WEST CHESTER, Ohio -- Despite insistence from his top aides that he would remain in the GOP presidential race , Herman Cain told reporters Wednesday that he was still “reevaluating” and “reassessing” his candidacy after a woman said she was involved in a 13-year extramarital affair with him.
Cain plans a major speech in Dayton, Ohio, at noon Wednesday, but declined to say whether he would give a definitive answer as to whether he would stay in the race.
The claim came just weeks after allegations that Cain sexually harassed four women while he was head of the National Restaurant Association.
But later Tuesday, Cain’s campaign manager said in an ABC interview that there was “no way [Cain is] dropping out.” Cain also sent an e-mail to supporters Tuesday night stating that White was a “troubled” woman whose “story was “completely false.”
“Let me assure you, I am not deterred,” Cain vowed.
But as Cain greeted supporters after a speech in a hotel meeting room north of Cincinnati Wednesday, Cain suggested that the decision about whether to continue his roller-coaster candidacy had not yet been made.
About 100 supporters showed up for Cain’s speech, which primarily focused on his 9-9-9 tax plan and foreign policy.
He alluded to “character assassination” efforts by his critics and said he did not enter the presidential campaign lightly.
“This isn’t something that you do on a whim,” he said, explaining that he prayed before deciding to seek the GOP presidential nomination. “When you pray and you know that you have gotten the right answer, you don’t look back.”
The audience that attended Cain’s speech here were enthusiastic but smaller and more muted than the large crowds that showed up for some of his earlier campaign events. Many people remained supportive, saying they did not believe the accusations or did not care if they were true and urged the Georgia businessman to stay in the race. Others expressed misgivings, but not related to Cain’s personal life.
“I think when Bill Clinton had his candidacy, he was running with the same baggage over his head and I don’t think it had any bearing on his ability to run this country,” said Robin Mattox, 58, a retail worker from the Cincinnati area who said she is undecided in the primary. “I’m more concerned about his stumbles on foreign policy than who he sleeps with.”
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