Cain campaign on Kraushaar accusation: Oops

posted at 11:35 am on November 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Consider Mark Block’s “confirmed” accusation now … unconfirmed:

Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon acknowledged Block’s mistake in an email to CNN.

“Based upon information available at the time of Mr. Block’s Tuesday night interview on Fox News, the campaign was led to believe that Mr. Josh Kraushaar, currently with the National Journal and a former employee of Politico, was the son of Karen Kraushaar,” Gordon said. “Mr. Josh Kraushaar is in fact, not related to Ms. Karen Kraushaar.”

All right, let’s take Gordon at his word.  What “information” was available to Block and the campaign at that time that posited a familial relationship between the two Kraushaars?  Besides an unusual last name, that is?  Shouldn’t the campaign offer us the evidence on which they based their faulty, “confirmed” conclusion?  And let’s not forget that Block insisted that Josh Kraushaar currently worked for Politico, and not that he was a “former employee.”

This is the kind of stupid, foot-shooting decision-making that we saw last week with the campaign’s accusation and then retraction that blamed Rick Perry for the surfacing of these claims.  Charles Krauthammer warned the Cain campaign against this very thing while discussing the Herman Cain press conference with Bill O’Reilly on Fox just before Block tossed out his “confirmed” accusation:

With the possibility of making it to a primary increasingly slim for Herman Cain as he faces a number of sexual harassment accusations,Charles Krauthammer visited Bill O’Reillytonight to give a review of his press conference. Krauthammer was impressed with Cain’s “high wire act” but warned him that he had made one mistake that had surfaced before– accusing the Democrats of having something to do with the story surfacing, after his chief of staff previously accused the Perry campaign of the same.

Krauthammer noted that he did believe Cain could survive, “but it won’t be easy.” In today’s “high wire act,” Krauthammer argued Cain “crossed a wire just about intact,” but for him to “blindly blame it on the Democratic machine” did him no good: “you can’t go around making charges if you don’t know they’re true or not.”

At this point, the allegations against Cain are secondary to the fact that this campaign is not ready for prime time. Can Republicans honestly put any trust in Cain’s team for a run against Barack Obama in a general election while it’s so busy self-destructing now? Unless Cain cleans house and brings in people who know what they’re doing, the answer has to be no, and a brief “oops” after last night’s debacle won’t bolster confidence in Cain’s campaign at all.

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When George W. Bush was first running for governor of Texas, Karl Rove started getting a lot of hardcopy press attention and televised interviews for his (Rove’s) superb management of the Bush campaign. According to those close to the campaign at the time, W. had a private talk with Rove, told him to knock it off–not because Bush was an egomaniac jealous of the attention Rove was receiving but because–based on extensive campaign experience working for his father–W knew the focal point of any campaign should be the candidate. Anything or anyone that takes attention away from the candidate is a bad thing. That’s the first rule of campaign management. Chastened, Rove retreated to the background where he belonged.

Too bad Ed Rollins or Mark Block haven’t come to the same realization. Because of their overweening egos, they’ll always be somewhat talented minor leaguers wondering why they can’t make it to the majors.

Without looking it up, just off the top of your head, who is Mitt Romney’s campaign manager? I doubt many know (I don’t), and that’s a good thing for Romney.

troyriser_gopftw on November 9, 2011 at 12:43 PM

chicken thief on November 9, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Elian Gonzales is the same age as my son. What that whole fiasco was going on I supported letting him stay in the US-but my parents just as strongly thought that he should be sent back to his dad in Cuba because his dad and step-mom seemed like lovely people or something.
When Elian was sent back my CONSERVATIVE parents were delighted. Iwas was horrified that my parents could support sending a little boy back into into slavery.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 9, 2011 at 12:44 PM

And to all you Perry parrots out there demanding Cain get out of the race thinking everyone will jump on the Perry bandwagon, think again. The LameStreamMedia is armed and ready to take Perry down too.

