present asked Cain to stop.

Wilson said there were at least three other people at the gathering, but wouldn’t share the name of the woman for publication.

The fact that the third woman never filed a complaint will help Cain a lot, obviously, but we’ve now got four separate people accusing him of inappropriate behavior — the three women plus Wilson — two of whom memorialized their claims with formal complaints long before he ran for president. How much more smoke he can stand before people conclude there must be a fire? Stand by for updates.

Update: Two polling benchmarks for you. He leads the field nationally in Quinnipiac’s new poll with 30 percent to Romney’s 23 and Gingrich’s 10, and he’s the only candidate to have gained this year in Gallup’s measure of positive intensity. Remember those numbers, as they’ll be the yardstick to measure the fallout from this week’s harassment circus after the next polls are taken.

Via Breitbart TV, here was the scene as reporters descended upon him outside an event this morning.

Update: Not sure what this means but let me put it in front of you. From Fox News’s Chad Pergram:

After meeting with Cain, Rep. Gingery says “something coming” from Cain on sexual harassment. Cain said it be “a positive development.”

Question: Who’s more likely to be damaged by all this, Cain himself or whichever rival candidate leaked this story to Politico once we find out who that is? I think the answer depends on whether the woman speak on the record or not. If so, and if they seem credible, it’s Cain. If not, and all we’re left with in this case is a bunch of anonymous accusations, it’s the rival. The base will be incensed at the dirtiness of a trick this dirty unless there’s something very solid to it. I hope for Romney’s and Perry’s sake that they’re not responsible.

Update: The next debate’s going to be amazing.

There, beside rusting rail lines, is the home of OnMessage Inc., a Republican-leaning consulting firm recently hired to bolster Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign.

One of the firm’s partners, Curt Anderson, worked on Cain’s losing 2004 U.S. Senate campaign. Cain thinks he’s the hired political gun who leaked details to Politico, a Washington trade publication, of alleged “sexually suggestive behavior” Cain is said to have exhibited towards two women while he ran the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. That story set off a media frenzy which has quickly put Cain’s campaign on the defense…

“I told my wife about this in 1999 and I’ve got nothing to hide,” Cain told me Wednesday. “When I sat down with my general campaign consultant Curt Anderson in a private room in our campaign offices in 2003 we discussed opposition research on me. It was a typical campaign conversation. I told him that there was only one case, one set of charges, one woman while I was at the National Restaurant Association. Those charges were baseless, but I thought he needed to know about them. I don’t recall anyone else being in the room when I told him.”…

Aside from knowing about the alleged sexual harassment accusations, Cain campaign officials point to the timing of Anderson’s hiring by Perry as evidence of his involvement. The campaign announced Anderson’s role on October 24, just a week before Politico broke the story.

Anderson denied the accusation to Politico, saying he first heard of the harassment charges on Sunday night when the story broke. Over to you, Rick Perry.

Exit question: You know who this benefits?

Update: I feel dizzy. New from Politico, Iowa radio host Steve Deace says Cain said inappropriate things to two of his staffers too:

“Like awkward/inappropriate things he’s said to two females on my staff, that the fact the guy’s wife is never around…that’s almost always a warning flag to me,” Deace wrote. “But I chose to leave that stuff out [of the opinion piece] and make it about his record and not the personal stuff.”

Pressed about what exactly Cain said to the employees of his show, Deace responded by describing how he himself treats his staff.

“Many a man has been done in by the inability to control his urges,” Deace wrote. “I am no different and just as vulnerable as any other man, which is why I put safeguards around me and hold myself accountable to my wife and other men in my life. Especially since I have very talented employees that happen to be women. I go out of my way to treat them like my sisters. For example, I wouldn’t tell them or any other woman I am not married to nor related to how pretty she is.”

Interestingly, Mark Block made a reference to Deace’s accusations a few days ago at a National Journal event but Deace says neither he nor his staff ever told Block about them. Oh, and here’s the opinion piece to which Deace refers in his Politico interview. He’s not a fan of Cain’s, needless to say.

Update: Erick Erickson wonders why, if Cain knew that former staffers like Anderson knew about the harassment charges, his campaign didn’t have a plan in place to deal with this story when, not if, it finally surfaced.

Update: Newt to the rescue!

“Here’s a situation where we’ve got a guy who’s the front runner for the Republican nomination, has a serious proposal on tax policy: 999, whether you like or dislike it, it is a serious big idea,” Gingrich told Atlanta’s WBS TV, according to ABC News. “He’s out there trying to help a country that’s in desperate trouble, and he has gotten more coverage over the last few days over gossip.”

Update: A good point from Guy Benson:

[Curt] Anderson denying TO POLITICO that he leaked *to* Politico *does* clear him. Unless Politico *wants* to self-destruct.

I.e. unless Politico is willing to knowingly publish false denials from its source, Anderson isn’t its source. Which brings us to another good point, this time from Ace’s co-blogger Drew M.: “So Cain’s story is he remembered to do an oppo dump on himself in 03 for Senate race but not for his ’12 run for POTUS?”

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