Santorum strategist urges Cain to come clean on harassment allegations

at 10:43 AM ET, 11/01/2011

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign is calling on Herman Cain to offer a more detailed explanation of the sexual harassment allegations made against him during his time as the head of the National Restaurant Association.


LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 18: U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) (L) and former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain participate during the Republican presidential debate airing on CNN, October 18, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) (Ethan Miller - GETTY IMAGES)
“What I would encourage the Cain campaign to do is, if you are the frontrunner and you plan to be the nominee, to be forthcoming so that you are vetted, and we don’t get into a situation where you’re our nominee and we find out things after the fact,” said Santorum strategist John Brabender, speaking at an election preview forum hosted by National Journal.

Santorum’s campaign is the first of Cain’s opponents to jump on the allegations that have been lodged against him. Politico reported late Sunday that two women reached settlements with the NRA in the 1990s after accusing Cain of sexual harassment.

Cain’s story since then has changed several times with the candidate most recently admitting he knew about one of the settlements and noting that he couldn’t recall whether he invited one of the women up to his hotel room.

Santorum is struggling to gain traction in the polls or raise money but has established himself as the candidate most willing to attack his opponents. His campaign has already targeted Cain on the abortion issue, suggesting conflicting answers given by the businessman in recent weeks are fair game.

“As part of this process, it’s a fair thing for people to ask campaigns to specify when they say one thing here and another thing here,” Brabender said. “We’re still waiting for clarification from the Cain campaign. We’re as confused as ever.”

Santorum is hoping to peel away social conservative support for Cain in Iowa.

 
Read what others are saying