Dance on Cain’s grave at your own peril. What goes around comes around.

Knucklehead on November 9, 2011 at 11:54 AM

C’mon, Knuck, all Perry fans aren’t dancing on Cain’s grave. I think it’s outrageous the way these sexual harassment accusations have come out with no proof and little if any details. But I do question his judgement in the way he handled it, particularly his “unconventional” campaign manager. This ain’t the first time he’s leveled accusations himself with no proof.

cartooner on November 9, 2011 at 12:45 PM

MaxMBJ on November 9, 2011 at 12:42 PM

I was in that meeting as well…

g2825m on November 9, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Without looking it up, just off the top of your head, who is Mitt Romney’s campaign manager? I doubt many know (I don’t), and that’s a good thing for Romney.

troyriser_gopftw on November 9, 2011 at 12:43 PM

I believe it is Matt Rhoades…at least that is who’s name is on my checks! ;o)

or as some of you would believe of me…haha mine is actually Uncle Sam or I should say you all. Thanks!

g2825m on November 9, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Spare me the outrage Ed. Every campaign makes mistakes. Mark Block has had his share, but Cain is not going to allow you all to dictate what he does. He is still at the top of the polls, without all the “pros” you all keep clamoring for.

Michele Bachmann went with “pros” and where did that get her? Rick Perry supposedly has “pros” and he went from 1st to 4th place. I didn’t hear any outrage about his operation. And Mitt Romney with his “pros” should be running away with this nomination. Instead, Romney is running away from interviews and real primary interaction with the voters.

So relax Ed. In the end, it’s about the candidate. And Cain would wallop Obama next year if he’s the GOP nominee, with or without your support.

milemarker2020 on November 9, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Will all Ron bots, perry hunters and mitt healthcare trolls please read the above.

Shut up! If he wins you will vote for him. And how do you sell him when you have been bashing him.

Grow up people, you are doing just what the dems and rep elite want you to do.

kara26 on November 9, 2011 at 12:50 PM

MaxMBJ on November 9, 2011 at 12:39 PM

It seems the plan was already determined, playing out right now, Cain’s sponsors testing the public response.

No one likes being played the fool.

Here’s a purely political speculation, “family decision” strictly aside. Cain’s backers bought off Palin to stand off ’12. She’d already primed the GOP grassroots’ simpatico. Nothing parallel about the charges at all. But the setting was constructed nonetheless. Cain’s absolutely an establishment candidate, banking Fed Reserve backing, their fall guy. If he makes it on his own, fine. If he’s taken down, fine.

In a dangerous world, skepticism prolongs survival.

maverick muse on November 9, 2011 at 12:51 PM

By saying that he never sexually harassed anyone. Did he say that? Oh, I believe he did. Why does that leave room for doubt in your mind, unless you’ve already made up your mind that he’s a liar?

MadisonConservative on November 9, 2011 at 12:40 PM

yeah, but didnt he deny he was even accused of sexual harassment?
didnt he then claim he was unaware of a settlement being reached
and how about when he changed that story a few hours later to it was settled for maybe 3 months salary
and then he claimed curt anderson was told about this back in 2004, which curt denies
he blamed the perry camp and then walked it back.
says one of the complaints was cause he compared the woman’s height to his wifes.
and just last nite his campaign had CONFIRMED the woman’s son worked for politic.

i see a pattern here, not of serial sexual harassment yet but of serial stupidity and dishonesty.

chasdal on November 9, 2011 at 12:53 PM

kara26 on November 9, 2011 at 12:50 PM

When you expound on the realistic outcomes of Cain’s policies, beginning with 9-9-9, your advice to stfu could bear relevance.

maverick muse on November 9, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Shut up! If he wins you will vote for him. And how do you sell him when you have been bashing him.

