Herman Cain says sexual harassment claims are smear, fundraising boon
Herman Cain continued his media tour on Tuesday between private meetings in Washington, revealing further details about incidents during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association that led to accusations of sexual harassment.
The lone African American Republican in the 2012 presidential race also said that the allegations were “an intended smear campaign” that had boosted his fundraising.
“When they cannot kill my ideals, like 9-9-9, they come after me personally,” Cain told HLN in a Tuesday interview.
Instead of hurting the charismatic candidate’s candidacy, Cain said that on Monday, the day the allegations surfaced, Cain said that “online we had one of our highest fundraising days in the campaign.”
“I believe [the allegations have] backfired on those that are trying to put a cloud over my campaign.”
A campaign aide put the figure at $250,000.
But Cain’s journey to what he says is now the truth has been a bit tortured.
On Monday, the former Godfather’s CEO who has shot to the top of the pack in some presidential polls began the day by saying that he didn’t recall that two women reached financial settlements with the National Restaurant Association after making complaints that he sexually harassed them.
But by Monday evening, Cain offered more details and acknowledged he was aware of a cash settlement with one woman. On Fox’s Greta Van Susteren show late Monday night, Cain said he was unaware of a complaint by the second woman, whose name he was given by Politico before the story broke.
Tuesday morning, the Republican stopped by CNN’s studios and said that his memory had improved throughout the previous day as he was forced to recount the events of over a decade prior.<object width=”416” height=”374” classid=”clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000” id=”ep”><param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent” /><param name=”movie” value=”http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=bestoftv/2011/11/01/exp-mxp-meade-herman-cain-intvw-long.hln” /><param name=”bgcolor” value=”#000000” /><embed src=”http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=bestoftv/2011/11/01/exp-mxp-meade-herman-cain-intvw-long.hln” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” bgcolor=”#000000” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” width=”416” wmode=”transparent” height=”374”></embed></object>
Cain said that he “wasn’t given the opportunity to think about it for a day before I had to start answering questions.” Yet Cain did corroborate the Politico report that says Cain was first informed of the Politico story ten days before it was published.
“If I could do it over, Robin, I would start with the last interview I did last night and make that the first interview of the day because after 12 hours during the day, many events, many interviews,” Cain said, “I was able to gradually recall more and more details about what happened 12 years ago.”
In the CNN interview, Cain remembered comparing one of the accurser’s height to his wife’s height, and said that there were “a couple of other things in there that I found absolutely ridiculous, they were so ridiculous that I don’t remember what they are.”
“The reason I forgot them, Robin, was that they were ridiculous. I dismissed them out of my mind,” he said. “I don’t remember what they were, the only thing I remember is that one gesture that I made, talking about the height.”
Cain also claimed that the allegations arose now “because someone does not like the fact that we are doing so well in these campaigns.”
Cain also said that he told his wife, Gloria Cain, about the incident when it happened roughly a dozen years ago.
Gloria Cain is set to give an interview in the coming days, according to her husband.
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