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.