Grow up people, you are doing just what the dems and rep elite want you to do.

kara26 on November 9, 2011 at 12:50 PM

kara26 I agree with you BUT as a Romney supporter, it seemed many of the Cain and other candidates didn’t mind jumping on Romney and bashing him. I find it interesting when ANYONE else’s candidate gets the once over that they are outraged! Now you know how those that support Romney feel daily on HA. I’m sure there will be people responding negatively to this comment as well.

You are correct though and we should be focusing on Obama and laying out what each candidate believes w/o killing each others campaigns.

g2825m on November 9, 2011 at 1:01 PM

The only remaining question is, “Why are we even still talking about Cain?”. His ghafs and goofs, combined with this have truly rendered him useless. Time to move on because he has no chance of recovering. His most ardent supporters are hanging on to this somehow magically going away. Forgetting about the fact that there were two “settlements” or “severance” payouts (call them what you want). Both amounted to a full year’s salary for these women, which wouldn’t have been made if there weren’t some basis for them. Cain knows he could make it go away by releasing the confidentiality agreement, and allowing the public to see their content. But he won’t do it because he already knows they would deflate his campaign immediately, and ruin his standing everywhere.

So now, who is worthy of discussion for the nomination. It ain’t Cain…

stacman on November 9, 2011 at 1:03 PM

OT: I corrected you on the Klavan headline thread yesterday.
He lives and works in LA.
Yeah-I think Klavan is a brilliant conservative writer…who’s pretty pleasing to the eye. loL

annoyinglittletwerp on November 9, 2011 at 12:23 PM

I never questioned where Klavan was from but somebody else put up the name of Scottish college professor with a very similar name as proof and I thought it was funny.

Bill C on November 9, 2011 at 1:04 PM

yeah, but didnt he deny he was even accused of sexual harassment?

According to your link, no. All he denied was that they were true. You should try reading the actual link, and the actual quotes, rather than headlines and paraphrasing. Oh, wait. That would require you to have some interest in facts rather than a narrative you wish were true.

didnt he then claim he was unaware of a settlement being reached
and how about when he changed that story a few hours later to it was settled for maybe 3 months salary

He didn’t change his story. He said he was unaware of a settlement. A few hours passed, in which time he probably talked to his general counsel to get updated on the details, and then guessed the amounts(didn’t claim to know exactly) on a later interview. None of that provides any evidence that he knew about the settlement before the first interview. The problem, though, is that people like you seem to regard evidence more as an annoyance than as a critical component of these types of allegations.

and then he claimed curt anderson was told about this back in 2004, which curt denies

So they have conflicting accounts. You have no reason to believe Cain over Anderson, nor Anderson over Cain.

he blamed the perry camp and then walked it back.

That’s been his primary error so far.

says one of the complaints was cause he compared the woman’s height to his wifes.

He said that was what he had been told. Got any evidence to prove him wrong?

and just last nite his campaign had CONFIRMED the woman’s son worked for politic.

Yet another blunder by Block, which most any Cain supporter is facepalming over, and calling for Block’s firing.

i see a pattern here, not of serial sexual harassment yet but of serial stupidity and dishonesty.

chasdal on November 9, 2011 at 12:53 PM

What you “see” is a lot of distortion and twisting of words. Do your homework, clear up the facts, and you’ll have a more valid opinion. Right now, it ain’t.

MadisonConservative on November 9, 2011 at 1:06 PM

You’re moving the goalposts. That’s for the NRA or the accuser to discuss, not Cain. You’ll recall that the accuser’s lawyer stated that Cain was not involved in the settlement.

Additionally, you’re either being lazy or using weasel words. There were no lawsuits. There were claims.

MadisonConservative on November 9, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Ok, two sexual harassment claims. Now you are running for president and you don’t have a response for those claims, doesn’t that speak to ineptitude? How about flinging unsubstantiated charges? How about numerous gaffes involving major issues that anyone on this board could have articulated?

All of this builds a really strong case that Cain is doing a bad job as a candidate and that his campaign is flailing.

Bill C on November 9, 2011 at 1:10 PM

I’ll just reiterate what I said in the headlines posting.

