The Washington Post

Cain gets tripped up on the facts: Will this kill the campaign?

Herman Cain’s denial that he had knowledge of a settlement between the National Restaurant Association and one or more women who alleged sexually harassment came unraveled as it was revealed he had knowledge of a settlement, roughly its amount, and at least one allegation. The Post reports:

Byron York of the Washington Examiner had details of what Cain said in the interview with Greta Van Susteren, which will air tonight on Fox.

“My general counsel said this started out where she and her lawyer were demanding a huge financial settlement…I don’t remember a number…But then he said because there was no basis for this, we ended up settling for what would have been a termination settlement,” Cain said in the interview, as reported by the Washington Examiner. “Maybe three months’ salary. I don’t remember. It might have been two months. I do remember my general counsel saying we didn’t pay all of the money they demanded.”

Cain’s statement represents a reversal from what the Republican said only hours ago, when he denied that he knew about any settlement that was reached after the claims of sexual harassment were made.

This is fast becoming a mess. First, the Politico story was baseless and he wouldn’t respond to unknown accusers. Then there was an admission of sexual harassment claims. Next we heard he didn’t know of any settlement. Now he says he knew about the settlement and the amount.

Something here — lots of things — are not holding together. The error Cain made was in not getting the entire story out early, completely and truthfully. He left the day with voters and the media more confused than ever.

This may not be the end of the Cain campaign, but it will take a toll. The never-ending stories here suggest Cain hasn’t been honest with the public. That’s going to be harder to explain than the original allegations.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.


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