You can lie about what you believe. You can lie about what you’d do if elected. You can deny that your tax reform plan would raise taxes. You can get away with all of these things because they’re matters of speculation, interpretation, or argument. But if you make specific factual claims about the past, as Cain did in his Tuesday press conference about sexual harassment allegations, you can be flatly disproved. Worse, you can goad your accusers into backing up their charges with evidence. That’s what Cain has done. His press conference is a road map to his destruction…

At his press conference, Cain said the allegations against him were uncorroborated. But former NRA pollster Chris Wilson has told an Oklahoma radio station, “I was around a couple of times when this happened.” Wilson referred to an incident “at a restaurant in Crystal City” in northern Virginia. According to Wilson, “many people were aware of what took place” there.

Week after week, Cain has misrepresented his past. He denied having said that families, not politicians, should make abortion decisions. He denied having said he would exclude Muslims from his cabinet. He denied having opposed an audit of the Federal Reserve. He dismissed his advocacy of an electrified border fence as a joke, then said he was serious about it. The public record falsified all of these denials. When CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Cain what he’d do if “al-Qaida or some other terrorist group” demanded that he “free everyone at Guantanamo Bay, several hundred prisoners” in exchange for a U.S. soldier, Cain replied: “I could see myself authorizing that kind of transfer.” Hours later, Cain said of Blitzer: “I don’t recall him saying that it was al-Qaida-related.”