While I remain unconvinced about any inappropriate conduct by Mr. Cain in relation to all of the allegations being thrown at him, he must surely realize that having Block throwing out charges without any evidence to back them up and then having to walk them back later looks unprofessional. Better to keep your suspicions to yourself instead you get ahold of cold hard facts and avoid the embarassement of backtracking.

Desert Gardens on November 9, 2011 at 1:14 PM

MadisonConservative on November 9, 2011 at 1:06 PM

i didnt bother w/ your post after your opening, here is the quote from the article.

WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s campaign is denying allegations that he was twice accused of sexual harassment while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

he denied he was even accused! your full of crap just like herm. he has told lie after lie. spin all you want it aint changing that.

chasdal on November 9, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Oops..

Make that read: Better to keep your suspicions to yourself until you get ahold of some cold hard facts …

Stupid me accidentally hitting the “submit” instead of the “preview” button.

Desert Gardens on November 9, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Knucklehead on November 9, 2011 at 12:31 PM

I am going to stop here before I out myself. I’ll go a little easier on you now that I know you are a neighbor. :-)

Bill C on November 9, 2011 at 1:17 PM

WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s campaign is denying allegations that he was twice accused of sexual harassment while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

he denied he was even accused! your full of crap just like herm. he has told lie after lie. spin all you want it aint changing that.

chasdal on November 9, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Hey MC, how do you answer this?

Bill C on November 9, 2011 at 1:35 PM

yeah, but didnt he deny he was even accused of sexual harassment?
didnt he then claim he was unaware of a settlement being reached
and how about when he changed that story a few hours later to it was settled for maybe 3 months salary
and then he claimed curt anderson was told about this back in 2004, which curt denies
he blamed the perry camp and then walked it back.
says one of the complaints was cause he compared the woman’s height to his wifes.
and just last nite his campaign had CONFIRMED the woman’s son worked for politic.

i see a pattern here, not of serial sexual harassment yet but of serial stupidity and dishonesty.

chasdal on November 9, 2011 at 12:53 PM

This is the definitive Herman Cain take down. There is no way to look at the accumulated evidence and say that Cain is capable of running for president against the billion dollar Obama machine.

Bill C on November 9, 2011 at 1:37 PM

HOLY COW

This guy is on a roll monetarily speaking. He’s banking close to $10K and hour…though not my first choice I could accept him at the top or bottom of the ticket…If he is efficient with this money as he was running those businesses then he will get 100-200% better return per dollar than his competitors.

RedLizard64 on November 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM

i didnt bother w/ your post after your opening,

Big surprise. You don’t read much, as demonstrated by your next words:

here is the quote from the article.

That’s what the article states. Nowhere in the article does Cain or Cain’s campaign actually state that there were no accusations. The only quotes that they include have the Cain campaign stating that the accusations were false. READ YOUR OWN DAMNED LINKS.

he denied he was even accused! your full of crap just like herm. he has told lie after lie. spin all you want it aint changing that.

chasdal on November 9, 2011 at 1:16 PM

READ YOUR OWN DAMNED LINKS.

MadisonConservative on November 9, 2011 at 1:56 PM

This is the definitive Herman Cain take down.

Bill C on November 9, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Which you, apparently, could not be bothered to double-check, either. Are all Cain-haters this content to take headlines and paraphrasing rather than Cain’s own words? What’s doubly hilarious is that after you completely ignore the fact that you’re operating on spin rather than Cain’s own words…you COMPLAIN that Cain hasn’t said enough on the issue! Mind-melting!

MadisonConservative on November 9, 2011 at 1:58 PM

While I agree that Block has to start tempering this behavior, or perhaps just leave altogether…I Love how Krauthammer and the like-minded seem to think that making a charge like: “the democrat machine is playing a part in this”…Somehow isn’t acceptable, if one is running for the GOP nom.

Is Krauthammer serious?
The libs do this kind of thing all the time, and the GOP just shrugs their shoulders, giggles and says “those darn libs”, and then play along with the distraction game.

