As more sexual harassment allegations against former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain come to light, the presidential candidate is accusing Texas Gov. Rick Perry of leaking the story to the press.
In an interview with Forbes magazine, Cain said he had told consultant Curt Anderson about the allegations when he ran for Senate in 2004. Anderson began working for Perry two weeks ago, about when Politico first asked Cain whether he was accused of sexual harassment while leading the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
Cain chief of staff Mark Block was more explicit in a subsequent interview with Fox News. “The actions of the Perry campaign are despicable,” Block told Bret Baier. “The Perry campaign needs to apologize to Herman Cain and his family.”
Perry’s camp unequivocally denied the accusation — and promptly pointed a finger at former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
“That is false, patently untrue, no one at this campaign was involved in this story," Perry communications director Ray Sullivan told CBS News. He went on to say that “there are much closer connections between the Restaurant Association, Cain and the Romney camp than there are with us” and that “I wouldn’t put it past them.”
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul responded simply: “Not true.”
Anderson himself also denied leaking the story, telling Forbes, “I never heard about this story until I read about it in Politico. I have nothing but good things to say about Herman Cain.”
In a statement, Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon dismissed the latest report from the Associated Press, in which a third woman spoke of inappropriate behavior.
“Mr. Cain has said over the past two days at public events that we could see other baseless allegations made against him as this appalling smear campaign continues,” Gordon said. “He has never acted in the way alleged by inside-the-beltway media.”