If Krauthammer and the like-minded think that most folks don’t believe the dems didn’t have something to do with this…They’ve got another think coming.

If Krauthammer and the like-minded want to be naive and believe that the dems wouldn’t or couldn’t do something like that…They can go right ahead and live in their fantasy world.

We know better. Recognizing an enemy & the tactics they employ is the first step to beating them. The naive nature Krauthammer and the like-minded use…Has gotten us ziltch over the past, oh, 4 or 5 decades (at least). Time to suck it up, and do the dirty work.

Talismen on November 9, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Mark Block is becoming the face of the Cain campaign’s incompetence. That isn’t a positive development.

LFRGary on November 9, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Thanks for your honesty. This has always been our criticism of Cain. He is not running a professional campaign and while that will appeal to us conservatives it will not be enough to win an election.

Bill C on November 9, 2011 at 11:49 AM

you nailed it. talking about the state of denial some conservatives are in.

jimver on November 9, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Shut up!

kara26 on November 9, 2011 at 12:50 PM

… she argued.

JohnGalt23 on November 9, 2011 at 2:42 PM

The continued employment of Mark Block and other buffoons inside the Cain campaign destroys Hermie’s entire mantra.

He claims to be a “problem solver” and always talks about “surround yourself with the right people”.

Mark Block is not only inept, he is a scumbag.

That should tell us a lot about Herman Cain.

bigred on November 9, 2011 at 2:50 PM

The continued employment of Mark Block and other buffoons inside the Cain campaign destroys Hermie’s entire mantra.

The 0bama administration taxing Christmas trees makes Gordon Block look like the MENSA president!

lol

cane_loader on November 9, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Excuse me, Mark Block

cane_loader on November 9, 2011 at 3:10 PM

That’s what the article states. Nowhere in the article does Cain or Cain’s campaign actually state that there were no accusations. The only quotes that they include have the Cain campaign stating that the accusations were false. READ YOUR OWN DAMNED LINKS.

MadisonConservative on November 9, 2011 at 1:56 PM

The article:

WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s campaign is denying allegations that he was twice accused of sexual harassment while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

In a statement Sunday to The Associated Press, his campaign disputed a Politico report that said Cain had been accused of sexually suggestive behavior toward at least two female employees.

The report said the women signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them five-figure financial payouts to leave the association and barred them from discussing their departures. Neither woman was identified.

The report was based on anonymous sources and, in one case, what the publication said was a review of documentation that described the allegations and the resolution.

Cain’s campaign told the AP that the allegations were not true, and amounted to unfair attacks.

Ok, so far we have the AP describing the Cain campaigns reaction to the story. I don’t know how you can read this and not say that AP is saying that Cain’s campaign denied that the claims had been made. But you are right that is not the same as the campaign saying it, so let’s look at the quote from the campaign.

“Inside-the-Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain,” spokesman J.D. Gordon said in a written statement. “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.”

Asked if Cain’s campaign was denying the report, Gordon said, “Yes.”

“These are baseless allegations,” Gordon said in a second interview later Sunday evening. “To my knowledge, this is not an accurate story.”

So the question is, does denying the report amount to denying that the claims were made. Apparently AP was under the impression that it was. However, it is vague.

Let’s go to the tape. (1:46)

Geraldo: Is he denying the cash payout to the two women.
J.D. Gordon: Ah yes. I can tell you that we’ve seen this movie played out before. It’s a prominent conservative leader target by liberals because they disagree with his politics.

Listen to Gordon in the video. He answers yes to a direct question. The charitable interpretation is that they did not have their story straight. Actually that is the only thing that would make sense. If Gordon had spoken to Cain I would have hoped that Cain would have told him the whole story.

MC, you can dissemble all you want but there is no doubt that the Cain campaign has thoroughly muddled this crisis.

Bill C on November 9, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Bill C on November 9, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Let’s start with your video’s title:

Cain Spokesman Won’t Flatly Deny Harassment Claims

Yet the quote you provide, which is in the video, says otherwise. So let’s start from the premise of “the media isn’t always 100% honest about what people say”.

I know, I know…it’s a shocker. We’ve always trusted the media to fairly represent what Republican politicians say, and clearly I’m only now challenging the veracity of journalists because it’s about Cain.

That’s sarcasm, by the way.

Next up, let’s take your statement:

Ok, so far we have the AP describing the Cain campaigns reaction to the story. I don’t know how you can read this and not say that AP is saying that Cain’s campaign denied that the claims had been made.

I never disputed that the AP was claiming that the Cain campaign denied the accusations occurred. I disputed that any quotes in there proved that. However, you addressed one:

But you are right that is not the same as the campaign saying it, so let’s look at the quote from the campaign.

Asked if Cain’s campaign was denying the report, Gordon said, “Yes.”

“These are baseless allegations,” Gordon said in a second interview later Sunday evening. “To my knowledge, this is not an accurate story.”

I put emphasis on the same line you did, because it certainly seems damning. However, note that they asked if the campaign was “denying the report”, not “denying the existence of the allegations”.

Now you’re going to tell me that’s a weak argument. You might be right, but for the follow-up that I bolded for you. Notice he reiterates that the allegations are baseless, not that they don’t exist. Are you really telling me the guy said they didn’t exist, and a second later claims nonexistent claims are baseless?

The Cain campaign definitely has staffing problems, but give me a break. You’re really going to give the benefit of the doubt to the Associated Press when their account doesn’t fit their quotes? Would you have given them the benefit of the doubt if this were a candidate you supported?

MadisonConservative on November 9, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Stupid me accidentally hitting the “submit” instead of the “preview” button.
Desert Gardens on November 9, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Shameful.

I’ve only done that about five (5) times in the last two weeks.

: )

listens2glenn on November 9, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Mark Block: “What do you mean I can’t make shi* up when I’m trying to paint a woman as a whore?”

HondaV65 on November 9, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Now you’re going to tell me that’s a weak argument.

MadisonConservative on November 9, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Nope – we’ve (including Allahpundit) have been telling you that your parsing of words is pretty weak sauce – but you’re not listening and we aren’t going to tell you that anymore.

I’ll just say – that English is NOT hard, and that when you hear a guy make a statement – your first impression of what he said is usually what he said. When you have to drill down and start “diagramming” sentences to vindicate your candidate – he’s losing.

HondaV65 on November 9, 2011 at 4:33 PM

HondaV65 on November 9, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Oh, my apologies. You’ve been telling me what Cain has said. Like you’ve been implying that he contradicted himself on his knowledge of the settlement(which he hasn’t). You’ve claimed the accusers weren’t anonymous(which they were). You also claimed that Cain’s defenders are wrong, implying that he is guilty, despite having no evidence.

Oh, but please keep telling me that I’m merely “parsing words” when I point out what he actually said, while you keep making up bulls**t paraphrasing.

MadisonConservative on November 9, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Block needs to go; he seems to be the one driving this scrambling nightmare of assigning blame. Concentrate on thoroughly refuting FIRST, then do a careful thorough investigation of parties behind the curtain. Both are quite doable.

michaelo on November 9, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Not true. It was Block who accepted that Curt Anderson was not the leaker (after initially saying he was) and it was Cain who later that same day still blamed Perry. Cain is assigning blame just as much as Block. Block is not a scape-goat here. And of course, who hired Block? Cain. Who refuses to fire Block? Cain.

Remember, Cain himself still blames Perry, Cain never walked it back even after Block tried to.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on November 9, 2011 at 5:48 PM

I am astonished that there are even anonymous conservatives on websites willing to stand behind Cain now. He is clownish and his campaign utterly incompetent. And in my opinion, he lacks any of the credibility of his accusers.

It’s sad, really.

Jaibones on November 9, 2011 at 5:50 PM

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